This year you also had your knee injury. What happened?
I have a slightly torn [section] of my knee. Basically just soft tissue attached to ligaments. So yea. It kind of basically just messed up the tracking in my knee, and was causing me a lot of pain. So I went through a lot of physical therapy throughout the week to get it better, or a little less painful. And I wore a big old knee brace while dancing, and that helped out a lot. It was a bit controversial that you decided not to dance, even though the doctor gave you the go-ahead. What was the reasoning for you sitting out?
My entire reasoning for sitting out was because I’m a huge believer in prevention. And I thought, if I feel something tearing, why am I going to continue to tear it when I can stop, let it heal, and continue in the competition? Especially because, in the grand scheme of things, the show is such a small part of someone’s career. I was just thinking ahead of time. Whether I won or lost the competition. It’s better to win or lose the competition and be able to dance, than win or lose the competition and be like, oh, great, now my knee’s completely messed up and I’ll never be able to dance. The week you did sit out, it seemed like Nigel was subtly critiquing you for doing so on results night. Did you think that was unfair?
I did feel a little bit of criticism for my decision. I don’t regret it in any way whatsoever. I feel like I made the smartest decision. I was actually kind of upset, because stepping — that was my favorite routine that I had done all season. So to have to sit in the audience and watch tWitch do it was kind of horrible for me. Not going to lie. That was my favorite dance. So that definitely was rough. And then to hear the next day Nigel almost insinuate that I was, like, faking something, was almost like, are you kidding me? But things happen. TV happens. What are you gonna do, right? There’s always certain positions where you’re helpless, and you’re like, Okay. I can’t really say anything. Last night, Nigel called you an androgynous dancer. Do you think of yourself that way?
You know, I don’t really mind being androgynous. I think anything to set you apart is good. That’s kind of been the hot topic, I feel like. Everyone’s been on this androgynous case. I don’t really mind.