The show must go on

Kym John­son and Adam Gar­cia share some Danc­ing With The Stars mis- steps with Deb­bie Schipp

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV - DANC­ING WITH THE STARS GRAND FI­NAL South­ern Cross, Tues­day, 7.30pm

IN more than a decade as a Danc­ing With

The Stars pro­fes­sional part­ner in both Aus­tralia and the US, Kym John­son has rarely put a foot wrong on the dance floor.

So it’s a lit­tle ironic that in her de­but as a judge, a com­i­cal ver­bal mis- step be­came one of the fun­ni­est and mem­o­rable mo­ments of

Danc­ing With The Stars’s 2013 Aus­tralian sea­son.

The mo­ment John­son couldn’t hope would end quickly enough and which fel­low rookie judge Adam Gar­cia still can’t stop laugh­ing about came when Olympic gold medal pole vaulter Steve Hooker took the floor clad only in a busi­ness shirt, socks and un­der­wear a la Tom Cruise in Risky Busi­ness.

As she be­gan her post- per­for­mance judge as­sess­ment, John­son un­con­sciously picked up a ver­bal shovel and started dig­ging.

“It be­gan with me con­grat­u­lat­ing him on hav­ing the balls to do it, and just got worse,” John­son laugh­ingly re­mem­bers.

“Ev­ery­thing I said af­ter that was just a dou­ble en­ten­dre that just got me in deeper, and then of course Todd [ McKen­ney] and Adam were al­most howl­ing with laugh­ter. “I just wanted to crawl un­der the desk.” As the like­able Gar­cia re­mem­bers: “Kym didn’t just put her foot in her mouth she swal­lowed the whole cen­tipede.

“She was say­ing words com­pletely nor­mal for judg­ing ‘ tack­ling prob­lems’, ‘ per­for­mance pack­age’ and it was just de­scend­ing into hi­lar­i­ous,” Gar­cia says.

“With­out Kym’s knowl­edge, the com­edy stars had aligned over her and were beam­ing down.

“It was bril­liant. It was hec­tic. I don’t think she can be beaten.”

Gar­cia and John­son agree it’s a mo­ment that sums up their ex­pe­ri­ence in their first sea­son on the DWTS judg­ing panel along­side He­len Richey and Todd McKen­ney.

“It kind of sums up ev­ery­thing about why I wanted to be part of the show,” says Gar­cia – a for­mer Tap Dog turned ac­tor, who made his name in Hol­ly­wood for fa­mously get­ting his gear off in a raunchy scene from the chick flick

Coy­ote Ugly al­most 20 years ago. “DWTS is a bit of an Aus­tralian TV in­sti­tu­tion. View­ers love it be­cause it fea­tures el­e­ments of the celebri­ties they like to read about, and the dou­ble- edged sword that it could ei­ther go hor­ri­bly wrong or they could be great. It cel­e­brates great stuff and has a laugh at the bad. It’s just in this case it was a judge they were hav­ing a laugh at.”

For both John­son and Gar­cia, the move from pro­fes­sional dancer to judge was easy in terms of knowl­edge, but at times had them itch­ing to get back onto the floor them­selves.

“In the be­gin­ning I felt my­self mov­ing in the seat and felt like I was danc­ing ev­ery step with the con­tes­tants,” says John­son, ahead of Tues­day night’s DWTS grand fi­nal.

“When they weren’t do­ing well I’d be mov­ing, al­most will­ing them to do bet­ter. I think I danced ev­ery move with some of them.” Gar­cia says it’s been a sea­son of sur­prises. “The beauty of the show is the progress the celebri­ties make,” he says.

“I’m a pro­fes­sional dancer, so my brain’s wired to learn chore­og­ra­phy quickly and, ini­tially, the celebri­ties strug­gle with that mus­cle of re­ten­tion – it’s like an ac­tor learn­ing lines.

“For th­ese guys, it’s like learn­ing a new lan­guage.”

Some have learned that lan­guage bet­ter than oth­ers.

“It was ob­vi­ous from the first per­for­mance that Rhi­an­non [ Fish] could dance. With Tina [ Arena] I didn’t know what to ex­pect, I know she’s a singing su­per­star but to watch her grow in con­fi­dence ev­ery week danc­ing was so im­pres­sive,” says John­son.

“But Libby [ Trick­ett] was the ul­ti­mate sur­prise pack­age.

“Nor­mally fe­male ath­letes don’t tend to do well but she broke the mould.”

Hopes Gar­cia and John­son might ditch judg­ing du­ties to per­form as part of the DTWS fi­nale have been ruled out, but the pair are work­ing on “a lit­tle some­thing” for a char­ity gig that will see them dance to­gether be­fore they head back to their re­spec­tive UK and US bases.

“We’re putting some­thing to­gether for a char­ity func­tion that won’t be on TV,” Gar­cia says.

“I’ve not done much part­ner danc­ing, but I’m happy for her to do all the work and then let me look like I’m lead­ing.”

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