Beginning with reports that his ex-girlfriend was digging up old accusations of physical abuse, and followed by gossip that he got into a physical, “heated” fight with pro partner Kym Johnson, Jaleel is starting to feel like a victim of the press.
He tells ABC News Radio, “Somehow I’ve become the paparazzi whipping boy for the show. I didn’t sign up for that.” While it’s true that he didn’t technically sign up for these distracting rumors about his personal life, he did sign up to be in the spotlight. The extent of that spotlight is clearly something he is still trying to navigate.
“The thing that’s tough about this show is you have a camera and you go, you know five hours a day and every move you make other than going to the bathroom, they’re there,” he said. “Imagine just learning how to dance and learning how to do anything you don’t know how to do and the frustration you’ll have with yourself and you know all of a sudden that becomes somebody else’s entertainment.”
He reveals that he will be “channeling [his] inner Mick Jagger” on tonight’s Season 14, Week 4: Performance show, “doing a tango, lots of trick footwork.” Hopefully Jaleel’s focus on Rock Week will be strong enough to dislodge the bulk of his anxiety.
Let’s see how he does tonight!
Watch the next Dancing With the Stars performance tonight, April 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.