Emmy-nominated actress Melora Hardin and her professional partner Artem Chigvintsev are a dark horse couple to win “Dancing With the Stars” season 30. They have consistently wowed the viewers and have only been in the bottom three once (where they were then saved by the judges).
In an interview with Heavy, Melora confessed that she feels “an enormous amount of pressure” to win but it is actually for a very cute reason. Read on to find out why the pressure is on and also more about the new project Melora and her husband Gildart Jackson are working on.
Melora Said Artem Is ‘Fantastic’ But She Does Feel Pressure To Win
We had to ask Melora if there is pressure to win because Artem is the reigning Mirrorball champion — he won season 29 with partner Kaitlyn Bristowe. Melora said there absolutely is pressure but it’s for an entirely different reason.
“[T]he real pressure is that his beautiful baby son who is 14 months accidentally broke his Mirrorball trophy! So I feel an enormous amount of pressure to get him another one to replace the broken one!” said Melora.
We suspect that if ABC could place two of Derek Hough’s trophies that he lost, they can fix Artem’s Mirrorball trophy. But we hope the pressure drives Melora to keep working hard because she’s been a joy to watch this season — even if she and Artem have butted heads sometimes in rehearsal.
Fans were recently shown how intense things can get during rehearsals — one of Melora and Artem’s video package showed them having… not really a “fight” in rehearsal, but tempers were running high. Melora told us the two of them have a similar work ethic, so it’s easy to see how all of that intensity might bubble over at times — but she said he is “an excellent teacher.”
“Artem is fantastic. We have a similar work ethic, we both love to work hard, diligently, and focused. I really like him as a person, he’s very warm, very present and he’s an excellent teacher,” said the former “Office” star.
The “Bold Type” actress also said that “Dancing With the Stars” has been harder than she thought it would be, but not for the reason she thought it would be.
“It’s been amazing. … Yes, it’s been challenging from a physical and a mental perspective of learning something new. And I expected that. I didn’t expect the emotional challenge,” said Melora.
She continued, “It is hard to throw yourself into the fire as a beginner every week and meet your own expectations of putting on a good enough show that you feel proud of. You’re always battling the fact that you can never perfect your performance before you perform for millions! And then as soon as you’re done — the next morning! — you start again at the beginning. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it. I do. I love it and I love to perform. But it is a roller coaster of emotions every minute of every week since we started.”
Melora and Her Husband Recently Launched a New Project
During the pandemic, Melora’s husband Gildart Jackson, who is a prolific audiobook narrator, started reading classic literature and putting the readings on YouTube and Instagram as a “Fireside Reading” endeavor.
Now the two of them have partnered with a company called Dreamscape to produce “movie-quality” readings. Gildart does the readings and Melora directs the episodes. Over the coming year, they plan to release videos for “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” “Peter Pan,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “A Christmas Carol, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” “Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet” and many more.
Melora described it to us as “a way to slow down” and said that it “really is one of those forms of entertainment that has something for everyone.” You can learn more about the project here.
We also had to ask what are Melora and Gildart’s can’t-miss TV shows or the ones they’ve enjoyed binge-watching during the pandemic.
Their favorites include “‘The Bold Type,’ of course,” but also “The Crown,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Bridgerton,” “Fauda,” “Bailey and Scott,” and “Borgen.”
Best of luck to Melora and Artem on their quest for the Mirrorball trophy!
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.