Ballroom dancing pro and amateur leprechaun Tristan MacManus will be checking in with EW.com each week as he and partner Gladys Knight go for the coveted mirrorball trophy.
Still wearing your guyliner? Rock Week is now DONE. That would be all washed off, I think. No way, I’m not wearin’ that one out. Don’t know how girls put that on every day.
On comparing tongue lengths with Gene Simmons: I don’t think I stuck it out any more tonight than I usually do, but yeah. They came up with the idea of me stickin’ it out, I guess, and then Gene came and stuck his out, so. That was a bit weird. To be honest I’m a big fan of Kiss. I love Kiss. And I didn’t think the first time I met Gene Simmons, Gladys Knight would be puttin’ a measurin’ tape over our tongues, know what I mean? It was fun. He’s a pretty cool guy. I actually wanted to dance to Kiss this week. I was puttin’ together the costumes, the makeup and all that stuff on, but then we found out they were singing on the show, so we weren’t allowed. But I think that would have been fun, throwin’ Gladys over Gene Simmons’ ankle.
So how long is your tongue? Ah, no, I didn’t have much of an interest really. Only Gladys knows, yeah. I don’t know if the measurin’ tape was long enough.
Why tango to “Bohemian Rhapsody?” I love it. Such a great, great rock song. It was always gonna be important to have an iconic song for an iconic partner, know what I mean? I love the Stones as well, and then we listened to some Bowie, maybe the Doors, somethin’ like that would have been great. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a tricky song to dance to, but any sort of themed week is always gonna be difficult to dance to, you know? I think a little bit was made of “it’s not a tango song, that song” but I doubt that Queen or the Rolling Stones or Kiss could have predicted that any of their songs would be on Dancing With the Stars one year, you know?
We done the best with what we could do. I think Gladys did great. She should be proud of herself. We stepped it up at this stage in the competition. It’s so strong that you need to do somethin’ that’s gonna show — well, to show that you’re in there. You need to do something that makes you stand out. Rock was such a wide range of things, know what I mean? With the tango, it was a character that we haven’t shown with Gladys. Because there’s so many different types of rock — the Doors would have been a totally different type of rock, like a poppy rock. I didn’t want her to get kind of lost in all the heavy rock songs either. So we went for something iconic and it was “Bohemian Rhapsody.” No one had done it before, so that was another thing as well.
Were you a big Wayne’s World fan? Oh yeah, for sure, yeah, yeah, yeah. I love Mike Myers! And Rob Lowe, he’s one of my favorite actors as well. I think that was one of his comeback ones, wasn’t it really? Yeah, and Saturday Night Live. I was trying to think about that scene when I was puttin’ together this dance. You gotta have the rocking heads, you gotta stick ‘em somewhere. But it’s funny how the edit in the film is close to the edit that we actually got for the show tonight. You know, they sit in the car and that’s how it started: Doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo…. With “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it’s broken up into so many parts. We’ve got the opera part of the song, then it kicks into the heavy rock. A little bit of everything. Classic rock, I guess.
Were the judges and Tom a respectable Queen cover band? I know “Bohemian Rhapsody” wouldn’t have been as big if they hadda sang it! No, no, I’d actually come up with the idea first of having myself and Gladys do it — the singing at the beginning. But they’re great sports about it and they got involved, which was super.
So that’s what I’m putting the scores down to. They were judging their own singin’ at the start. So it was their fault. We probably would have gotten higher scores. But like I’ve been sayin’, the scores are the scores. The comments are what I listen for. The comments were that we took a chance, I guess, is the best way to say it. But the whole point was to try and make an impact and try to do something different. I keep saying to Gladys: All you can do is go out and try to do your best, and that’s certainly what we did. Whatever the scores are, we always say to each other “Well done.” Whether it’s good or bad, it’s well done. It’s great to remember that as well.
Why are you not on Twitter? I’ve never had a Twitter account. I don’t really know too much about computers, you know, and I’m not really on them all the time. And I’d hate to have a Twitter, which is supposed to be an interactive kind of thing, and then never interact with anyone. I hate looking on it and it says “I’m doin’ this, I’m doin’ that,” know what I mean? “I’m goin’ shoppin’ here.” People don’t care if I’m goin’ shoppin’! [Editor’s note: This is where Tristan is so very wrong.] But I get why people do it. I have my Facebook account, which I’ve always had, and I try to put messages on that. But it’s just very difficult to reply individually to people like that. I wouldn’t want to snub anyone by not replyin’. I just don’t really have the time to be on the computer all the time. But I one hundred percent appreciate all the support that I get and that Gladys gets, and we as a team get, and I try to give as much messages to people as I can. But it’s not something that I would be on every day.
As told to Annie Barrett — more next week!