‘DWTS’: Kym Johnson Talks Fan Cruise, Romance, Dancing With ‘Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary

“I don’t know if I will have another shark, but [Kevin] would have some pretty big shoes to fill after Robert’s performance.”


Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson on 'Dancing With The Stars'

Here’s something fun to ponder: Kym Johnson could someday pull off the SHARK TANK trifecta on DANCING WITH THE STARS.

The longtime ballroom pro has already been paired with investor ‘sharks’ Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec (with whom she is now is a very People magazine-worthy romance).

But what about ‘Mr. Wonderful’ — the royalty-loving capitalist, who unforgivingly calls entrepreneurs “cockroaches” and tells those who don’t accept his offers, “You are dead to me”?

>>RELATED STORY:  ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ v. ‘DWTS’:Which Do Contestants Find Harder?

Kym, 38, says she has already witnessed Canadian business mogul Kevin O’Leary in action on the dance floor and “he would be quite interesting to see on the show.”

“We ended up having a dance one night when we were out and he is actually not bad,” the Aussie stunner tells me.

“Robert and I were out one night. I was showing him some moves and [Kevin] grabbed me and we had a little twirl. He’s pretty good.”

Kym, of course, has no say in which celebrities appear on the long running ABC series — or who she ends up on the floor with.

“I just find out when we all walk in the door,” she says. “I don’t know if I will have another shark, but [Kevin] would have some pretty big shoes to fill after Robert’s performance.”

In fact, Kym isn’t even guaranteed to appear when the program returns for its 21st season this fall.

Dancers are cycled in and out of the ballroom to keep the show fresh.

And now, it seems, so will at least one of the judges.

Last winter, longtime judge Len Goodman announced that he would be stepping away from the show at least temporarily after the completion of last season.

>>RELATED STORY: ‘DWTS’: Len Goodman Is Not Retiring, Producer Says

Would Kym — a judge on the franchise’s Australian version — be up for taking his spot?

Here’s what she told me when we caught up a few days ago.

What is the experience of judging like for you?
I have done for the last two seasons there. It is quite nice. Actually less stressful than being a competitor on the show and lot less work. It is a different pressure.

Less stress on your body, but you you still have to come up with interesting commentary.

That’s the thing. It is completely live, so you hope that what you are actually thinking comes out of your mouth in the right way. So it is a little different pressure. It makes you sort of appreciate the judges a little bit more when you are in their shoes. But it is going to be great. So I am excited to go back and do that. And then I will possibly do next season here. We will see.

You are not the first dancer that has judged. Is it weird to go to the other side when all of these people are your friends?
It was the first time because I knew all of the dancers. I had actually been on the show with them in Australia when I first started out. But you are judging the couple and the celebrity. Len [Goodman] gave me some good advice.  He said, “When you first start, just look at the celebrity. Don’t look at the dancer. They know you so well they might throw you off a little bit and give you some looks.” So I just look at the celebrity for the first while.

Would you want to take Len’s seat at the judge’s table here in the U.S.?

Absolutely. But I don’t think that its going to happen. I think they are pretty set with their judges. But yeah, I do like being in that judges seat. I don’t know if Len is coming back or if he isn’t. I have no idea. I love Len as a judge. He will probably be back. But I don’t know. He loves it. I think he would miss it too much.

You have been dancing on the American version for what seems like forever.
Almost ten years. I came on the third season and I have been on for 17 seasons. Jerry Springer was my first partner in the States. I have had the best time. It has been amazing.

How long can somebody continue doing that and physically keep up?
The show has been going on for ten years and it is pretty incredible that I have been with it pretty much since the beginning. But they are getting a lot of younger dancers now. Which they have to. The show is evolving all the time. I am probably one of the veterans, the old girls on the show. But I think it is kind of nice to have that mix of the old and the new.

Is it strange for you that after all this time, while people have obviously known who you are, you are enjoying a completely new level of fame because of your relationship with Robert?
I know, it is so crazy. I have been on the show, won twice and now all that people are talking about [is] the chemistry I guess. It is strange. But it is all good.

What does Robert say about you going back?
It will be interesting to see if that happens. But he is so supportive. He would support me in anything I did. If I did do the show it would be really interesting having him there in the audience watching me dance with somebody else. But I don’t know if I am going to do it or not, so we will just have to wait and see.

The show has undergone some changes in the last two years. How do you feel about where they are right now?
I think the show is incredible. It is still very popular. People love it. For it to have lasted ten years, two seasons a year is just incredible. It keeps getting better and better and evolving constantly.

Do you think condensing the show to one night helped?
I think having it on a Monday is exciting. Everything is jam packed into that one show. I miss the Tuesday result show. It was more like a variety show. I liked seeing those artists come on and perform. But it makes it exciting to have all the drama rolled in to one night.

You recently got back from a DANCING WITH THE STARS cruise. What is that like?
It is a great time. It is obviously big fans of DANCING WITH THE STARS and they get to have a different experience. They get to dance in a competition like they see on DWTS. They have a big competition at the end of the cruise. They get to dance with a pro. They get to have dance lessons every day. I run a fitness class. It is like a dance-based cardio Latin class. And we obviously do a big show on the cruise as well so they get to see the DWTS show.

Any plans to brand yourself further?
I am really focusing on fitness at the moment. I did the DANCING WITH THE STARS DVD. Now I am actually doing my own one.

DANCING WITH THE STARS returns in September 2015 on ABC.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly