The number two has been a lucky one for Jake Pavelka. First, The Bachelor-turned-Dancing With the Stars contestant makes a fine twosome with his fianc e, Vienna Girardi, and now he’s a strong duo with his dance partner, Chelsie Hightower.
But last Tuesday, the number was more of a curse, when Pavelka found himself in the bottom two with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who ultimately ended up heading home on the show.
“It was the biggest shock,” Pavelka tells PEOPLE of his dangerous encounter with elimination. Like a dramatic rose ceremony, Pavelka says, “I didn’t see it coming. I was tied for fourth place with the judges’ scores and then winding up in the bottom two. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting straight tens. If nobody is voting for you, you will be off.”
Pavelka is hoping he can rally his Bachelor fans to vote for his “really passionate traditional tango” on Monday night.
“It’s a hot and steamy dance,” he says. “It’s another side of Jake and I’m really excited about it.”
The obvious question: Is Girardi okay with Jake turning up the heat on the dance floor?
“She is!” Pavelka says. “We’re more in love than ever and kind of talking about setting a date. We haven’t set one yet, but we’re moving forward … The relationship is moving at a really healthy pace.”
That includes setting up a home in L.A. with Girardi and her one-year-old Pomchi pup, Chloe, which means Pavelka is contending with the number two again — this time in his bed.
“I like Chloe a lot. She is a cute little dog,” Pavelka says. “But Chloe actually sleeps in the bed. I said that would never happen.”
Still, he says, “she’s a perfect little pet.”
And a zealous watchdog! “If a stranger walks by the door she starts barking,” he says. “She thinks she’s a Great Dane, but she’s only six pounds.” –Monica RizzoCraig Sjodin/ABC