will be dancing the Texas Two-Step with Cheryl Burke
on the season finale
of "Dancing With the Stars" Tuesday night. Last month, DeLay had to drop out
of the popular TV dance competition after three weeks because of stress fractures
in both of his feet. Now fully healed, the former House majority leader is back in Los Angeles to dance on Tuesday's results show on ABC
at 9 p.m. EST.
"I'm so excited to dance," Delay happily told me on the phone during rehearsals with Burke
. ". . . I'm much more comfortable now that I'm not competing."
While the other former candidates will do 20-second dance moves, the producers have asked DeLay and his professional partner, Burke, to do a full routine. He's thrilled that he finally gets to do the familiar Texas Two-Step, though he says Burke "never lets me lead." They will dance to the George Strait song "I Can't See Texas From Here."
DeLay also gets to wear a costume he feels comfortable in -- no more drab brown
silk or red sequins -- consisting of Wrangler jeans, a white shirt, belt with a giant buckle and cowboy boots. Well, truth be told, the producers added "a little Hollywood with just one string of sequins on the chest and back of the shirt." Asked if the cowboy boots are real, he says, "Nah. I mean they're Western style, but they are dance boots with felt on the soles."
After he was forced to drop out of the competition due to injury -- or, as he says, "I danced till the bones broke" – DeLay returned to his Texas home to recover by staying off his feet and using a bone stimulator, which helps the bones heel. He was able to work out using a bike and other non-weight-bearing equipment, and proudly says that he "hasn't gained back any of the weight" he lost during the competition.
DeLay was shocked by the reaction he got back home. "More people recognize me from 'Dancing With the Stars' than politics," he says, laughing. "They say, 'I saw you dance. You did so good!' "
Proving that you can take the man out of Texas -- and put him in rhinestones in Hollywood -- but you can't take Texas out of the man, DeLay and his wife Christine again drove themselves to L.A. in their RV. They spent four days driving with their two dogs, will spend six days in California and then drive another four days back to their home in Sugar Land, Texas, where the men lead on the dance floor and never wear rhinestones.
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