Wow. Talk about a range of emotions and a humbling experience.
I was suprised at how I wasnt as nervous as I thought i would be during the day on Tues. I got a good nights sleep. I was excited, but not overwhelmed. I think a lot of it had to do with all of the guys hanging out together during the day telling jokes.
As we got closer to showtime, the nerves definitely started to build. It was fun to watch the others dance. The entire group, competitors and pros get along so well. Everyone is truly nice to each other. But it was obvious the tension was building. Whenever we had a break, I would go off to the side to practice. My mental hump was making sure I got the first few steps right. Once i got past that, I thought I would be alright.
When it was our turn, we walked out there and took our places. I got to see my wife and family which calmed my nerves some, but then they started the video package. I couldnt watch. I didnt want anything distracting me. When they announced our names, Now dancing the Foxtrot….I just thought to my self to trust our practice and make sure to have fun.
I have to say that the first couple beats I felt like I was in total control. Then its a blur. We got into the dance, and I literally barely remember the dance till the end. I could see Kym in front of me. I felt like things were moving good. I literally could not hear a thing other than the song. I dont know if Kym said anything to me during the dance. I dont know what the crowd cheered to (or didnt). I didnt see anyone’s face in the crowd. Then we got to the end, I did my jump, and when i landed and pointed at Kym, it was the ultimate rush of excitement. I cant explain it. I just wanted to scream to release all the energy that had been building up over the last several weeks.
Standing there in front of the judges. Honestly, I was just happy that they were smiling. I didnt really know how I did, but I saw my wife and family smiling as I glanced over there. I could tell they all were proud of me. When their comments were honest and actually encouraging it made the night even more special, and when we hit 21. I was thrilled. I was happy for me, I was happy for kym.
Wednesday was actually a relaxing day. I got to the studio about noon. Had to get the costumes and everything on for rehearsal. I brought my computer with me so that during the hour or so down time we had, I could answer emails.
The energy of the day was exciting, with a little dread. Honestly, I didnt think I had to worry. But i knew that someone had to go, and that despite getting a 21, that there still were only 4 out of 12 with lower scores, so that it could be me. All day long and through most of the show, everyone was telling each other to be confident and to have fun.
Going out there on the stage as the different people were being “saved” to dance another week, and then people with lower scores were “saved” I realized that Kym and I might be in trouble.
It did not feel good to be standing up there having the lowest score for Tuesday night. It definitely hurt. I kept looking to my family as they struggled to smile and show their support. I definitely did not want to go home. I didnt want to go home for my dad, my brothers, my wife, my daughters. For every bit of work i put into the last few weeks. For everytime I went home struggling. They were there to pick me up. When I hurt , my wife let me slide on things. When I felt bad because I was leaving the house to go to practice, my daughter was there to encourage me and to cheer for me when I came home and showed her what I had learn. Thats what I was thinking about.
When they called out Josie’s name. I honestly didnt hear it. I was looking at my family. My brother stood up and gave me the thumbs up and I realized that it was ok. We had survived another week. That set off another set of emotions. I was happy. I was mad. I was upset.
What had I done wrong ? Had i not worked hard enough ? Did people really not care enough about me to vote for me ? Its a weird, humbling experience. But its one I signed up for.
I have to take the bad with the good. Ive got to turn this into a positive. We are the underdogs. When I signed up, I knew that everyone thought i was going to be the one guy who couldnt dance. I think, and I hope I surprised a lot of people. The emails and calls of support I have gotten the last 2 days have been incredible.
Now everyone thinks we are the ones to go next week. Hopefully people will rally to support us. I know that Kym and I will be working harder than ever. We have practice scheduled for first thing tomorrow morning. We have a great Mambo routine worked out to a fun song. When I walk out there next week, I will probably have the same wave of emotions, and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.