Monica Seles made her TV dancing debut on last night’s Dancing with the Stars. She performed a foxtrot in a pink bejeweled gown with partner Jonathan Roberts. As expected (she “can’t tell a mango from a tango,” she says), she ended the night with fives out of tens — the lowest score of all the contestants — from judges Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Anne Inaba, and Len Goodman. Go nuzzle in the bosoms of your nine Grand Slam titles, Monica, and come back better next week!
Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi — as expected — earned the night’s top score of 27 (nines from all three judges).
Starstruck by Seles: Tennis Channel dispatched Jamie LaRosa to the DWTS taping (he’s blogging about it) and he got a chance to interview the tennis champ. Read the exchange after the cut…
James LaRosa: Interview with Monica Seles
Moments after making her TV debut as a Dancing Diva, Monica Seles took five to talk to TennisChannel.com about her opening night, going form the tennis court to the ballroom, and, of course, grunting. And she brought along her coach and mixed doubles partner, Jonathan Roberts.
TC: No question. You have a huge fanbase.
MS: It’s wonderful. I’m so happy. So lucky.
TC: How does it feel going from sneakers to high heels?
MS: It feels different. I’m wearing the lowest heels possible. As you guys know, I stopped playing tennis because of my foot, so I was not about to take a risk here. But it feels great. The whole experience has been so different from tennis but so much fun.
TC: On the court, whether you won or lost was pretty much up to you. How does it feel having this basically be out of your hands?
MS: It’s definitely very different. In tennis you control your own destiny, and here you really don’t have any control of it. And tonight I got a hard dose of it, so, you know, that’s why you saw me as taking it really hard. But it was good, you know. That’s why as a professional you’re up to it and you try to rise up to the occasion.
TC: Makes you a champion.
TC: Now, let me give you a scenario that will never ever happen.
MS: (laughs) Yeah.
TC: Jonathan comes down with a 24 hour bug, eats some bad sushi, something. And you have to call a tennis player to fill in for him. (to Jonathan) Just for the night. You’ll be fine. (he laughs) Who would you call?
MS: I really never looked at tennis players like who would have the loosest hips. Probably Brazilians. Guga would be my first choice.
TC: You caught some flack back in the day about the whole grunting thing.
TC: Now not only does everyone else do it, but they’re doing studies now that show that it actually–
MS: (laughs) It works! I know. I’m ahead of my time.
JR: Maybe we need to put the grunt into the ballroom, and that will help.
MS: We’ll be ahead of our time here, too.
TC: (to Jonathan) That’ll be your job to choreograph that in there. End with a grunt.
JR: Well we do have mambo next week. So…
MS: That’s true. We should do it. (She grunts.)
Next stop. Perfect 10’s.