Evan Lysacek is in pain.
"I wasn't hurting until this morning," Dancing With the Stars' latest Olympic gold-medalist contestant just told me. "My calves are a little sore and my feet, too. Even my ankles hurt. I'm so used to them being supported by the skates, but now they hurt. I'm resting now, but we have rehearsal later today because of my schedule—but then more rest."
But it's all worth it if it means taking home that disco ball trophy, right? Read on for the first installment of my exclusive weekly chats with Mr. Lysacek. We talked Kate Gosselin's meltdown, not fighting with his partner, Anna Trebunskaya, and what he does before every performance...
I'm so glad to finally talk to you. I'm a big fan. So, are you having fun?
I am. I know it's a competition, but I don't feel like I have to win. I don't feel pressured. I'm just trying to enjoy it.
Who's tougher on you: your skating coach or Anna?
Skating is just so physical...But also, sometime in my skating career, a lot of the movements became second nature. With Anna, I have to fight to be conscious all the time because it's so brand-new for me, especially last night's jive. It was truly a challenge. You have to be so present and concentrate so hard.
Were you surprised to see Kate and Tony get into that argument?
I was, because Tony is such a nice guy and Kate is really sweet. But you know, the dancing becomes so personal and so intense. I understand why it could happen.
Have you and Anna got into it at all?
Not really. She is so patient and she can read me so well. She knows when I have to slow down, change something up, take a break.
You have any good luck rituals before you perform?
I drink protein shakes every day, but I only have chocolate shakes on competition day...I also listen to music from what I call my competition track list.
What are some of the songs?
Everything. It's like 1,000 songs. But usually Jay-Z, Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas and Pitbull. It's what you'd expect to get pumped up and the adrenaline flowing.
Check out our Dancing With the Stars: Season 10 photo gallery.