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Access Hollywood
updated 4/19/2011 6:22:02 PM ET 2011-04-19T22:22:02

They didn’t top the leaderboard, but Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy gave an explosive performance — literally — on “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday night.

“We didn’t rehearse sexy. We rehearsed [the] foxtrot and then sexy somehow took over,” Chmerkovskiy told Access Hollywood backstage after the show of their saucy foxtrot to “American Woman,” which included pyrotechnics and lots of gyrations.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Highlights From ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 12

“I think we both know how to have sex and I don’t know how to foxtrot,” Alley laughed.

Plenty of hearts were sent racing on Monday after Chmerkovskiy ripped off his white T-shirt as their number began, and Alley is the woman to thank for his toned torso reveal.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: ‘Dancing’s’ Marvelous Maksim Chmerkovskiy

“Look, I was in high school when ‘American Woman’ came out and the guys didn’t wear shirts and they wore really, really low cut bell bottom leather pants,” Alley said. “It was just cool and normal and so I asked him, I kept asking him and then I didn’t know if he was going to do it until today.”

Chmerkovskiy said Alley managed to wrap him around her little finger and commit him to dancing shirtless simply by giving up on him.

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“She was just like, ‘I’m not going to talk to you about this anymore. Do whatever you want to do!’” Chmerkovskiy recounted. “This is the worst thing you can tell me because then I’ll do what you wanted… If you just say, ‘I don’t care!’ I’ll be like, ‘What? [You don’t] care? I want you to care. Convince me.’”

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Alley and Chmerkovskiy’s dance on Monday night was uninterrupted by accidents — the first time this month — and the actress said John Travolta, who visited their rehearsals as a “dance doctor” was helpful in breaking what they considered to be a “DWTS” curse.

“It’s gone. It’s gone, John helped us break the curse, he brought levity back into our lives,” she said. “John — thank you. I love you… He made it light again.”

Travolta comes to Alley's rescue on 'Dancing'

The actress said her former “Look Who’s Talking” co-star, Travolta, turned out to be a fan of her ballroom partner.

“He loved Maks; He gave Maks a huge compliment and he said that he’s the best thing that happened to dance since him,” Alley said, referencing John’s prowess in “Saturday Night Fever.” “That’s a huge compliment from John and I’ve never heard him actually give that particular compliment to anyone.”

As for Chmerkovskiy, he was honored by John’s kind words.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 12 Cast: Then & Now

“It’s actually probably the best compliment I got. Ever,” he smiled. “For a dancer to be told by John Travolta himself that you’re that good? Thank you, John. I don’t think I’m there yet, but it’s definitely given me a boost of confidence to do what it is that I do and… Thank you.”

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Video: Travolta helps Kirstie Alley on 'Dancing'

Photos: 'Dancing With the Stars' cast

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