April 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM ET
It looks like actress Melissa Gilbert and her pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy aren't the only "Dancing With the Stars" personalities who find the new Dance Duel twist a little over the top. Jaleel White, one of only two "Dancing" stars who've actually had to participate in the couple-vs.-couple ballroom battle, can't believe he even made it through the experience.
"Man, that duel was crazy," White explained during a Friday morning visit to TODAY. "That was (like being) shot out of a cannon. I felt like Russell Crowe in 'Gladiator' just yelling to the crowd, 'Are you not entertained?' I can't believe I survived it. It's like no feeling I ever had. It took two hours to even learn that darn dance with Kym (Johnson)."
On Thursday, Gilbert called the new bottom-two dance off "awful," while Chmerkovskiy described it as "a virtual death match." But that twist isn't the only "Dancing" news that's had celebs (and fans) talking this season.
Weeks ago, the focus was on White's rumored bad behavior toward his dance partner when the cameras weren't rolling. While reports at the time indicated that he lost his cool after stepping on Johnson's toe, White later revealed that there was just some tension about a dance-move disagreement.
When asked about it on Friday, he said all's well now.
"Kym and I are fine," he insisted. "That's the tabloids having too much fun with that show. It's unfortunate they put a damper on what was my early experience with the show. But I survived the Dance Duel and I'm on to the next round."
Fans who want to see even more of White can catch the actor in his role as host on the upcoming SyFy challenge "Total Blackout."
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ABC. "Total Blackout" premieres Apr. 25 at 10 p.m. on SyFy.
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