Former child star Melissa Gilbert’s first hurdle in taking on “Dancing with the Stars” wasn’t mastering dance moves or fear of spray tan, it was explaining why she is famous to her partner.
Now, for some former “DWTS” contestants that is a legitimate issue (hello, Bristol Palin) but we thought everyone in America with a TV set and a sense of nostalgia knows who Half-Pint is.
Gilbert’s paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who’s Ukrainian and 16 years younger than the actress who played Laura Ingalls on the classic series “Little House on the Prairie” for a decade.
But Maks confesses he didn’t know who Gilbert, now 48, was when they were paired together for Season 14 of “DWTS.”
“She walks in, and my first assessment was: She’s in great shape, we’re gonna be good. And the second thing I thought was I had no clue who she is,” Maks admitted Monday on “Access Hollywood Live.”
“I mean, it ended when I was 3,” he added.
But Melissa found the humor in the situation. She tweeted a photo of herself as she presented Maks with a DVD set of her classic TV series “Little House on the Prairie.”
“In case y’all were wondering. This happened because @MaksimC had no idea who I am,” Gilbert wrote.
So far, Gilbert seems thrilled to be paired with Maks aka “the bad boy of the ballroom” but let’s she how she feels in a few weeks about working with the male pro who’s made every partner he’s ever had cry (and faced serious backlash last season for shoving partner Hope Solo during rehearsal).
“@MaksimC thanks for an amazing first week. I have the best teacher/partner ever! I am so happy and so blessed,” Gilbert tweeted after the pair’s first week of rehearsals. She also seems to think they have a good shot at going far. “Be Healthy so that I can help @MaksimC get his mirror ball trophy. It’s your year baby!!” she also wrote.
Coincidentally, it was Maks’ former partner Kirstie Alley who talked Melissa into doing the show. “@kirstiealley wow! Just wow! I’m having such fun! Thanks for talking me into this! Kisses!!!” Melissa wrote to Alley.
But if Maks gets out of line as he is known to do, Melissa plans to use those “Little House” DVDs as a threat. Not to throw at his head if he acts up, but as punishment.
“She said every time, if I do something — as a punishment — I have to watch an episode,” Maks joked.
Just how will the chemistry be between TV’s good girl and “Dancing’s” bad boy? Should make for an excellent storyline this season on the show.
“DWTS” Season 14 premieres Monday, March 19 on ABC.
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