Fortunately, we still get to see Sasha show off his mad dance skills every Monday as part of the Dancing With the Stars troupe. Wetpaint Entertainment recently caught up with the dancer to find out how things are going backstage, and get his professional opinion on Season 18's ultra-talented cast.
Wetpaint Entertainment: How has the season been going for you? You've been doing a lot of cool stuff as part of the troupe.
Sasha Farber: This season's been really exciting. The celebs are such a fun group. It's been really, really a lot of fun doing all the bumpers, and [choreographer] Mandy Moore, who's an Emmy nominee, has been choreographing a lot of opening numbers, so it's a lot of fun to be a part of those. It's been a really, really good season. Everyone's been a good sport and in good spirits.
What's your favorite number you've done so far?
Witney [Carson] and I just did a bumper together from the movie Dirty Dancing. That was a fun one. I also really liked being part of James and Peta's Grease number, there were a lot of people in that. I think this week's number is going to be really, really good. We've got Ricky Martin coming. It has always been a dream of mine to meet Ricky Martin. It's funny, being a ballroom dancer you grow up listening to his music. I named my dog Ricky after him when I was younger. To dance with him is a dream come true.
There have been a lot of changes to the season. How has it been working with new host Erin Andrews?
I think she's great. She's very spontaneous, she's very cheeky when needed. She's really a lot of fun, and she's nice to everyone. Not to say Brooke [Burke] wasn't! Brooke was amazing to everyone and Brooke was an amazing host. They're both amazing at what they do, but the show sometimes needs to change, so that people want to come and watch to see what's different. So that's what I think it was, really. Erin's doing a really, really good job.
Another change this season is the fact that people are announced safe or not safe throughout the night. How are people reacting to that? Does it seem like the stars are finding that difficult?
I guess it keeps everyone on their toes. Sometimes it works well, when just before you dance they say, "Oh, you're in jeopardy. You're dancing next!" That kind of gives you more motivation, more passion, more fire to give it even more. I think that's a good thing, and it makes it more interesting for the viewers to watch.
Let's talk about the competition this season. It's kind of insane, it's such a strong cast. Do you have any predictions on who's going to make it to the finals, or even who might win?
See, my prediction was Drew [Carey]. I felt like he was such a good underdog, he had no dance experience, he had great character. But he left the competition last week. It's hard to know. NeNe [Leakes] is doing a great job, and she's such a vibrant and great character to have in the show. She's such a fun and great character to watch. You never know what's going to happen next with her.
And Amy [Purdy]'s such an inspiration. Every time you watch her or listen to her talk, it inspires you to do something crazy, because she is just an amazing human being, and what she's doing is out of this world. My hat goes off to her.
That's very true. That said, there was some controversy when Carrie Ann noted that Amy had a lift in her Waltz, but didn't take off for it. Did you think that was fair?
I feel like it was so into the moment. When the emotion is that strong, and the technique is that strong, and everything just blends together as one, you kind of forget the negatives, in a way, and I think that was definitely one of those numbers. It was one of those where you just go, "I'm not even going to count that, because that was just an amazing number."
That makes sense. And the judges do make that call sometimes. Len gave Charlie a 10 even after he dropped his cane on his Jazz!
Although, Nicole — Snooki — lifted her foot in our Rumba [last season] for like a mini-second, and we got a deduction, so...
That's why some people thought it wasn't fair! Speaking of Nicole, she's pregnant again. Have you talked to her?
Yeah, I have. We went to dinner when she was here in L.A. for the MTV Movie awards. We got to catch up. It brought back so many memories. This is actually the week Nicole and I left, Week 7, the Team Dance. The famous Spooky Bom Bom. I wish she got further, she really deserved to be further than what she got, but you know, it's a TV show, and that's what it's all about.
But it was so much fun seeing her. She's doing well, and I'm happy for her. She's doing a lot of acting, which great. She's such a talented girl.
One of our favorite themes this season was Disney Week. What would be your dream Disney song to dance to?
That's a tough one! I would love to do one of the songs from Aladdin, but that was used this season. I'm a really happy person, and I'm always smiling, so something that has a real happy story and feel to it. I'll have to think about it!
It was great catching up with you! Any final thoughts?
I just want to say how fun this season has been. I'm having a good time being a troupe member. I miss being a pro on the show, that was a lot of fun, but hopefully next season, fingers crossed.
Also, it's amazing how much stuff happens backstage that no one knows about. Wardrobe is phenomenal. I think they deserve an award for making those outfits every week. And sometimes people make outfits, and then two or three days before decide to change their mind, that means they have to make a whole new outfit. There are so many things that happen with producers and everyone else to put the show on. So round of applause for everyone.
For more from Sasha, follow him on Twitter @SashaFarber, catch up on his DWTS thoughts on his weekly blog at In Touch, and, of course, watch DWTS on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!