Very interesting interview with Derek – don’t let the title mislead you, he actually doesn’t back away AT ALL from Nicole’s previous dance experience. In fact, I think even Derek detractors will have a tough time finding fault with what he has to say. But maybe I’m overly optimistic on that front. :-) Anyway, from the Seattle Post – TV Guide, a few excerpts:
Derek Hough: Totally! We’re constantly walking in, like, “So what’s going on, guys?” [Laughs] It’s funny because Nicole does this certain move in our Viennese waltz that kind of looks like ice skating, like gliding, so every time she does it, she goes, “It’s the Lysacek!” Everyone’s having a good time. She gets along with everybody and she’s enjoying herself. Nicole’s a really hard worker, but we’ve been playing hard as well too. She’s a huge goofball. I thought I was crazy and goofy, but she’s definitely outmatched me.
TVGuide.com: There seems to be at least one person every season with a performing or dance background that people label a “ringer.” Some say it’s Nicole this season. Does that bother you?
Hough: For me, I don’t think it’s Nicole. I think it could be Evan. He performs choreography on ice. He’s like Baryshnikov on ice! Nicole is like, “Wait a minute. I’m a singer who just happens to do a few chest bumps and a few head rolls.” That’s what she compares her dancing to. But what’s so great about this season is that I don’t think there is a definite ringer. You’ve got lots of people who can be very good. Evan will be tough for so many different reasons. Chad [Ochocinco]’s got a great personality. We’ve learned in the past that people who’ve danced before don’t necessarily do well, let alone win. The show is so much more than just dancing. It’s about personality, it’s about story, it’s about charisma. Just look at Ty Murray.
TVGuide.com: How much has Nicole’s dance background helped?
Hough: I hate when people say, “No, it’s a totally different monster. It doesn’t help at all.” That’s ridiculous. Of course it helps! I think what helps the most is her musicality. But it is very true that this is hard. People make it look easy, but that’s what’s so hard about it — making it look easy. It’s definitely a struggle, but I think her dance experience has allowed us to up the ante as far as choreography.
TVGuide.com: Who are you excited to see dance? I think Pamela Anderson is going to bring something good. She’s with Damian [Whitewood], the new guy, who’s going to bring new energy. Erin Andrews and Maks [Chmerkovskiy] should be something as well. I can’t wait to see Buzz [Aldrin]. Buzz is a little party animal. I went out twice last week and he was at both parties. He was kicking it right until the end. … This guy is a party animal and he’s 80 years old! He’s awesome. When he practices, he wears this shirt with this guy walking on the moon, and I said, “Is that you?” He said, “Yeah, it is, actually.” “Oh, wow!” [Laughs] People say that he’s a moonwalker, and he doesn’t like that. “No, I walked on the moon. I’ve actually walked on it.” It’s pretty funny because it’s true! You’re like, “Right, sorry. Duh. You’re a legend.”