EXCLUSIVE: Tony Dovolani hopes to get Amy Purdy in the DWTS Switch Up 0

Tony Dovolani and NeNe Leakes of Dancing With The Stars Season 18

Image: @NeNeLeakes

Things are about to get very interesting on Dancing With The Stars, as fans vote to mix up the couples in a new twist called The Switch Up. Beginning last night, viewers took to Twitter with the hashtag #DWTS and the two names of the people they want to see paired together. We asked Tony Dovolani who he’d like to work with and one celebrity in particular came to mind.

Though he prefers to stick with current partner NeNe Leakes, Tony says that if he had to choose someone else, he’d pick Paralympian Amy Purdy. “I think she’s very inspiring,” he said. “I do a lot of work with Wounded Warriors down in San Diego for charity. For me, I have a special connection to that.” Amy is currently paired with Derek Hough, and earned a 24 for her Jive last night.

Tony and NeNe also danced the Jive and things turned tense after some feedback offered by judge Carrie Ann Inaba. When she said NeNe needed to spread her arms out more, Tony immediately disagreed. “I’m normally very welcoming of criticism. I listen to it and I apply it. I just didn’t think her criticism matched what we were doing, because that’s not Jive. I taught NeNe to not put her arms out,” he told us. “My knowledge of dance sometimes gets the best of me. I’ve been doing this since I was three years old, I’ve won world titles, I judge world championships. I should have a strong opinion of what I teach! I taught my kids to stand up for what they believe and if I didn’t say something, I would have taught them nothing.”

Despite the disagreement, both Tony and NeNe were happy with their score of 21 from the panel. “Starting at 7s is great because there’s room to grow. As long as we don’t go backwards, we’re good,” he said.

Find out who Tony is paired with on Dancing With The Stars, Monday at 8pm ET on ABC. Follow Tony all season long on Twitter @TonyDovolani.