Karina to Play Up Partner Rocco DiSpirito’s Hotness on DWTS

Karina to Play Up Partner Rocco DiSpirito’s Hotness on DWTS
Heidi Gutman/ABC

09/07/2008 AT 12:00 AM EDT



When it comes to grooming her dance partner, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, into the next Dancing with the Stars champ, Karina Smirnoff thinks she has the recipe for success: turn up the heat with his hotness.

“He's very handsome,” Smirnoff told PEOPLE Thursday at 944 Magazine’s two-year anniversary party in Los Angeles. “A lot of women kept telling me, ‘Oh, my god, you have a hottie! You got a hottie this season!’ So I'm sure we're going to try to play off the handsomeness of Rocco.”

But they won't be relying solely on DiSpirito's good looks to get by in the competition. Though Smirnoff hasn’t had much prep time with the chef (he was away on a professional commitment in South Africa), she's been working on loosening him up. “I think he's a lot of fun when we like just hang out or talk, but when he's actually in the studio, motivated and determined to do well, he gets very tight," she said, "so I need him to let go of all inhibitions and just go for it.” While Smirnoff is working on showing DiSpirito how to strut his stuff on the dance floor, he’s shown off his moves in the kitchen, treating the pro to one unforgettable dinner.



“He actually made a first meal which was black truffle pasta when I first met him,” Smirnoff revealed. “And he made it from scratch, which was amazing. I'm just hoping he's not going to cook for me every day, because I'll be the only person on the show who gains weight, you know? Like three weeks later, 20 pounds heavier.” --Scott Huver

Heidi Gutman/ABC

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