Dish Of Salt: Friday TV Dish (‘Dancing’ With Jake and Nicole)

I just returned from back-to-back rehearsals for “Dancing with the Stars,” with Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower as well as Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough, as they prepped for Monday night’s show. Jake will tackle the tango while Nicole gets ready to rumba. With three days left to rehearse, one couple’s looking good, while the other is still figuring it out. I think you can figure out which is which!

I also got a peek at Pamela Anderson as she and her dance partner Damian Whitewood rehearsed downstairs from Jake. It’s looking pretty hot, I have to say! Here’s what else I learned in today’s Dish.

Two To Tango

Jake and Chelsie had some major blowups the last couple of weeks with Jake walking out on her a couple of times. “I walked out to go get some water,” he joked to me this morning. “If there wasn’t tension in here it would simply mean I didn’t care,” he later explained. “We can have fun on Monday nights. That’s not the time to stress and freak out. Do it here. Have fun there.”

For her part, Chelsie told me she doesn’t take offense at all. “It’s his way of dealing with emotion and dealing with frustration before he says something he doesn’t want to say,” she explained. In fact, as both Chelsie and I decided, this is great marriage training for Jake, if he eventually ever does marry his “Bachelor” chosen one, Vienna Girardi.

“This is prepping for husband duty,” I explained to Jake.

“This is a mini-marriage. Actually we always talk about that,” Chelsie agreed. “You have to learn how to work with each other as a team.” Their biggest problem is lack of communication. “I don’t deal with it [stress] that way. See, I’m a communicator. I need to sit down. I need to think about it,” she admitted.

As for their upcoming tango, right now, it’s in the beginning stages. “I’m just trying to get my steps down,” Jake sheepishly admitted. The dance is known for being very passionate, but the couple said they are certainly not there yet.

“We’re still working on the steps and then mad passion will come!” Chelsie laughed. “I’m just going to cut out a life size picture of Vienna’s face and put it on my face and pretend like I’m Vienna!”

Ready To Rumba

An hour later I headed downstairs to chat with Nicole and Derek about their rumba. Expect to see lots of leg from Nicole in this super sexy dance! The duo loved the fact that “DWTS” beat “American Idol” for the first time ever in the ratings this week. “I have to say, that is exciting,” Derek admitted. “Not so much the fact that we beat them, even though that’s sweet, but also because last season we kind of dropped a little bit and it kind of felt like we were on our way out. So to come back season ten strong was a good feeling.”

“Oh yeah. It’s on this season!” Nicole triumphantly added.

They both chalk the increased interest up to the cast. I pointed out that I chalk it up to the train wreck factor and deer-caught-in-a-headlight dancing of Kate Gosselin, which is highly entertaining. They were quick to defend her. ‘She is like a different type of person than we have ever had on the show,” Derek told me. “She is not like an actress, singer or an athlete or anything like that. I think people relate to her because a lot of moms watch the show and I think she is just terrified out there.”

He offered her this advice: “If she just went out there, and even if it wasn’t good, as long as she like committed to it and didn’t believe it was terrible, it wouldn’t be nearly as bad.”

Added Nicole, “She’s got a good fan base and I think it’s people like her and Buzz [Aldrin] that go out of their element and try something new and challenging for them. I think it inspires the people at home to be like, ‘You know what? My grandmother is gonna be on the next ‘Dancing with the Stars!’”

As for all the rumored romances on the show, I can tell you that the chemistry between Nicole and Derek is strictly brother and sister. However, if anyone is hooking up behind the scenes, Nicole believes it might just be for the publicity factor. “I think actually people, like, they are like buying into it,” she said of the rumored couples. “They are like, ‘Let’s just pretend you know.’”

Who do you think is hooking up and who is playing it up?

Follow me on Twitter and let me know what you think! —

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