Greg Zabilski/ABC
Tim Nudd and Michele Stueven
October 12, 2010 12:45 PM

The judges didn’t think much of his Argentine tango on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars. But Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino has one fan firmly in his corner: his dance partner, Karina Smirnoff.

“Honestly, I’m having such a blast this season,” Smirnoff, 32, tells PEOPLE. “I’m trying things with Mike that I would never even attempt to try with anyone else. Definitely the best partner ever. I would never ask for anyone different.”

That’s a nice vote of confidence for Sorrentino, 28, who was torn to pieces by the judges after the tango, which Bruno Tonioli called “a terrible mess.”

RELATED: Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino: I’m Sacrificing to Succeed on Dancing

Sorrentino says he was fuming after the criticisms.

“I was so upset, I actually stormed off,” he says. “I came back after I was cooled off, and I was like, you know what, hopefully America saw that I was working my hardest and really putting in the practice and doing things that people are not willing to risk.”

He adds: “I really tried hard. I’m not a dancer, but I went out there and gave it my all.”

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