Martina Navratilova talks 'Dancing With The Stars' elimination, Tony Dovolani 'devastated' (Video)
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova says she now has more sympathy for athletes who perform, because in dancing you don't always get a second chance.
"Seventy-five seconds of dancing and I blew the first 10 seconds of the dance and there's a whole season! I'm not used to that because in tennis, you miss a shot and come back for the next point," Navratilova told OnTheRedCarpet.com after "Dancing With The Stars: The Results Show" on Tuesday, March 27. "I make a mistake in the first 10 seconds of this routine and there goes a month of hard work!"
"I have real sympathy for the athletes, like figure skaters and gymnasts that have to put it together for that couple of seconds and then it's over, one way or the other," she said.
After coming in last place on Monday with a weak jive that earned them 17 out of 30 points from the judges, Navratilova and her partner Tony Dovolani were eliminated from ABC's hit ballroom dancing competition series on Tuesday, March 27.
"I'm devastated right now because I wanted America to get to know Martina like I did," Dovolani told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I wanted this really badly for her so I'm shocked, probably for the first time in 13 seasons, I'm surprised. I did not expect this, I thought the audience would really stand behind us on this."
The 55-year-old native of the Czech Republic and Dovolani were the first team eliminated from the 14th season of the reality ballroom series. Gavin DeGraw and his partner Karina Smirnoff and Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan and his partner Chelsie Hightower were also in danger of elimination in Tuesday's "Results Show." Gavin DeGraw and his partner Karina Smirnoff earned 21 out of 30 on Monday for their jive. Roshon Fegan and his partner Chelsie Hightower scored 26 out 30 for their quickstep.
"It's out of your control. I took a challenge, I put myself on the line. First one voted off, that's what everybody didn't want, it happened to me but it's not the end of the world," Navratilova said. "I'm glad that I did it. I learned to dance, I'm going to continue to dance. You know, nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Dovolani, a Kosovan-American dance instructor, said he thought Navratilova would have had a better chance if audiences could have seen how hard she worked off-stage.
"That's the one thing I'm going to miss the most - our practices," the dance pro said of his partner. "Every time we would go to practices, you could see the enthusiasm, you could see that she practiced. This was not easy for Martina and she gave it everything she had and that's part of the reason that it feels so bad to me because I feel in some ways, I wish the audience could see the hard work and dedication that she gave me. I think they would have appreciated it better."
Though the first week of "Dancing With The Stars" brought some of the highest scores ever received in a premiere, the second week mixed it up a bit. Classic singer Katherine Jenkins remained at the top of the judge's leader board but Jaleel White lost footing to Disney star Roshon Fegan.
A massive 72 percent of OnTheRedCarpet.com readers believed that Navratilova would be the first contestant to be sent home. Who do you think will be sent packing in next week's elimination round? Vote in our poll below.
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, who produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).