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Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: We're Taking No Chances on the Paso Doble

Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: We're Taking No Chances on the Paso Doble
Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff
Craig Sjodin/ABC

09/29/2014 AT 08:30 AM EDT

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.

There were a few things that didn't go according to plan in Week 2. We loved the song choice, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," but the Otis Redding version took some of the edge needed for cha-cha away. It was something we didn't think through all the way. Regardless, I love the song.

The other thing that threw us off was the super-duper-quick change. We literally had 60 seconds to change. If stripping was just about how fast you can take off a costume, I think Randy and I would be successful at it. There were buttons flying, I didn't have time to put bracelets on, I buckled my shoes on stage … I've never peeled a costume off that fast in my life.





We're not using that as an excuse. I think Randy killed it, but I think we would have enjoyed it that much more if we didn't have to do that super-quick change. We had this whole strategy for changing. I was yelling, "Zip, pull." It was like being in the Army. I ran out with my shoes in my hands and I couldn't find Randy. And I panicked. I was like a headless chicken.

The good news? I can't imagine going first twice. We're looking forward to our future dances because we'll definitely have more than 60 seconds to change.

As for training, we've found our flow. It's tough. I try my hardest to be supportive and positive. My coach always told me for every negative thing you have to have something positive so the person doesn't get discouraged. But Randy keeps saying, "I need a moment where you're not bossing me around." I get that. I totally get that! But then I'm like, "We haven't gotten to the point where you'll learn the steps without me bossing you around!" It's funny.

This week, we're doing paso doble. It's Movie Night, and we're dancing to Rocky III's "Eye of the Tiger," which I think is perfect for Randy. Rocky is the ultimate underdog. And with Randy and his career in MMA, he was the ultimate underdog in every fight. He's killing this paso!





The other day, I put in a combination of punches. We were trying to coordinate ducking and blocking, and I guess Randy forgot when to block, so I went for it and totally punched him! I was like, "Oh my gosh, what did I just do?" But he laughed and said, "Trust me, I've been hit harder."

This past week's performances were great! I think Tommy Chong was especially amazing. When he popped his shirt open, it was hysterical! Tommy's trailer is right next to the hair and makeup trailer, so every time I went to get my hair done last week, Tommy was sunbathing outside. I was like, "Trying to get tan?" And he was like, "Yeah, yeah." Now I know why: Because he had to have his shirt open!

This week, we're really taking no chances, no breaks. We want our scores to go up. Our scores went down last week. Not by a lot, but they did go down. We don't want that to happen again.

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