Jaleel White Tells Glamour: "I Have No Regrets About Going On Dancing With The Stars"

On top of reports that came out last week that Jaleel White got into a heated argument with his dance partner,Kym Johnson,on Dancing with the Stars,his ex-girlfriend sold a suspiciously well-timed tell-all to Star Magazine claiming physical and verbal abuse.So we wouldn't have been surprised if he had decided to lay low and forgo all interviews.

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.


Glamour: What was your goal when you signed on?Was there a particular reason behind wanting to be on board?

Jaleel: I had been working on so many things already...I'm hosting a game show in the middle of this calledTotal Blackoutand it comes out on Syfy on April 25th.I'm doing voice-overs for that even right now while I'm doingDancing with the Stars.My goal is to show people that I'm OK.I'm a grown man.I'm also somewhat of an athlete,if I put my mind to anything...my goal was a good dance every week.Every time I go out there for a dance,I know the dances,I know the mindset,and I know that the whole cast is going out for drinks and snacks and grub after the show.That's what we do after every show,every week.Me,Kym,Will Levy.Derek,Maria [Menounos]...oh,Maria is the biggest party animal there is![Laughs] So people don't see this side of us,and quite frankly,they shouldn't.I don't want to be the guy putting up a bum dance and then going out.Kym's like,'You're going to be so much better if you go out there and do what you know your body is capable of doing!'

Glamour: When you found out who the rest of the cast was going to be this season,was there anyone in particular you were looking forward to meeting?

Jaleel: Obviously being reunited withGladys Knight.She played my sitcom mom in 1985 on a show calledCharlie and Company.Flip Wilson played my dad,and she played my mom,and I was 9 years old.To be reunited with Gladys 26 years later,that's why I have no regrets doing this show.I'm fighting right now to make sure that people don't take my joy from doing this show.To survive this experience,and keep surviving with good dancing,that's what I'm all about.These dances that we're doing are going to live on YouTube forever.I'm doing it for my mom's immediate pleasure and for my daughter's pleasure later on in life.


Glamour: I had no idea,but you wrote an episode ofFamily Matterswhen you were 19 years old,which ended up being the highest rated episode of the year.That is amazing.How often do fans come up to you now and ask in theUrkelvoice to do a,'Did I do that?'

Jaleel: You know,typically it's an age thing.People over the age of 35 sometimes tend to be obsessed with me and that character,and that's fine.[Jessica's Note: I beg to differ.Having recently entered my 30s,I loved Urkel,and so did my cousins who are in their 20s—We're notthatold!] I'm living my Captain Kirk years as I tell people all the time.The cool thing though is that I have a new,younger generation that doesn't associate me with that show.They just know me as an actor,like,'I saw you onPsychman,you were great!' My daughter only thinks I'm a dancer.She's 2 1/2 years old,and she has only seen myCee Lo Greenvideo,and she watchesDancing with the Starswith me every Tuesday morning.She literally thinks I'm a professional dancer,and it cracks me up!

Glamour: I thought you were going to tell me she thinks you'reSonic the Hedgehogafter doing the voices for that too!

Jaleel: [Laughs] Nope,she only thinks Daddy is a professional dancer,and I think it's hysterical!

__Catch Jaleel onDancing with the Starstonight on ABC at 8/7 CT.__

What do you guys think?Are you still a fan of Jaleel from his sitcom days?Do you think last week's frustrations were completely blown overboard and just an affect of cameras following him 24/7?

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