Cheryl Burke, two-time Dancing with the Stars champ, has some advice for any star who wants to take on this dance marathon: "Give up your day job!"
Her point is well taken, given how exhausted the contestants are each week. All the couples seem to be feeling it — making mistakes, forgetting steps, and dancing with frozen smiles that barely cover the panic.
"In dress rehearsals, I just blanked," Spice Girl Mel B. said recently, who continues to impress the judges in spite of a rehearsal schedule that would put anyone else in the hospital. Scary Spice — who has a newborn daughter at home — is running full tilt in preparation for the Spice Girls' world reunion tour, which kicks off Dec. 2, just days after the Dancing finale. She's putting in 12-hour days as a Spice Girl, then trying to learn two ballroom dances on the side.
Her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, shakes his head. "Her schedule is ridiculous," he says. "Don't forget, the baby gets her up at two o'clock in the morning, four o'clock in the morning. She's getting no sleep. Her schedule is an impossibility."
Still, in spite of the pressure, no one is phoning it in. Unlike past seasons, where clear front-runners had emerged by Week 6 (Drew Lachey and Stacy Keibler, Mario Lopez and Emmitt Smith, Joey Fatone and Apolo Anton Ohno), this time all of the remaining contestants believe they have a good shot at that hideous disco-ball trophy.
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