"I want to show the naughty side of Randy Couture!" says the pro dancer
Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, having won the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The pro dancer is now in her 16th season on the show, and will be blogging for PEOPLE about competing with actor and retired mixed martial arts fighter Randy Couture for season 19.
It was a very interesting premiere night. I think a lot of couples were amazing, and you saw different characters and different personalities shine through.
Our performance went perfectly. We couldn’t have asked for a better response. There’s a certain side of Randy that I wanted to showcase in the dance and it came through, and the judges and the audiences recognized that. I couldn’t have been happier.
I think the judges were commenting on certain qualities that Randy produced on the dance floor, which I totally agree with. He was smooth, and for a man of his stature, smooth is not the word that comes to mind – he’s 6’1″ and 220 lbs. of pure muscle! I think he definitely deserved the scores we received.
Julianne Hough did an amazing job as a first-time judge. It’s definitely not easy sitting next to Bruno Tonioli! I think she did an amazing job keeping up with him and playing it back with him. And she loved my partner! She thought he was extremely sexy, so really I think she did an incredible job!
Going into this week I told Randy, “Remember, at the end of the day, we are not just doing a combination of steps.” Just steps and moves without any meaning to them is boring and pointless to watch. The steps are the mechanism that tells the story. The story in the foxtrot was graceful, suave, romantic, and strong. With the cha-cha, now I want to show the naughty side of Randy Couture! Our cha-cha is super-playful, flirtatious and sexy.
You know when you go out on the town and you have an amazing time and you let your hair down? (Well, Randy constantly will laugh and go, “What hair? I don t have any hair to let down!”) It’s that party. You’re at the club, you’re dancing. This will have a different strength and different feeling from the foxtrot.
This Monday is “My Jam Monday,” so we’ll be performing to a song that Randy likes to listen to. We have an amazing story. Randy has so many experiences in his life that make him very unique, so we put a story from Randy’s life into the dance. It’s really cool and I’m excited. And I get to be a pinup. That is always one of the fantasies you want to come true!
I don’t think we have a direct competition in terms of the other dancers, because you are only as good as your last performance. We’ll just keep on working hard, and once we see where everybody else is we’ll know if we re good or bad in comparison!