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I was all set to interview Erin Andrews this afternoon for an article to run Monday. But then the Toronto Star's Rosie DiManno wrote a column today with the headline, "Andrews looks more ballroom bimbo, less reporter," and People magazine released its cover, which says, "Dancing's Erin & Maksim: Their Hot Romance." Here is Andrews' reaction to both items.
SI.com: What are your thoughts on the Toronto Star article that ripped you pretty good?
Andrews: I'm just confused because I guess it's OK for an NFL player and a gold medalist to do the show and be taken seriously, but nobody else is allowed. People say, "How do you expect to be taken seriously?" Well, Evan Lysacek is taking this so seriously. The guy just won a gold medal, has tons of endorsements, celebrities around the world want to meet him. Chad Ochocinco takes this so serious. He and Cheryl Burke are in the studio seven to eight hours a day. So that's my biggest confusion with the few people who judge me and say this is the wrong thing to do. I don't know what damage I'm doing. I'm basically killing myself to not embarrass myself. I've been in the top three in scoring each week, behind an athlete and a professional dancer and singer. I'm not sure what damage I created for myself. What am I doing to be a bimbo? I don't understand what I'm doing wrong.
SI.com: And what did you think when you saw the cover of this week's issue of People, which declares a romance between you and Maksim Chmerkovskiy?
Andrews: We saw it and said, "There's no question mark?" According to People, our "romance" is official, but People must know people because we don't know the people that they know. The thing is, what Maks and I do joking around gets taken seriously. After looking at the article, Maks said to me, "You would've thought we were on some beach riding a horse. It was like a romance novel." And the ending of the story [Editor's note: The last paragraph of the story quotes Andrews as saying, "At some points, it's like we're dating; at others, it's like, oh, we so broke up two days ago. Now it's almost like we're past dating..." The magazine then describes Andrews as grinning playfully at Maks and adding, "Now we're working on a kid!"] absolutely killed me in so many ways because one night in front of the paparazzi when they asked Maks what's going on with us, [cast member] Derek [Hough] was joking and said, "Oh, they're already working on their babies," and that was the quote I made at the end of the People article because it's been an ongoing joke with the cast, and they ran that as if it were literal. All the things we said about each other to the author of the article was in a sarcastic tone. That's the only way I know how to talk. And none of that was interpreted that way. When we read it yesterday, we were like, "What?!? That was the biggest joke!" This is a different life for me, reading about myself in magazines and newspapers and seeing who I'm dating.
SI.com: Would you like to give an official word to Hot Clicks about what's going on with you and Maks?
Andrews: Our official word is that we thank People for letting us know about this hot romance because we didn't know we had it.
(A full interview with Andrews will run on SI.com on Monday.)
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