For 'Dancing' contestant Gavin DeGraw, life is 'Sweeter' off the dance floor
BURBANK, Calif. -- The voters showed they weren't quite over pop star Gavin DeGraw and pro partner Karina Smirnoff on Tuesday night's "Dancing With the Stars" elimination round. Soap star Jack Wagner and partner were eliminated instead.
But even though DeGraw doesn't admit it, getting booted from "Dancing" probably wouldn't be a total heartbreaker for the singer-songwriter, whose current album, "Sweeter," has produced a platinum single, "Not Over You." What's more, the title track just dropped as the album's third single.
DeGraw's been promoting the record in a nationwide concert tour while doing "Dancing" two nights a week, plus rehearsals. So understandably, the 35-year-old looked exhausted following a recent performance on Jay Leno's show.
Knowing he had a hot record to push, what the heck was he thinking when he signed on for "Dancing"?
"This will make my grandmother so proud," DeGraw responds.
"My grandmother's father was a dance instructor in the Catskill Mountains, in the heyday of the Catskills ... and he's the legend in the family because he used to kick it with all the stars at the time and he'd give dance lessons at night," DeGraw explains. "That kind of added to this nostalgia element that I kind of felt that I should learn this skill."
So far, DeGraw has demonstrated he's probably a better singer than he is a dancer, having landed in the bottom-two of contestants the last two weeks. Fortunately, he's got some heavy-duty friends to offer consolation, including OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote both "Not Over You" and "Sweeter."
The two first met at one of those all-star-jam concert events. "I said, 'Hey, man, I love your stuff,"' DeGraw recalls. "And he said, 'Hey, man. I love your stuff. Oh, we should do something.' So that was a conversation between artists, and when artists talk about doing something, obviously it's never gonna happen."
Once his "Dancing" days are done, DeGraw says he'd love to get going on a tribute album featuring some of his soul-surviving heroes, especially Gladys Knight, one of his "Dancing" competitors.
"I've already asked her twice," he says. "She's a legend, and in the field that I happen to be in. And when you're around somebody like that, that you've been hearing your whole life, you have to take the opportunity and go for it."