Hope Solo: 'Dancing' Partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy Is 'Very Sexy!'

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy perform the Viennese waltz on "Dancing with the Stars," Week 1, September 19, 2011 Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy perform the Viennese waltz on "Dancing with the Stars," Week 1, September 19, 2011

Hope Solo was “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s dream partner, and now that the two are paired up and competing in Season 13, the soccer goalie has realized he was a perfect fit.

And the self-described “sex on a stick” (a nickname he gave himself during rehearsals with Kirstie Alley last season), has been focused in rehearsals, leaving the camera-stealing lines for another time.

“Maks comes across a certain way, and he’s very sexy, very confident, but at the same time, he wants to win,” Hope told Access Hollywood in defense of her sometimes-outspoken ballroom bad boy, after last night’s “DWTS.” “That’s what I respect about him, because as an athlete, he makes me work hard, he pushes me, and he’s intense. That’s all I really care about.”

Hope is also committed to doing a good job for herself – and especially for Maks, who has yet to take home the mirrorball in the competition – and the two performed nicely on Monday night, coming in third for the night and netting 21 points out of 30.

“All along Maks wanted to get three 7s, and to accomplish that, I’m so relieved,” Hope said. “I’m so happy, and I didn’t want to let him down, because he’s worked so hard, and I’m definitely an athlete.”

But, their impressive debut score nearly didn’t happen.

“I almost cried in the dressing room,” Hope said of her reaction to donning a pink, sequined dress. “I put the outfit on, hair and makeup done, and I didn’t think I could walk out.”

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.