"I actually picked him up twice," says Ali, "and I knew I hurt something." The fatigue and anxiety about Tuesday night's final outcome had clearly seeped into this past week's rehearsal halls. "We had three times the commitment with the show, and three times the media. Wilson, soft-spoken, dark-haired and good-looking, had just flown in after spending a month in China, where he had been part of a performing-arts group from the university.
Fatone was walking stooped to the left after spending a week carrying his partner, Kym Johnson, on his left shoulder in a complicated spin. "I literally just got off the plane and through customs before coming right here," he says. I knew from the moment I met her that she would be a star.
"But we didn't start dating until about a year ago." When you ask Wilson about all the romantic speculation regarding Hough and Ohno, he smiles, taking it in stride.
"Because I'm a dancer I know what performing takes," he says. She's very close with her family." Wilson says he and Hough still plan to be married, but at a time when there's a little less chaos in their lives.
He was seated in the audience with his former celebrity partner, Heather Mills.
All 11 competing couples will return tomorrow night to dance in the grand finale.
"I was totally blown away watching her do the freestyle tonight," says Wilson. And you saw the whole audience stand up and get into it.
"I have no idea who's going to win this," says dance pro Jonathan Roberts, who stopped by to chat just moments before this Monday night's competition began.And Johnson is covered with purple bruises on both arms from Fatone's intense grip on the lifts and spins. He was sitting in the audience with Hough's mother, watching Julianne proudly. There was no question in my mind." He and Hough have known each other for 10 years."We met and danced in the same studio in Utah," he says.The 29-year-old blue-eyed beauty has been stealing our hearts since age 11, when she was cast as an extra in the first and she's been giving us major dance envy, fitness inspiration and the definition of #relationshipgoals along the way.
While she grew up dancing, it's hard to imagine that Hough didn't always maintain such a lifestyle, especially in her teen years.
At the end of the night, one couple went home and three couples advanced to the finals.