Speaking about Jaleel White’s recent outburst during a rehearsal with partner Kym Johnson, Shepherd downplayed the incident.
“These dances were emotional for everyone,” Shepherd said of the performances, which they had less time to learn. “Everybody wants to do well. We all want to be here.”
While Shepherd’s routine, a rumba with partner Val Chmerkovskiy, represented the year her son was born, White’s rumba reflected the year he played his nerdy Family Matters character’s smooth alter-ego, Stefan Urquelle.
After the show, White, 35, told PEOPLE reports that he was out of control after he stepped on Johnson’s toe and got frustrated in rehearsals were “completely exaggerated.”
A source familiar with the situation said White was “out of line,” but Chmerkovskiy strongly defended the entire DWTS cast.
“When you re passionate about something you tend to take things personal and maybe frustration kicks in,” Chmerkovskiy said of the dynamic on the show this week.
“The intentions are always good and I can vouch for every single person on this cast – celebrity to dancer,” Chmerkovskiy continued. “No one is maliciously trying to hurt anybody else or put anybody else down. … People want to do their best and they go about it different ways.”
VIDEO: Jaleel White Does The Urkle