09:59 AM EDT 09/23/2014

Add PEOPLE News

Karina Smirnoff

Credit: ABC
Corbin Bleu's DWTS Blog: 'I've Learned a Lot About Myself'

Dancing With the Stars

Corbin Bleu's DWTS Blog: 'I've Learned a Lot About Myself'

Originally posted 11/25/2013 11:20AM

Corbin Bleu is a former High School Musical star, now competing on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars with season 13 champion Karina Smirnoff. This season, the Disney alum has been blogging for PEOPLE about his experience on ABC's hit show.

At the beginning of rehearsing for this week, I was about to pull my hair out. I had no idea how we were going to get through it. We have five dances to do. So there's so much press and everything, and the amount of interviews that I'm doing is cutting into rehearsal time. It's craziness. It's like finals in school. It's hell week.

I expected the season to be a lot of hard work. Everyone warned me that it's one of the most time consuming and physically and mentally draining processes to go through. But what you don't realize is how much goes into it with production. You're constantly debating back and forth with what song you're going to dance to. Sometimes you'll submit a song and they won't necessarily let you choose that song. Then you have to rework the entire dance concept. Then you have to figure out lighting and costumes.

Read More

Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty; Steve Granitz/Wireimage
Karina Smirnoff Is Surprised Maksim Was 'Very Nice' As DWTS Guest Judge

Karina Smirnoff Is Surprised Maksim Was 'Very Nice' As DWTS Guest Judge

Originally posted 11/19/2013 07:55AM

It sounds like Maksim Chmerkovskiy has found his calling.

The once hot-tempered Dancing with the Stars professional, 33, showed off an entirely new side when he acted as guest judge during the show's semi-finals on Monday night. His much more relaxed demeanor received praise from many, including his ex-fiancée, Karina Smirnoff and her partner Corbin Bleu.

"He did a superb job," Smirnoff, 35, raved to PEOPLE at an after party for the show at Mixology 101 in L.A., right after learning she'd be in next week's finals. "He's been on our side as a dancer. He knows how much work we put in and how many hours of rehearsals it takes. I was looking forward to him being the Maks that we all know who doesn't have a lot of filter, but he was actually very nice. I don't know [why he was being nice], but I liked it. I'll take that Maks over the other Maks any day."

Read More

Who Went Home on the Dancing with the Stars Semi-Final?

Who Went Home on the Dancing with the Stars Semi-Final?

Originally posted 11/18/2013 10:30PM

It was another exciting night in the ballroom on Monday's Dancing with the Stars.

There was laughter, tears and even an unexpected smooch during the show's semi-finals, which featured former cast member Maksim Chmerkovskiy as a guest judge.

As usual, Bill Engvall and partner Emma Slater ended up with the lowest overall score for their two routines – a cha cha and an Argentine tango both set to LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It." Their goofy cha cha that got them 28 points out of 40 was poorly received by judges, but they left them impressed with a serious 32-point Argentine tango that Chmerkovskiy raved was "exactly what an Argentine tango is supposed to be like."

Was the fan favorite able to make it through another week and land a spot in next week's finals?

Read More

Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC
Karina's DWTS Blog: Maks Guest Judging Will Be 'Interesting'

Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: Having Maks Guest Judge Will Be 'Interesting'

Originally posted 11/18/2013 04:05PM

Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The longtime competitor is blogging for PEOPLE.com about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17.

We have two dances this week, and they are really exciting. We almost wish the songs were longer. It's really cool to find elements that connect the two dances – not just story lines, but within the choreography, the steps, the props, everything. Our second dance is a prequel to the first. It's very exciting. They are dark and mysterious and dangerous.

Corbin and I were talking the other day about the shocking eliminations this season. Even after the first week, I think people had a certain idea of who they thought would be in the final four. Many of the couples who people thought may go all the way have already been eliminated. It's a very unpredictable season.

Read More

Corbin Bleu's DWTS Blog: 'We're Going Really Dark' This Week

Originally posted 11/18/2013 11:15AM

Corbin Bleu is a former High School Musical star who is competing on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars with season 13 champion Karina Smirnoff. The Disney alum will blog for PEOPLE.com about his experience on ABC's hit show.

We're going dark this week. We're going really dark. We have a great song. This week, everybody's doing two dances to the same song. One is the original and one is the cover.

Our first dance, a rumba, is a very stripped down version of the other dance. It's slow and melodic and a completely different song. Our dances are connected, story-wise. I play a dark and sinister villain – very devil-like almost. I end up seducing Karina in the rumba and she's very reluctant. And by the end, she gives in. I take her as my queen of darkness. That's our prequel.

