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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 6

Monica Seles, Penn Jillette talk about 'Dancing with the Stars' stint

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/26/2008 

Monica Seles feels she was at a Dancing with the Stars disadvantage before the sixth season even started.

"I think it's so early in the show, I was definitely at a disadvantage because I have no acting experience and this show is about being a dancer and an actress," the nine-time Grand Slam winning professional tennis player said during a Tuesday night Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance that followed her elimination from Dancing with the Stars sixth season.

"I didn't have either, and I think that really hurt me because I just could not sell the performance.  I never missed a step, but yet I couldn't actually sell the storyline."

The exact opposite could be said for magician Penn Jillette, who was also ousted from Dancing with the Stars sixth season as part of the show's first ever double elimination.

"I want to be honest.  I tried as hard as I could.  Anything you saw that was goofy there was me trying as hard as I could," said Jillette, who also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  "I promised myself and all my friends, 'I'm not going to in any way be ironic.  I'm going to try 100%.'  I really did.  I want to make that clear -- it's not a cop out -- that was as good as I could do.  I lost fair and square."

Seles and her professional partner Jonathan Roberts were eliminated because she had the lowest combined score among the six female celebrity participants based on the judges' scores from last Tuesday night's performance episode, this Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast following both broadcasts.

"A part of me's disappointed," said Seles.  "Another part of me's absolutely relieved that I don't have to [rehearse anymore]."

Seles placed none of the blame on Roberts, whom she said even traveled with her to Japan -- where she's part of a lifestyle and fitness television program -- so they could still practice.

"I got a great partner.  He flew with me to Japan," she told Kimmel.  "I work for a television company in Japan, so I needed to do six months of work in three days."

Jillette and his professional partner Kym Johnson were eliminated because the Penn & Teller: Bullshit! magician had the lowest combined score among the six male celebrity participants based on the judges' scores from last Monday night's performance episode, this Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast following both broadcasts.

"I was sure I was going all the way.  I get up every morning, I strip naked, I look in the mirror and I say, 'Dancer!'" joked Jillette, whose love for illusion and trickery was evident during his brief Dancing with the Stars stint.

"The fall up the stairs last night was done on purpose.  I did it in rehearsal.  But the funny one -- the one with the banner -- 100% real," he told Kimmel.  "[Kym] laughed for two full minutes before she said, 'Are you okay?'"

Kimmel -- who regularly interviews Dancing with the Stars eliminees and has also appeared on various Dancing with the Stars segments -- has an added interest in the show's sixth installment because his former The Man Show co-host Adam Carolla is one of the participants.

Kimmel said he was in the studio audience voting for Carolla and was seated next to Jillette's sidekick Teller, who he claimed wasn't doing the same.

"I think that Teller -- being the consummate professional -- smiled and looked like he was having a good time," said Jillette.  "But it's very clear he didn't give a good f**k."

While Jillette joked he gained an enemy while on Dancing with the Stars -- saying he looks like the guy who beat up judge Bruno Tonioli in gym class -- Seles said she actually did gain something: weight.

"It's so nerve-wracking -- the whole experience -- for me compared to tennis or just even running or any of that stuff,  I didn't feel it was such a workout," she explained.  "I guess I'm the first one.  I know all the previous ladies lost weight, but I gained weight."

Jillette also offered some words of wisdom to any aspiring celebrities interested in going Dancing,

"I think if you're not a perfectionist -- and you're half-assed -- don't go on Dancing with the Stars.  That's my advice," he said.

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