HOLLYWOOD — Gavin DeGraw knows he has his work cut out for him in order to stay in the very heated competition on season 13 of "Dancing With the Stars." The singer/songwriter and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, have yet to completely wow the judges with their routines during the first and second weeks of competition, and they landed on the chopping block last week as part of the dreaded bottom two.
But this week marks a new beginning with a new dance: the rumba, a.k.a. "the dance of love." MTV News was lucky enough to visit DeGraw and Smirnoff during their rehearsals, and the "Not Over You" singer revealed a few concerns he has in mastering the new moves this week.
"I'm a little bit nervous," he admitted. "We danced the foxtrot the first week. I thought that was one of the hardest dances, then we began to work on the jive the second week, and foxtrot seemed so much easier."
No matter DeGraw's nerves, Smirnoff assured him — and us — that her partner has a lot more skill than he thinks.
"I think Gavin has natural swagger, and that quality in the rumba is going to come across on the dance floor really well," she said. "He's definitely a guy's guy, being masculine and yet still very sexy. It's a difficult combination, his hip action. He's very embarrassed about it, but it's a good quality — trust me," she said. "Women will definitely ... "
"Appreciate it?" DeGraw offered.
"Exactly," she said.
"My greatest strength in dancing the rumba is my partner and fearless leader, Karina Smirnoff," DeGraw said when asked what tools he has to master this week's routine. "My greatest weakness is every time Karina let's go of me on the dance floor," he joked.
In watching them rehearse, it's obvious the two new friends get along very well and have a lot of fun dancing together. DeGraw also has a very positive attitude about being on the show and spoke a lot about just wanting to enjoy his journey.
"The best part about being on the show is the fact that it's out of my element and I'm learning something beautiful from an amazing person who is passionate about her career and art form," DeGraw said.
Are you rooting for Gavin on "Dancing With the Stars"? Let us know in the comments!