Vinny Guadagnino Says Anxiety “Gets The Best” Of Him Before Every Dancing With The Stars Performance

As a Dancing with the Stars fan, I love it when a competitor has a breakthrough in the ballroom. Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino did just that on Disney+ night.  He has openly discussed his struggle with anxiety, and now he is opening up about how it is affecting his journey on DWTS.

Vinny told People about his pre-performance anxiety. “It gets the best of me up until I hit the stage,” Vinny explained. His pro partner Koko Iwasaki added, “Literally, I see his face change.”

He continued, “But that’s part of it though. You can’t try to tell your demons to go away.” Vinny characterized himself as “a chill dude,” but dancing in the ballroom makes him anxious. “This right here?” Vinny commented. “It brings it out of me.”

Koko said that the key to overcoming Vinny’s pre-performance jitters is an open line of communication. “He laid it all out there and it made me understand. It made me now know how to help and just be there for him,” Koko explained. “Even if he doesn’t need it, if he needs it, I’m just here. It just helped our relationship, really.”

Koko and Vinny chatted with reporters on World Mental Health Day. Vinny stated, “I think it’s important for people to talk about their mental health, to share. It really helps, instead of bottling it up inside,” he added. Vinny stated that learning how to cope with his “stress and nerves” on DWTS has helped in other parts of his life. “I love going through this challenge,” he remarked.

Vinny and Koko danced a fun samba to “Il Gatto E La Volpe” from the movie Luca. In the package, Vinny discussed feeling like he needed to “prove” that he should be in the ballroom, which brought up his anxiety. Vinny shared, “I want to do a good job so badly.”

The duo finally earned an eight for their dance. Judge Len Goodman told Vinny the routine was “by far your best dance.” Len added that Vinny “danced it with control.” All four judges praised Vinny’s progress but added that he needs to improve his technique.

During the DWTS premiere, Vinny received a 17/40, which was the lowest score of the evening. Voters saved him from landing in the bottom two couples. He did well on Elvis night, scoring a 27/40. But on James Bond night, Vinny didn’t fulfill his mission. The duo received a score of 23/40.

RELATED: The Bachelorette’s Gabby Windey Wants To Quit Dancing With The Stars “Every Day”

Page Six reported that Vinny had some special guests in the audience. His Jersey Shore co-stars Pauly D and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino showed up to support their friend.  “I mean, just having them there, having my boys there — we were all laughing backstage. We’re MVP, baby!” Vinny remarked. “We’re a group and they’re here to support me.”

“I want them here every week because [Vinny] did great today!” Koko stated. “I’m like, ‘Maybe Pauly and Mike are good luck charms.’ I’m here for it,” the pro dancer added.

Mike knows his way around the ballroom. During Season 11 of DWTS, he competed with Karina Smirnoff. Please don’t give Vinny any pointers, Mike. Just saying!

During Season 17,  Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, who also goes by Nicole LaValle, waltzed with pro dancer Sasha Farber. Both Nicole and co-star Deena Nicole Cortese have been cheering Vinny on, along with the rest of the Jersey Shore cast.

TELL US- WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT VINNY’S SAMBA? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT VINNY SHARING HIS STRUGGLE WITH ANXIETY?

[Photo Credit: ABC/Andrew Eccles]