Dancing with the Stars All-Stars now heads into its third week of competition with Peta Murgatroyd and Gilles Marini near the top of the DWTS leaderboard.
A year after winning Dancing with the Stars with NFL wide receiver Donald Driver, pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd was paired with French-American actor Gilles Marini who narrowly lost Season 8 of DWTS to fellow All-Star Shawn Johnson.
After a great start to the season, Gilles injured his hamstring in the second week of competition. Despite the injury, Peta and Gilles danced their way into second place on the Dancing with the Stars All-Stars scoreboard behind Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel.
Ahead of week three of Dancing with the Stars All-Stars on Monday, The Deadbolt caught up with the lovely and talented Peta Murgatroyd for an exclusive chat about the new season, how she feels about dancing with Gilles, and how they’re preparing for future routines after Gilles’ injury.
THE DEADBOLT: How does it feel to be at the top of the scoreboard this season?
PETA MURGATROYD: Well, we’re half a point away from the top. I actually like coming a little bit in second. I don’t want to be on top just yet because you become a target and you’ve got nowhere to go but down. So I believe that growing through the competition is excellent. I’m happy with that and very happy with Gilles.
THE DEADBOLT: Is it as tough as you thought it would be?
MURGATROYD: It’s tougher to be honest. I didn’t think it would be this intense and this competitive. But it’s very competitive. Everyone really wants to win. So, I’m just taking it step-by-step and week-by-week and hopefully Gilles and I will be in the final.
THE DEADBOLT: What surprised you most about Gilles as a dancer?
MURGATROYD: That he can’t look bad doing anything! I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look terrible or look really awkward. He’s just naturally talented and I’m very grateful for that.
THE DEADBOLT: How worried were you when he pulled his hamstring?
MURGATROYD: Pretty worried, actually. It was very stressful. With the jive that week, it’s the major muscle that you’re using for the kicks and flicks. So we had to lower all of the kicks and flicks and cut some things out of the routine. He got through it and we got second that night. I was unbelievably proud of him.
THE DEADBOLT: Was it easier to prepare for this season with Gilles as compared to last year with Donald [Driver]?
MURGATROYD: I guess, yes, just because of how the competition goes and he’s been there before. He just knows what it entails every day to be there. He’s very talented. The only thing I have with Gilles is that he has to remember what comes next in the steps. He sometimes has problems remembering some steps, but by Friday or Saturday he’s usually got it.
THE DEADBOLT: How are you preparing for freestyle?
MURGATROYD: Well, I’ve sent some songs in for request. As of now, I’m just thinking of themes not steps. I think it’s too early to do that. I just want to take it week-by-week with him.
THE DEADBOLT: So, who’s more competitive, you or Maks?
MURGATROYD: I think we’re both pretty competitive. We both want to take the Mirror Ball home this season. He would love to have it and I would absolutely be thrilled if he got it this season.
THE DEADBOLT: Who do you see as your biggest competitors?
MURGATROYD: It’s funny, because everyone is. We saw Joey go home last week, and he was fantastic! Everyone is so good that it’s like sending a finalist home in the second week. We started the competition at a semi-final level on week one, so I think everyone is competition.
THE DEADBOLT: What does it feel like to accomplish so much in dancing at such a young age?
MURGATROYD: It’s very rewarding and has fulfilled some of my biggest dreams. It feels amazing. I’m proud of myself for doing this and for being part of one of the biggest TV shows there is. For a dancer, it’s one of the best gigs you can get. I’m just really proud.
Dancing with the Stars All-Stars airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7c on ABC.
How do you feel about Peta and Gilles this season?