This interview was posted just prior to the cast reveal for Season 18 of Dancing With the Stars.
Ever since Season 17 ended, the Season 18 rumors have been all over the place. Do you ever pay attention to any of that or do you even hear them?
No, I don’t pay any attention to rumors - good or bad - to be honest. Whatever happens happens. One day you are up and the next you are down, sometimes by your own hand, but most of the time it’s out of your control so what’s the point? Rumors are a great way to build interest, but it’s tomorrow's fish and chip paper!
During the BWAT shows in Bismarck and Sioux Falls you danced with both Emma and Cheryl. For those of us not lucky enough to be there, would you tell us about those dances?
Yeah, we danced in Dakota. I always love dancing with Ems, and we did a Cha-Cha and a Tango, and I danced a Viennese Waltz with Cheryl. At the end of the show, I danced Foxtrot to “Fever” with Ems, and Derek danced Swing with Cher, and then we all had a Jive with the full cast to finish up!
In your career as a dancer, is there any particular person that you have encountered that you would especially like to dance with? (pro, celebrity, fan, etc.)
No, I never really have anyone I’d like to dance with (bar the ones I do actually dance with - safety first!!). I think some of the greatest dancers there are people we never even heard of, but I enjoy watching great dancers as much as everyone else and I’m very lucky to know an awful lot of them. I much prefer watching them then actually doing them.
There is lots of talk on various sites about how people really hope you get a “contender” for Season 18, but from your perspective, what qualities would make the ideal partner?
I think the ideal partner is someone who wants to improve and wants to learn I guess. Everyone is a contender if they are involved but in terms of the show itself you just want to meet someone you can have a good time with and who will make the experience as enjoyable as possible - maybe someone who you can make it enjoyable enough for them to still feel involved or want to get involved after the show is finished. Not too many people keep dancing after the show finishes and it’s a shame. It’s always nice to hear that someone has stuck to it afterwards whether people think they were "good" or "bad" - just someone who enjoys it.
You have told us in previous interviews that you had asked to change the music for a dance or two because you felt it just wouldn’t work. In cases like that, do you pick the alternate music? Could you share which songs you have been given that you changed because you felt they would not work with the dance style you were given?
Yeah, music is always a funny one because the department will always try and accommodate you but at the same time the show as a whole has to run smoothly. I always wanted to dance to Bob Dylan – “The Times Are A-changin” but that particular week it didn’t fit in with Gaga and Britney or whoever. I also wanted to dance to Emeli Sandé – “River” but got something else –but again different reasons. It didn’t work out - what can you do?!!
If you had to choose between teaching a celebrity (on DWTS) with no dance experience or one with years of dance experience, which would you choose?
It’s irrelevant to me to be honest. The particular style doesn’t suit some people whether they danced or not and for some it does. I’ve always just wanted to teach someone something not so much win something. It’s different for everyone. Some people feel the same, and some people are generally just competitive people so there is no right or wrong. Personally I think no matter what it is you do you don’t have to be the best or worst at it. Just do your best and respect whatever it is that you are doing. I think the show is all about journey for viewers......but sure what do I know!!
When you do performances like Ballroom With A Twist, there is a segment where people from the audience get the opportunity to ask the pros questions. What's the wildest (or strangest) question you have been asked?
Haha! I don’t know - people ask me why I didn’t dance with a certain person or why I changed hair styles or random stuff…usually where is Maks!! It’s always funny that part of the show. I like it a lot. We used to just ask each other questions and tell the audience the usual generic bull about whatever and then we started letting the audience ask. Sometimes they ask us the things that we used to tell them anyway – haha! I think it’s great when you can ask a question you actually want to know the answer to!!
We have enormous respect for Tom Bergeron, so let’s suppose you were interviewing him. What would you ask?
Tom is amazing. I don’t think there is anything he can’t do. On a show, though, it would be fun for Tom to be almost like a fourth judge as well. After he asks the judges what they thought he could say something too from his point of view - a great mix of funny and 'non-dancer' opinion! Then I’d ask him how many swear words he knows!
You mentioned in a previous interview that you have a bit of a temper. What is something that might make you lose that temper?
Lack of respect and perspective and loss of common courtesy
You have become increasingly well known in the last few years. Do you get hounded by the paparazzi and if so, does it bother you?
No I don’t get hounded by paparazzi. I keep to myself. You can’t pick and choose when you want attention; the show obviously puts you in the public eye but for me that’s usually as far as it goes. If someone wants to ask me questions or say hello or whatever surely there is nothing wrong with that but when you do stuff to get attention, well, you deserve to get hounded and to be honest its generally what you wanted to happen in the first place!
Now for more of the silly questions:
If you were in the supermarket with three items and the guy in front of you in the only open Express Lane had a cart full of stuff, would you stand there patiently or ask him to move to a regular lane?
It all depends on what mood I was in. If I was in a foul mood I’d say it to him and if he didn’t move I’d move him and his cart but generally I’d let it go. We all shop and we would all do it if we could!!
Let's say you go to the movies and the people around you are talking or texting and you are getting annoyed. What would you do?
I would probably find the guy with the cart and I would take all the stuff from the cart and smash the guy with the phone with every item from the cart - unless the movie was *^&%$. Haha!
Have the folks at DWTS ever asked you to wear a costume that scared you? And have you ever refused to wear a costume?
No, I’ve been lucky enough to a degree with costumes. I’ve been asked a few times to get the top off but they know by now that it’s not happening and the sequins thing always gets snuck in but at the end of the day it’s their show and they call the shots so you do what you do or they find someone who will do it. It’s the same in all walks of life I suppose!
In the last week, we have picked up several hundred more “likes” on the Facebook Fan Page. What we want to know is what you did in North and South Dakota to generate such a buzz?
I have no idea - they probably like the fact that I left!
Which of your DWTS partners has made you laugh the most?
They are all funny! Nancy’s anger made me laugh, Gladys’s laugh made me laugh and Valerie’s stories made me laugh. Nobody was a joke teller though maybe that’s Tom. He is a funny guy - I like his jokes!
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 66 times and in honor of our website forum reaching 1 million views in February, 2016, we decided to bring them all back beginning with the first one. We hope you enjoy this very special feature. All interviews are posted elsewhere on this website, including our forum.