Read More

Advertisement
DWTS: Who Went Home in Another Shocking Elimination? | Bill Engvall

Dancing With the Stars

UpdatePosted 11/12/2013 06:00AM

Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy Head Home on Dancing with the Stars

Originally posted 11/11/2013 10:35PM

Monday was a night of change-ups on the leader board at the Dancing with the Stars quarterfinals. But at the end of the night, Bill Engvall had the lowest score with 42 points out of 60.

With Jack Osbourne landing two 10s for his Viennese waltz – and regular frontrunner Amber Riley scoring just 24 points for a quickstep that was critiqued for footwork and had "a few mess-ups," according to judge Carrie Ann Inaba – the competition was shaping up to be anyone's game.

So, at the end of the night, did Engvall and partner Emma Slater pack their bags? Or did the evening follow in the path of recent weeks with another surprise elimination? Read on to find out ...

Read More

Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC
Corbin Bleu's DWTS Blog: You'll See 'Hints of Michael Jackson' in Our Dance

Corbin Bleu's DWTS Blog: You'll See 'Hints of Michael Jackson' in Our Dance

Originally posted 11/11/2013 03:00PM

Corbin Bleu is a former High School Musical star who is competing on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars with season 13 champion Karina Smirnoff. The Disney alum is blogging for PEOPLE.com about his experience on ABC's hit show.

This week's dances are great. We have the jazz and the slow waltz. We're having so much fun. Our jazz dance is a trio with Whitney from the troupe, and it is turning out to be pretty sick. We've pretty much thrown in everything except the kitchen sink into the number.

Our original plan was to wear jumpsuits and masks so that you couldn't tell us apart, but in the end we realized it's two girls and a guy, so you can easily tell us apart.

And once we started working with the masks, we realized it was a little more difficult to get the choreography in there. So we nixed the mask in the back and now we only have a front mask and it's only half of a mask so that way it doesn't look as terrifying.

The dance has a lot of hints of Michael Jackson. There's even a tap section at the end. Karina's never tapped before, but she's picking it up really quick. The tables have kind of turned. I've been the student the entire time, so it was fun to be able to teach her something.

Read More

Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC
Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: 'The Whole Season Is Bittersweet'

Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: 'The Whole Season Is Bittersweet'

Originally posted 11/11/2013 12:30PM

Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The longtime competitor is blogging for PEOPLE.com about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17.

I've been drinking four espressos in the morning and it's not working. I am literally dragging myself. Mentally, I'm awake to comprehend what's going on, but physically, my body is like, I don't think so. These days, once you power through, you feel better.

We didn't necessarily predict Amber [Riley] and Derek [Hough] would get a 10, but we kind of joked, "Oh, and now the last couple is dancing." We had a feeling the leader board was going to change. When the judges gave that 10, we all kind of started laughing because we knew that was going to happen.

Read More

Who Went Home on a Cher-Themed Night of Dancing with the Stars?

UpdatePosted 11/04/2013 11:05PM

Brant Daugherty Leaves Dancing with the Stars

Originally posted 11/04/2013 10:25PM

The ballroom was full of positive energy on Monday night, as Cher took over judging duties for Len Goodman on Dancing with the Stars.

At the end of the night, which was themed around the Burlesque star, Bill Engvall and Emma Slater ended up with the lowest score of 24 points out of 30 for their fun-filled disco to "Strong Enough."

So did the funny man and his partner end up getting the boot? Read on to find out.

Read More

Credit: ABC
Karina Smirnoff Says Dancing for Cher Is a 'Little Bit Intimidating'

Dancing With the Stars

Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: 'It's a Very Tough Season'

Originally posted 11/04/2013 07:00AM

Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The longtime competitor will blog for PEOPLE.com about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17.

It was such a shock to see Nicole get eliminated. She did such a fantastic job on the show. And you got to see Nicole as the mother. The way she loves her baby is awesome. She's so real, but at this point it would be really difficult to see anyone leave. You usually know who's leaving and who's staying by mid-season, but it's been so unpredictable. It's a very tough season.

Corbin and I were freaking out when we had bad scores and not the best dance. We were like,'That's it. We're going home.' It's like full-on panic. We take it so personal and so emotional and you start freaking out when the red like comes on. Corbin and I we're swaying from left to right because it’s so difficult to stand still.

Read More

From Our Partners