"Derek is great," shares NeNe. "He's a great choreographer. I've watched him dance over the seasons and I know how dope he is. What I like is that Derek knows that I am known for being fabulous – not that Tony didn't know that – but maybe he didn't know how to bring that out."
I cannot explain the feather sticking out of Derek's crotch in the above picture. I also have no words for Derek and NeNe's tribal-inspired jazz number. Derek looks like a flying monkey from the Wizard of Oz flapping his arms around next to giant NeNe. I can't – watch the video below.
No elimination tonight – last week's and this week's scores and viewer votes will be combined to determine who goes home next week. Will NeNe survive?
"The first time I got married to Gregg we were really stuck on attraction," says NeNe. "Our relationship started to really fizzle. We were not seeing eye to eye and we were arguing all the time. That doesn't work for me. I'm a really good communicator, like, I like to talk about everything. Gregg – not so much. For a long time we were not even speaking. I never stopped loving Gregg, so when we broke up, the connection was still there."
NeNe adds, "Gregg Leakesssss, this Rumba is for you. There is a little bit of grinding, honey, but don't worry. You know I'm coming home to you."
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.”