Entertainment 'Dancing With the Stars': Sean Spicer still dancing with Trump support

17:25  14 october  2019
17:25  14 october  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Sean Spicer Says He Expected Backlash for Joining DWTS: 'I Can Take a Couple Tweets'

Sean Spicer Says He Expected Backlash for Joining DWTS: 'I Can Take a Couple Tweets' DWTS: Sean Spicer Says He Expected Backlash for Joining DWTS, and hoped that viewers could “put every policy and politics aside” while watching the show. © Provided by Meredith Corporation Sean Spicer Says He DWTS: 'I Can Take a Couple Tweets' “I’ve been living this for a while. I expect it,” Spicer, 47, said. “We are where we are as a country, but if people could tune in tonight and say, ‘Look at this diverse cast.

ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" tangoed into uncharted drama this season, announcing former White House spokesman Sean Spicer as a celebrity contestant. The controversial pick brought the kind of response you'd expect in the 2019 political climate – cheers from President Donald Trump supporters for the notoriously combative mouthpiece, along with jeers (and even talk of boycotts) among Trump critics.

a group of people on a stage© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

The season's surprise has been seeing Spicer's perpetual smile while he embraces the world of spray tans and flamboyant outfits. Despite low judges' scores for his plodding dance moves with pro partner Lindsay Arnold, he remains a contender for the mirrorball trophy. Strong fan support has carried him through three eliminations, though he'll be tested again Monday (8 EDT/PDT).

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As "DWTS" heads into Week 5, he explains the perma-smile, his impressive dance weight-loss program and working with the Trump love.

Sean Spicer dazzles in neon shirt, Sailor Brinkley-Cook fills in for mom on 'DWTS'© ABC Sean Spicer dazzles in neon shirt, Sailor Brinkley-Cook fills in for mom on 'DWTS' Question: It was clear we were going to see a new Sean Spicer with your neon, ruffled Week 1 ensemble. How did that outfit happen?

Answer: Lindsay eased me into that all week. It was like, "It looks like this" and "Did I tell you it had ruffles?" By the time I saw it (for) my fitting on Friday ...  I figured there was no turning back. If I was going to do this, jump into the deep end.

Q: Is it a correct, obvious assumption that you had very little training or even dancing experience before "DWTS"?

A: Not only that, when my wife and I got married, we didn’t complete our first dance. About halfway through, we were like "OK, everybody get in." My additional dance experience has been two father-daughter wedding dances with my daughter, who was initially afraid to do it based on my past performance. She thought I was going to embarrass her.

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Q: You’re smiling so much, a very different look from press secretary. Is leaving the stress of that job part of it?

A: That doesn’t work into it. I’m doing this to have fun and make it a really good experience. It’s genuine. And part of it is making sure people see that. People that know me know I push fun to the limit and joke around. This is not a surprise to them.

Sean Spicer wearing a suit and tie: Sean Spicer was often judged more harshly as White House spokesman.© OLIVIER DOULIERY, AFP/Getty Images Sean Spicer was often judged more harshly as White House spokesman.

Q: Viewers are keeping you on the show, as their votes counteract low judges'  scores. How many of your viewer votes are coming from Trump supporters?

A: There’s no question that’s a huge part of it, people on the political side. But there’s a good chunk of people who enjoy my approach. The other night we were out, and I had people coming up to me saying, "I’ve loved watching you, you look like you’re having a great time." Hopefully, they’ll watch me progress. There’s a lot of people who sit at the bar and watch everyone else on the dance floor. That’s who I have been. I'm never going to be the natural. But people watching know I am working as hard as I can, and going to have a blast doing it.

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Q: The camera shows you laughing with the fellow dancers and pros on the show. Do politics come up?

A: The talk is all personal. How was your week? Injuries, family. There is nothing even business-related coming up. We support each other. For example, when we walk down those stairs at the beginning of the show. I am very scared of heights, so climbing the (open) stairwell is nerve-wracking. We'll rehearse that 15 to 20 times. It's become routine now for everyone to make sure I get settled before we walk down. We have a lot of fun.

Q: The show is physically taxing. Have you lost weight?

A: I’m down 17 pounds from the show's start.

Q: May I ask, from what to what?

A: No, you can’t. But I’m seeing it on the scale. Every week, they're taking in my outfits, especially the pants. I can see it in my face. It’s not just a show, it’s a weight-loss program. I’d love to go down another 10 or 15 pounds. If I get to the full goal, maybe we’ll talk. But this is the lowest I have weighed since I got off active (Navy Reserves) duty in 2011.

Q: There's a "DWTS" tradition of dancers ripping their shirts off. Will we see that with Sean Spicer?

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A: No. That tradition will come to an end. I went well outside my comfort zone that first night; I’ll let some other people have a turn now.

Q: What about spray-tanning?

A: Yes! It was a first. I get why people do it now, especially when you have areas you’re going to show and you’re on the Irish side of the equation. We go from white to red. So this really adds a level of color that projects better. I'm a believer. I don’t know how much I'll need it after the show ends, if I’ll be exposing that much skin on a regular basis. It also depends on how much weight I lose. There might be a correlation.

Q: Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and Donald Trump Jr. have urged "DWTS" fans to vote for you.  When is President Trump going to tweet support?

A: He did, right after the (casting) announcement. But obviously there’s a lot of things going on in the world, and his world. So we’ll see where we go from here. (Trump did find time to do so again early Monday.)

Q: Has President Trump weighed in, even indirectly, on anything from your dancing to that shirt?

A: I have not spoken to him since the show (started). I’ve been told by folks that he has at least seen photos or snippets. But I have not gotten his feedback.

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Q: You're so affable with highly critical judges. Will we ever see the old press secretary version of Sean Spicer return if the low scores continue?

A: It’s not a question of the scores, it’s a question of whether it’s fair. They have been fair. There’s not going to be pushback unless something is out of line. I respected their critique. They are professionals. It gives me drive to work harder.

Q: What would you say to viewers who cannot get over your politics?

A: I respect that; we live in a free country. But one thing I have prided myself on, being in the game as long as I have, is you have to understand people are going to have differences on policy and politics. I’m a fierce partisan, but you can be a fierce partisan and a good person. We’re dismissing people, on both sides, because they don’t share our political beliefs. And that’s a mistake.

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