Evan Lysacek Talks to Movieline About Dancing with the Stars and Johnny Weir's Opinions
In 2010, an Olympic gold medal in figure skating qualifies you for two distinctions: 1) undisputed world champion; 2) salsa-dancing wannabe -- at least in the eyes of Dancing with the Stars's judging panel. Evan Lysacek may have cleaned up in Vancouver last February against ferocious competitors Johnny Weir and Russia's hilarious Evgeni Plushenko, but he's just as vulnerable to America's vote on DWTS's 10th season. Last week the 24-year-old athlete suffered a slight concussion when preparing to samba with partner Anna Trebunskaya, recovering enough to earn a score of 21, his lowest yet. Just yesterday, he triumphed with a perfect 30 during his Argentine Tango. It appears Lysacek is back in the game.
Movieline caught up with the gold medalist last week to discuss Dancing with the Stars, transitioning into acting roles, and Johnny Weir's pesky snipes.
Last week was your lowest-scoring performance. After surviving the elimination, were you particularly relieved? Did you celebrate more than usual?
Well, we felt pretty relaxed and kind of felt like we'd given 100% regardless of what our scores were. So we were just thinking, if it was our time to go, it was our time. We weren't too extremely nervous yesterday, but we obviously want to do much better next week with the judges. We felt good about the audience performance, but hopefully we'll do better for the judges.
Did last week's judging make you a little more cautious for this week's performance?
No, not really. Just because I have no dance experience, I don't really have a whole lot of expectations, and I'm just trying my best to learn each dance, but there's a new challenge every week. I just attack with full speed ahead. All I can really do is my best. We did that last week, even though the results weren't at great as we had hoped. But I guess that's the luck of the draw. Some of the dances are going to be great, and some you're going to have a little more trouble with.
You're judged for a living, but I imagine the judges on Dancing with the Stars are less predictable for you than in skating. Is it nerve-wracking having to field less guessable criticisms?
As far as us training during the week, all we have to really go on for the next week is the judges' feedback. So we just hope for the most part that if it's criticism, that it's constructive, that it's information we can put to use in our training week. And whatever maybe is not constructive, I've just learned in my life to ignore. These judges couldn't -- if they tried -- be as harsh as some of the criticism I've got in skating. I try to pinpoint the good information in what they're saying, and you know, please them the next week around.
You still skate during the week after Dancing with the Stars films its Monday and Tuesday shows. DWTS seems like a mind-suck to me, since you have to learn a new "language" every week when you dance. How hard is it to transition in and out of the show's world?
Well, skating for me is second nature, and I get such satisfaction to be able to go out and perform every night for my fans on the ice. But at the same time I'm really energized by learning a new dance very week. Because I've skated my whole life, this is really a new challenge for me. I'm fortunate enough to live in both worlds and try to do a good job at both, because obviously I want to perform for my fans in both.
Did you feel bad for the cast members on Dancing with the Stars with no history of coordination?
Well, it's a really strong cast. Erin is a phenomenal dancer. Nicole is obviously a phenomenal dance. Chad is doing extremely well. I think we're pretty evenly matched, with the exception of Nicole. She's in a league of her own, we'll say. But we're pretty evenly matched in trying to take on the challenge of each new dance.
When we see you practice with your partner Anna Trebunskaya, you're funny and off-the-cuff. Would you ever star in your own reality show?
Pretty doubtful. I have been approached in the past several years. They've tried to get me to do shows about getting ready for the Olympics, but I said no because it was a distraction. I wanted to focus on my training and nothing else. I've gotten some really enticing offers to do some acting, to work in broadcast. I don't know if I'd be good at it, though. I just sort of have to analyze and see if it's something I'd want to pursue.
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