Dancer Karina Smirnoff took time from her busy “Dancing With the Stars: All Stars” schedule to offer an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of one of ABC’s hottest shows.
Liz: How do you feel about this season?
Karina: It’s a difficult season. Not just because everyone is amazing, but there’s so many new aspects to the show. This week we have three dances and we have a four-minute marathon. It’s already kicking our butts.
L: Who is your biggest threat this season?
K: We have had every couple on the show leading the competition [at some point]. Anyone is a threat. Obviously, Shawn Johnson is doing tremendous.
L: There’s speculation that the judges favor some contestants no matter how they perform such as Kirstie Alley. What’s your take on that?
K: Some couples get praised no matter what they do, but at the end of the day it’s about fun. How serious can we really take it? I don’t think it’d be worth it to get mad at the judges.
L: What’s it like backstage? What don’t the cameras show?
K: As much as we are competitive we are also one big and somewhat dysfunctional family. If someone does a great job, we’re all cheering for each other. If someone does something weird, we all look at each other like, “What were they thinking!”
L: What’s is a normal week like during “DWTS”?
K: I don’t get a lot of sleep. The moment we get our music on Tuesday I am thinking of ideas. The workload gets bigger as the competition progresses. To be honest, I do most of my emails while I’m in the bathroom. Once the season starts — this is your life.
L: How do you like working with Apolo Ohno?
K: He’s stubborn; I’m stubborn. We do keep each other on our toes. He wants to do challenging choreography.
L: What are your predictions for the rest of the season?
K: I’m going to work my butt off and pray and hope that we might be considered to be one of the top three. It’s anyone’s game at this point.
Katy and Russell far from friends
When you attend a Lakers game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, you can always count on several A-list celebrities making an appearance. Given that there’s only so many VIP floor seats, sometimes there’s an awkward celebrity run-in — and that was just the case for the Lakers’ home opener against the Dallas Mavericks. Exes Katy Perry and Russell Brand both attended the game and sat across the court from each other. The former couple locked eyes on a few occasions but neither of them came close to cracking a smile; they just gave each other icy stares throughout the game. They arrived at the VIP entrance around the same time, and once Katy caught wind that her ex-husband was in the building, she spent an extra 10 minutes in her car putting on makeup. A source says it will be a long time before the exes will be on good terms again: “They had a bad breakup that involved cheating and trust issues, so it will be a while before they’re friendly again — if ever!”