Talk about adding insult to injury — On Tuesday night, R & B singer Mario was the latest celebrity to be eliminated from Dancing with the Stars, and this comes after judge Len Goodman told him he had ugly feet!
But the good-natured performer, 21, had nothing but positive things to say after he had to take his feet and walk away from the hit ABC reality show.
Mario told OK! it was particularly important to him to mention at the end of the show how he felt about the troops in Iraq. “It was a chance… for me to tell the world how I felt as a young person," he explained. "We are the future — even kids younger than me, they are the future. There are a lot of admirable people fighting for this country and we should definitely acknowledge that, too.”
His pro dance partner, Karina Smirnoff, said of Mario, “He is a class act. Humble and he always took the high road. He was more my inspiration and example.”
Next up for Mario is a concert tour and album. “I am working on a new project that should be done this summer and I’m looking to have a new single out by the end of the year," he says.
And that’s not the end of Mario’s long-term ambitions: "Films, anything I can get my hands on — I am going hard, man — I never stop. I have a lot of stuff going on and love to express myself in different ways so you will definitely see more of me.”
Karina said that after the judges’ harsh comments, she knew it would be the end for the couple most considered to be the sexiest in the competition. “I wasn’t disappointed," she explains. "I pretty much knew how it was going to happen. I didn’t want it to happen, but I predicted it.”
The pair had been rumored to be romantically linked earlier in the season, but they have continued to strenuously deny those reports. Karina, who has been close to actor Mario Lopez since he was also her partner on the show, laughed jokingly about Mario the singer, “We will pretty much move in together.”
On a more serious note, she added, “I will miss his attitude, always positive, strong minded but always kind. Oh, and him licking his lips — That is my favorite thing he ever did.”
After Mario’s elimination, DWTS celebrated its 100th episode on Tuesday night with a party at the Hollywood Club The Day After.
Tony Dovolani, who has appeared on 94 of the 100 episodes and has taken his current partner, Marissa Jaret Winokur, to the semifinals this season, told OK! why the show has had such longevity: “This is the greatest show on TV because everybody enjoys it—kids, adults, senior citizens.”
By Carole Glines