"Dancing With the Stars" pro Karina Smirnoff said this week that she thinks the show's judges hold her celebrity partner Corbin Bleu to a higher standard than the other contestants because he has professional dance experience.
"[The judges] leave no room for error for us," the Ukrainian "DWTS" veteran told TVGuide.com.
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Bleu, who starred in the "High School Musical" film series, has consistently been in the top each week, but the judges seem to pay more attention to detail in his routines than the other contestants.
For example, Bleu's waltz last week appeared clean and fluid, but he got a 9 from judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who criticized him for being "off his center." Meanwhile, Jack Osbourne's waltz drew a perfect 10 from Inaba, even though he's clearly not as solid of a dancer as Bleu.
But Smirnoff and Bleu made up for it with their jazz trio, which got a perfect 10 and the ultimate compliment from Inaba: "That may be the best routine I've ever seen in all 17 seasons."
Smirnoff, who's appeared on all but three of the reality show's 17 seasons, only won once — on Season 13 with J.R. Martinez, the former Army soldier who became an actor and motivational speaker after sustaining severe burns while serving in Iraq in 2003. She's confident about her chances with Bleu though, whom she called her "dream partner."
"He's been my dream partner for close to five years and I've been nagging him to do the show for almost five years and he's finally agreed," she told TVGuide.com. "There was a reason why I wanted him to do the show, because I knew he comes from this industry. He will understand what the show's about and what you need to put in to be able to do a great job on it. And he's absolutely brilliant."
Here's Smirnoff and Bleu's trio jazz performance from last week, which garnered a perfect score:
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