Tony Dovolani has competed in the hit ABC competitive reality series Dancing with the Stars as a professional dancer and has become a fixture on the dance floor. He holds international and American ballroom championship titles, and shared his expertise with his partner Jane Seymour this season. Jane and Tony were voted out of the competition on Tuesday night, and Tony spoke to BuddyTV about his elimination and the hefty schedule he and Jane had all throughout the competition. Below, you will find an audiofile and a transcript of the interview.
Hey everybody, this is Debbie at BuddyTV, and I’m talking with Tony Dovolani, one of the professional dancers on Dancing with the Stars. Hey, Tony!
Hi, Debbie, how are you?
Great! So, you got eliminated last night, and everyone was really sad to see you and Jane Seymour go. Were you surprised when you found out?
Well, the interesting thing about this is that it’s a wonderful competition – a feel-good competition. Nobody ever wants to go home, but unfortunately every week somebody does. This week ended up being our turn. But I’m not saddened by it because I celebrate every experience I ever have in my life. With Jane and I, we enjoy dancing so much that of course we didn’t want it to end. But we also celebrate the fact that we got as far as we did. It’s week seven – somebody always has to win, but it always goes back and forth.
It’s clear how much all the celebrity dancers have improved this season. I’ve been really impressed with the level of dance. What have you been most impressed with about Jane’s dancing?
The most impressive thing about Jane’s dancing – and there’s so much to mention – is that her work ethic is unbelievable. There’s a reason why she’s Jane Seymour. I found out first hand because she’s remarkable. She loves everything she ever does, and she gives it all. So for me it was surprising to know that someone I’ve admired for so many years is even a greater person than I thought she would be.
Describe the average week of choreography and rehearsal that you’ve had.
The average week is normally on Tuesday night they would hand us the music, and of course that night I never slept because I had to choreograph. I would choreograph all night long and try to figure out the music, the counts, and so on with the idea that on Wednesday and Thursday I would go in and try to teach the choreography to her. Then by Friday we would get the choreography down and start working on the character of the dance. Hopefully by Monday it would come together so we could perform it.
Wow! Last week you had to do two dances, so how did that affect your schedule?
We increased the hours. I think that together, Jane and I had the most amount of hours training. We wanted to do such a great job, so we tried to dedicate all of our time to the dancing. Last week was quite stressful, of course. As we all know two dances are not an easy task to do, but I thought she aced it. We went out there, and she did a great job with both of them. Trying to put the choreography together for that, we normally get it done by Friday. But with this one, we didn’t get together until Sunday. Sunday was the day the choreography finally started making sense, and then we tried to add the character to the best of our ability.
Which couple do you think is going to make it all the way?
Dance-wise I really do believe that Mel and Maks have the best chance of winning it. But as far as popularity, notoriously as we all know through our shows, guys are always more popular than the girls, so between Cameron and Helio – I don’t know. It’s going to be interesting.
What about next week? Who do you think will be the next to get voted off?
I stopped predicting after week three when I couldn’t guess. It’s anybody’s game at this point. I’m not going to predict because there is no way any of us can ever guess.
The Dancing with the Stars tour is going to start up soon. How do they decide who gets to perform on the tour?
They ask pretty much all of the dancers. Some of us, like myself, have a family. I have a baby, and I’m married. I look forward to going back to my family after the season. Some of the single dancers would love to be on tour because it’s a dancer’s dream to be on tour and share their knowledge and ability with the rest of the world. So, they kind of randomly select, hoping that everybody is available.
Do you get to spend time with your family at all during the season?
It’s very limited – very early in the morning and very late at night. During the day you’re constantly working. If you’re not training, you’re doing an interview. If you’re not doing an interview, you’re training. It kind of goes back and forth the entire time.
What about your professional career? You’ve had a lot of impressive World Championships under your belt. Do you have time to do that while you are doing Dancing with the Stars?
Previous seasons I have able to do that, but this season after winning the Worlds twice I decided that it was time for me to retire while I was at the top. I am retiring with both the American and World titles. Hopefully my next stage in my career is as successful as my first one, but that might be a hard thing to match!
-Interview conducted by Debbie Chang