BY Ross von Metzke
September 17 2009 5:00 PM ET
Were you at all prepared for a potential negative backlash? Did you
go in there fully expecting that the judges might not get it again?
we were definitely prepared for it. Really it was just about saying,
“Hey, you know, we’re going to go out there and do our best. They may
not take to it -- who knows what will happen.” But it was worth a shot.
It was worth something for the community. We’ve obviously been fans of
the show for a long time, and we thought, Let’s give them a chance to
critique a couple that really has been working at it and disciplining
themselves in the style and working at dance for a long time.
do you think was different this time? The response couldn’t have been
more night-and-day. They not only got you -- they loved you.
was definitely an amazing response… especially with Nigel, for him to
take the actual technical aspects and talk about the lines. We really
went into it, talking about the technique. I think they really looked
at the dancing itself.
Do you think GLAAD’s involvement the
last time around had much to do with the about-face? Do you think the
judges realized perhaps they were being a bit narrow-minded?
definitely think GLAAD brought the issues to their attention. I had
followed that very closely back when it was going on, and I obviously
felt very passionately about it. I think GLAAD opened their eyes to see
that maybe they had misspoken and things may have come across the wrong
way. I definitely think they had GLAAD in mind.
When the first
same-sex couple auditioned and Nigel made his comments, he was branded
a homophobe. His response to you last night couldn’t have been any more
supportive. What is your take? Do you think he was being a homophobe
then or do you think he had a set opinion on what dance should look
like and that fell outside his comfort zone?
I don’t think he
was necessarily being homophobic, but I understand how it came across
that way. I think that he was giving his opinions -- putting them out
there in terms of how the dance was being portrayed. Having been in the
dance world as long as he has, I think he probably just felt safe to be
able to express himself in an out-there fashion similar to the way
Simon Cowell reacts to a lot of the contestants on American Idol.
Having been in the dance community, a lot of times you can make
comments or make jokes that wouldn’t be accepted when you’re actually
sitting on a national TV show. But I don’t think that he himself is
actually a homophobe.