‘DWTS’: Melora Hardin on That Tense Moment With Artem & Making the Semifinals

Melora Hardin on Dancing With the Stars
ABC/Eric McCandless

Actress Melora Hardin (The Office) and pro partner Artem Chigvintsev were saved by the four judges last night in what has to be the most competitive season ever of Dancing With the Stars. The couple not only wowed the audience with their passionate Paso Doble, but their pre-dance video package was equally intense – illustrating how tensions can understandably erupt between pros and their celebrity partners.

TV Insider was among a group of reporters that spoke with Melora right after the show. Below, she breaks down last night’s emotions, her hopes on going to the end, and why she talked over host Tyra Banks to give a heartfelt speech thanking everyone from wardrobe folks to the crew members who sweep the confetti off the floor in between dance routines.

On the show airing of her argument with Artem

“It’s really important for people to see that real relationships require negotiating and compromise and forgiveness. You have to find your way with each other. This is real life and doing Dancing With the Stars is all-consuming. You’re eating, drinking, and sleeping [the show] and you’re with your partner in the most intense way. Artem is so detail-oriented, which I very much appreciate, and I really would not want to have had any other kind of partner because I love details and I love that kind of precision.

“We are building a beautiful friendship on top of this partnership. So yes, I think it is important for people to see [what goes on]. Yes, it’s a reality show, but it’s also real life. Because I’m an actor, I’m committed to the truth. A lot of people think that good actors are good liars, but actually good actors are great truth-tellers. That’s what that’s what good acting is.”

On talking over host Tyra Banks

“I thought I was going home. I felt it would be naïve to not consider that possibility. There’s something very liberating about that [when] you know it might be your last time. It thrusts you into the present moment. The reason I made that little speech that Tyra called me out about and I shouted over her [was because] I felt it helped me have competition in case it was my last night. I know next week is going to be the same in the sense that I have now moved beyond my own [limitations].”

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

On her approach to the Paso Doble

“I knew that I was going to dance full out and I was going to have the full experience of the little 5-year-old that wanted to be a ballerina and that I wasn’t going to allow myself to leave this show without having that 100% from start to finish. It was beautiful. It was a beautiful night for me. To be honest, I would have been okay with going home tonight. I’m really, really, really, happy that I didn’t because we have something really special that we’re going to do next week.”

On what she said to Artem after the judges’ save

“The last thing I said to Artem was, ‘I love you’ and I do just love him so much. I love what we’ve done together. I love what we’re making together week. After [the show is over] I’m gonna be really sad. If we get to go to the end, which I really wish we do, there’s only two more weeks left. That’s not enough time.”

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC