Written by Kate Branciforte, editorial intern
FITNESS’ January cover model, Brooke Burke, can totally relate to those suffering from early allergies this year. But the co-host of Dancing With the Stars and mother of four who wears many hats (from TV host to spokesperson to author) knows that no matter how bad her allergies get, she has to find a way to keep moving.
We caught up with Brooke to talk about how she deals with the sniffles, her involvement with Claritin and the new short comedic film she starred in for the brand. And of course, we had to chat about the current season of DWTS and get her predictions before tonight’s episode!
You looked amazing in the January FITNESS and many of our readers said they related to your lifestyle as a busy working mom. How did you feel about being on the cover?
I loved it! I’m a fan of the magazine anyway and its always important for me to be able to grace a cover like FITNESS because it’s all about health and I like what it symbolizes. I love that it’s inspiring to other women and the shoot was a blast!
How did you get involved with Claritin and this project?
I’ve always had allergies and I’ve always used Claritin. I don’t know how they knew that, but they came to me and we partnered and decided to do this short. It was really a blast to not play myself. And I do really use Claritin. I mean, I can’t really just call in sick and stay home because I’m swollen and feeling crappy!
At FITNESS we love Dancing With the Stars. What are some of your predictions for this season?
I think the men this season are a little stronger then the females, actually, but you never know! I think Jaleel White really surprised everyone but they also said Katherine Jenkins looked borderline pro. But I really liked Donald Driver, the NFL superstar, but his scores weren’t as high as I thought they might be after seeing him perform!
If you could see anyone on the show next season, who would it be?
I’d love to see Suzanne Somers. She’d be great! Oscar De La Hoya would also be really amazing. I’ve always wanted to see him. It was rumored that Paula Deen was supposed to dance this season but I don’t know what happened with that. But I think Suzanne would be great!
Just because we’re dying to know…Is Maksim Chmerkovskiy as cute in person as he is on TV?
Oh gosh, last show, when he came out shirtless with his abs popping and all tan? Yeah, he’s really cute! And Maks’ brother Val is really cute too!
More from FITNESS:
- Look Like Brooke: Brooke Burke’s Workout
- 5 Seasonal Allergy Remedies
- Dancing With the Stars Pro Chelsie Hightower Dishes on the New Cast
Now that Bachelor Ben proposed to Courtney, it’s time for a new crop of characters to fuel the water cooler talk. Tonight, you’ll see FITNESS cover model Maria Menounos, The View co-host Sherri Shepherd and former “Steve Urkel” Jaleel White, among others, showing off their moves for the premiere of season 14 of Dancing With the Stars.
We caught up with one of the show’s pros, Chelsie Hightower, while she was promoting a Greek Island vacation sweepstakes with Old London to have her handicap the season and fill us in about which dance move we need to be doing to be beach-ready stat!
How are things going so far with your new partner, Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan?
He has a great attitude and our training is going very well. He really wants to have fun and I think that’s the most important thing.
Viewers have questioned whether this season’s cast has the star power to draw ratings, as compared to past seasons. How would you respond?
I actually thought the same thing until I met the cast. There are so many great personalities and the dance skill level is high. Great characters, dancers and storylines behind the pairings are what really shape a season, and I think this cast has all of that.
When we interviewed you for FITNESS previously, you mentioned that your dream partner would be Justin Timberlake. How about if you were the celebrity and could pick your pro partner?
Justin Timberlake would be pretty fantastic! Derek [Hough] is patient and has a great work ethic, so I think I’d go with him.
I love awards season just as much as the next girl, but sometimes big moments and celebs don’t get the attention they deserve. Check out Fitness Editor Jenna’s top picks, then read on to see my fit favorites from the last year, just in time for the Grammys on Sunday. Our final installment of picks will run the Friday before the Oscars, so stay tuned!
Best Fit Mom: Jessica Alba
2011 was the year of celebrity pregnancies, and we loved watching many moms-to-be keep up their fitness routine throughout pregnancy. Alba had an amazing baby bounce-back, giving birth to second daughter Haven and rocking the Golden Globes’ red carpet a mere five months later. Other mommy makeovers we love: January Jones, Kate Hudson and Mariah Carey.
Strongest Star in the Face of Adversity: Giuliana Rancic
The beautiful co-host of E! News and Live From the Red Carpet has faced multiple health issues—from infertility struggles to her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgeries—but remained strong and never shied away from the cameras. We sat down with Rancic at a Glade Expressions Dinner Party in January, when she told us that her treatment was a success and that she’s healthy and happy to be back at work. We at FITNESS are extremely impressed and inspired by her optimistic, open outlook on life after all she’s endured.
Best Celeb Slimdown: Ricki Lake
After a rollercoaster of weight loss and gain over the years, Lake seems to have finally nailed down the secret to shedding pounds and keeping it off. Her perfect fit? Taking on the challenge of serious competitor on Dancing with the Stars. A consistent front-runner on the show’s 13th season, Lake tangoed, salsa-d and cha-cha-ed her way to the final three, dropping pounds along the way. She reportedly shed four dress sizes and is in amazing shape. Go, Ricki!
Best Save-Your-Skin Move: Indoor Tanning Banned in California
We’re big advocates in the fight against skin cancer, and research has proven that indoor tanning increases your chances of developing the deadly disease. California made huge strides when they prohibited minors from the salons (even if they have parental permission), and more states are considering similar moves. Even though attempts failed in four other states in 2011, our fingers are crossed that we’ll continue to take a step in the healthy direction!
Now tell us: What were some of your favorite fit moments, people and items from the last year?
December’s Top Workout DVD: Kristi Yamaguchi’s Power Workout
Best for: Those with short attention spans—who are ready to sweat!
Why it’s a star: Olympian and former Dancing With the Stars champion Yamaguchi leads you through a plyometrics-heavy cardio and total body-focused strength routine that packs a lot of action into 53 minutes. You’ll start off with a warm-up reminiscent of the ’80s workout tapes on VHS, but don’t be fooled. Yamaguchi and her trainer, Erin O’Brien quickly pick up the pace by alternating cardio segments full of jumping lunges, high knees and rotating jumping squats with muscle-building moves like overhead triceps extensions with plie squats. Time flies, as each circuit is less than 10 minutes and offers a solid workout for both your heart and muscles!
Where to get it: $12.99, amazon.com
More from FITNESS: Need a soundtrack? Try Kristi Yamaguchi’s workout playlist.
Soon after Dancing With the Stars pro Anna Trebunskaya and her partner fashion expert Carson Kressley were the fifth pair eliminated from the reality show last week, the Russian-born redhead stopped by our offices to fill us in about her competition, dancing tips and dream cast. One of our favorite pieces of advice from Trebunskaya during our fun chat? “Sometimes you just have to stop, smell the roses and dance the tango!”
Read on for five pieces of can’t-miss scoop from this spunky star!
- Forecasting the frontrunners. She predicts that J.R. Martinez will walk away with the Mirror Ball trophy this season, with Ricki Lake and Rob Kardashian not far behind.
- Women who should work it. Trebunskaya believes Lindsey Lohan would be making a wise career choice by participating in a future season of DWTS, although “she would need to be with a patient partner,” Trebunskaya says. “And Britney Spears would kill it on the show! She’s great.”
- Why Carson rocks. “He’s not the most coordinated, but he just has so much charisma,” Trebunskaya says of her partner during season 13 of the reality show. “Carson was a perfect partner in a way—a hard worker and very creative. He was inspiring to me.”
- How to get in step. If you’re just learning to dance, “get a friend or a co-worker and go to a beginner group class. People often have too great of expectations early on, thinking they should be able to dance well right away. You can’t be thrown in like a child in the ocean just learning to swim—take small steps, like a child in the baby pool,” Trebunskaya recommends. “Dancing is a skill and it takes repetition to learn, but it’s really not a big deal. It should always be fun.”
- Would you rather… As future male contestants on the show, would you rather see:
- President Obama or Bill Clinton? “Bill Clinton. He’s musical and plays the sax. Plus he’s quite charming.”
- Justin Timberlake or Chris Brown? “Chris Brown. I’ve seen him perform as a musical guest on our show, and he’s got the moves! It would be a good thing for his image, too.”
- Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler? “Jim Carrey. He’s tall, has a good frame and is probably a good dancer.”
Now tell us: Who do you think will best the competition this season? And who would you like to see perform on DWTS in the future?
All right all of you Dancing With the Stars fans—we’re down to the wire! Tonight marks the semi-final routines, and Chelsea Kane, Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward or Ralph Macchio will walk away with the mirrorball trophy (with their professional partner, of course). Our pre-season predictions weren’t too far off!
To get the inside scoop about what it’s really like to be on the show, we recently caught up with pro Karina Smirnoff. Besides displaying fancy footwork with The Karate Kid‘s Ralph Macchio on the show, Karina has her own dance studio, and has just released a workout DVD, shoe line and makeup line (whew!). During her few spare moments, she told us about DWTS training, how she stays well-fueled during her hectic schedule and what it’s like to dance with a movie star.
Has your workout routine changed since you began on DWTS?
Yes. We rehearse everyday for seven or eight hours and take very few short breaks. After that, I usually rush to my dance studio to teach my fitness classes. That leaves very little time to do anything else! But sometimes I can fit in a yoga class.
How do you maintain your perky attitude and energy with that grueling schedule?
I try to eat healthy and keep my energy up with bananas, dark chocolate and protein, like nuts. Nuts are my favorite snack because they’re healthy and filling.
How does Ralph Macchio compare to the other partners you’ve had on the show?
I love Ralph. We clicked right away and I think we make a great team. We’re both workaholics! We laugh a lot, work a lot, but most importantly, we love dancing together. I am truly enjoying being Ralph’s partner.
Who do you see as your biggest competition this season?
This season is very unpredictable. We have a lot of great celebrities and everyone is bringing their “A” game. All we can do is work hard, deliver the best job we can on Mondays, keep entertaining our fans and hope for the best.
DWTS surely keeps you busy. Will you be hands-on at your new studio, Karina Smirnoff Dance?
Absolutely. I’ll be teaching students and training instructors. Everyone who wants to learn how to dance, get in shape, meet new friends and have lots of fun should stop in!
Want to see Karina and Ralph advance to the finals? Visit abc.com or call 1-800-868-3408 to vote. AT&T customers can text until 30 minutes after the show.
Now tell us: Who are you rooting for to take the DWTS trophy this season?
The cast for Season 12 of Dancing With the Stars was announced last night! Missed the news? Here are the celebrities who will train for hours on end and vie for audience votes:
- Wendy Williams: talk show and radio host
- Romeo: rapper (formerly known as Lil’ Romeo)
- Kirstie Alley: actress and former Jenny Craig spokesperson
- Chris Jericho: pro wrestler
- Chelsea Kane: Disney actress
- Sugar Ray Leonard: former pro boxer
- Petra Nemcova: supermodel
- Ralph Macchio: actor, best known for The Karate Kid
- Kendra Wilkinson: reality TV star
- Hines Ward: NFL wide receiver, once won the Super Bowl MVP award
- Mike Catherwood: radio show host, currently co-host of “Loveline”
We think that Hines Ward and Sugar Ray will have a “leg up” on their competition due to their quick and athletic feet, and can imagine Chelsea Kane succeeding on the show like her fellow Disney stars (Kyle Massey or Monique Coleman, anyone?). But we love surprises and all of the contestants will be fun to watch! The new season begins on Monday, March 21.
Who do you think will go the distance this season? Who are your picks for the final three?