On top of reports that came out last week thatJaleel Whitegot into a heated argument with his dance partner,Kym Johnson,onDancing with the Stars,his ex-girlfriend sold a suspiciously well-timed tell-all toStarMagazine claiming physical and verbal abuse.So we wouldn't have been surprised if he had decided to lay low and forgo all interviews.
Which is why we were genuinely impressed that Jaleel followed through with all commitments and wasn't afraid to reference the difficult times (check outGood Morning America's piece with Jaleel here),as well as the exciting ones.
In the midst of this tabloid frenzy,we caught up with theDWTSfront-runner and formerFamily Mattersstar to talk about surviving the media attention,party animals on the set,and the catchphrase that still follows him everywhere he goes.
Glamour: Hey Jaleel!How are you doing today?
Jaleel White: I'm doing good,baby.I'm doing good!
Glamour: It's so fun to watch you dance every Monday night.You have such an elegance and grace to your performances.
Jaleel: I love hearing that.I can hear the genuine enthusiasm in your voice.I'm trying my best.I'm working seven days a week.I've lost 12 lbs.,and I'm down to the last hole in my belt.This really has been an unbelievable physical journey.You think you're in shape.I'm somewhat of an amateur athlete.I work out weekly,and then you do something like this,and you're like,'Oh,I was just scratching the tip of the iceberg!' These guys likeDerek HoughandMark Ballas—these guys are in shape!
Glamour: Well,aside from being physically taxing,I know it has been an emotional season so far.I won't get into everything you've been going through the last couple of weeks,but knowing what you know now,and the constant media attention,do you regret going onDancing with the Stars?
Jaleel: It's part of the drill.I have absolutely no regrets going on this show.I've been a part of some fabulous people being on this show.I was kicking withGavin DeGrawlast night and man,he just had us rolling on the floor,talking about music,talking about Frank Sinatra's style,and he was impersonating Frank Sinatra for all of us last night,and the man was hysterical.Will Levyis hysterical.I'm not going to let outside negativity affect what is truly going on.What's truly going on on this show is that you have a lot of people who actually have a damn work ethic,who have come together to be on this show.This season is not filled with people who are not accustomed to working hard.Everyone is committed to their dances,and we're only separated by one or two points.