Tony said he and NeNe "hit it off right off the bat," adding, "Everybody's got this perception of NeNe. I've grown to really respect and adore her. I think she's actually a big teddy bear. She treats me like gold. We really have a good time."
It's week two forNeNe Leakes on Dancing with the Stars. NeNe admits she let Gregg choose the dance, which is the Jive, then she rolls her eyes. Tony Dovolani jokes, "Wanna make the hubby happy," to which NeNe says, "I made him happy this morning. HAHA – just kidding!"
Eeewww. Let's move on. The rehearsal clips shows a lot of swearing, weave grabbing, and moaning from the Real Housewives of Atlanta star. NeNe kids about wanting to divorce Gregg.
IMO – tonight's Jive is not as good as last week's Cha Cha Cha. NeNe seems way more interested in mugging for the camera than focusing on Tony or the Jive. That said, it's not terrible by any means. And, OMG, NeNe has killer legs!
In other news, we learn the stars will switch pros in two weeks, determined by our tweets. Tweet #DWTS followed by the first name of the star and the first name of the pro you want to dance together. Example: #DWTS NeNe Derek.
NeNe shared that she's proud of herself for taking such a huge leap out of her comfort zone by joining the competition show. "I'm so totally out of my element. But after week one, I was actually proud of myself for doing something that is not of the norm for me. Some of the people who are currently on the show have previous dance experience and I don't, so I was actually proud of myself for just even getting through it."
This season NeNe is juggling two reality shows: RHOA, of course, and Dancing With The Stars. She had her first dance this week with partner Tony Dovolani and NeNe is more determined than ever to make her personality (and maybe even her background as a stripper) work in her favor. Despite Wendy Williams' prediction that they won't win!
NeNe is also not going to let the health issues she experienced earlier this year hold her back! And she's also hoping she'll be hit with the added DWTS bonus of losing weight. "I'd love to lose 15 pounds," NeNe confesses to Essence. "That's a lot. I can't see me at 15 pounds smaller. That would be a disaster, OK? I'll be wearing everything."
As always, the stars have three weeks to rehearse their first routine. They have only seven days to learn dance number two – and it usually shows.
NeNe told Tony Dovolani that she wants to bring personality to the ballroom. "We want to have fun, darling," she added. "I want to shake my bum bum. I've never taken a dance class before, but I've always had a lot of soul."
While Tony was fully prepared to end up in the middle of the pack for this season's eliminations, he says that after he started working with NeNe he believes they could go far. But it's going to take relying on NeNe's personality to get there!
"We know athletes have an advantage but I feel like personality takes you a long way," Tony explained. "As long as we can show NeNe’s personality in a positive way, we can have her connect with the audience at home.”
Below are photos of the remaining season 18 stars – Amy Purdy, Billy Dee Williams, Candace Cameron Bure, Charlie White, Cody Simpson, Danica McKellar, Diana Nyad, Drew Carey, James Maslow, Meryl Davis, & Sean Avery – with their pro partners.
Also, Lisa Vanderpump paved the way for Bravo housewives on the dance competition, and she has some sound advice for competitor NeNe Leakes of Real Housewives of Atlanta. She knows that it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to make it on the show, but Lisa promises NeNe that it's worth every minute!