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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 9

Kathy Ireland "grateful" for her 'Dancing with the Stars' experience

By Christopher Rocchio, 09/30/2009 

Kathy Ireland feels she wasn't exactly the ideal Dancing with the Stars' partner for professional Tony Dovolani.

"I've just got to be grateful for the experience because if you could have seen what Tony's had to work with, I'm so challenged," Ireland said during a Tuesday night appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.

The former supermodel and her professional partner became the third couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars ninth season during last night's live results show based on a combination of their judges scores from Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.

"Tony has been an amazing teacher, so I really feel like I'm the winner in all of this," Ireland told Kimmel.

Dovolani -- who also participated in the Kimmel appearance -- called Ireland a "wonderful student" and added he knew she would be a challenge on the dance floor as soon as they met.

"When she first walked in she said that she was tone deaf, she could never walk on heels, her balance was a challenge, she had two knee surgeries and a foot surgery," Dovolani told Kimmel. 

"So I started laughing.  She said, 'It's kind of odd you're laughing.'  I said, 'Well the other choice is crying.'"

Ireland reiterated comments she made following her Dancing with the Stars ouster at how thrilled she was to simply have an opportunity to learn from Dovolani.

"How many people get to learn something brand new, get out of their comfort zone, try something new, and learn how to dance from world champion Tony Dovolani?" she asked on Kimmel.  "The whole experience, it has forever changed me."

Dovolani said while it's never easy to be booted early, he would have liked at least a few more weeks with Ireland.

"I wish I had a few more weeks with her because I really enjoyed working with her," he said.  "She's a very special person.  I hoped that America would see her heart, how wonderful she is."

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