Things got pretty intense for Team Vanica on Dancing With the Stars Season 18, Week 2. Danica McKellar had the Samba and her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy pushed her to the limit in rehearsals, leaving The Wonder Years alum in tears.
Val apologized, but he also took away some lessons and shared them in his TODAY blog.
"Ultimately, this week gave us an opportunity to have a conversation and for me to show her that I’m not perfect," he wrote. "My teaching isn’t always perfect. I told Danica that I need her feedback and for her to able to tell me how she feels. We’re a team. When you spend five or six hours a day every day together — which we do — you can’t be flawless."
Val explained that they'd had a great rehearsal day for three hours and then, in the last hour, the producer said they needed to get everything done. "I felt this pressure and I put it on her," Val admitted. "Her reaction that viewers saw in the video package was the result. It’s something I’m going to have to keep an eye out for and keep myself in check in the future. I told Danica, 'If you see me getting in that zone where I get too demanding you can tell me and we’ll take five.'”
He said their relationship is give and take and, this week, Danica gave him an opportunity to demand more, so he did. "This season is very challenging,” he continued. “The producers have made a lot of changes to the show. It’s tough. There are twists and turns and there’s the Switch Up coming up. That’s affecting us. There’s so much more anxiety this season."
Yeah, the last thing the couples need is more stress, but that's what they’re getting anyway. Still, it's good that Val is able to take a step back, assess his own actions, and see where he can improve. No one is perfect, but hopefully he and Danica can focus on the fun parts of the show without getting caught in the vortex of producer pressure!
Are you looking forward to Danica and Val’s next dance? They have Contemporary for Week 3’s Most Memorable Year theme, so it should be a good one...