Chynna Phillips already had one big 2011 moment when she appeared, alongside Carnie and Wendy Wilson, in Bridesmaids, singing the Wilson Phillips classic, Hold On. But who knew a cameo in the year's most popular movie was just the warm up for her main act: Dancing with the Stars.
Since day one, Chynna's clean lines and expressive movements have catapulted her through the competition -- tonight she faces her toughest routine yet: the tango! ETonline caught up with Chynna as she prepared for Hollywood Week to find out how tough DWTS truly is and what the experience has already taught her.
ETonline: What has competing on Dancing with the Stars been like?
Chynna Phillips: It's everything like I expected and nothing like I expected - I didn't expect it to be as physically demanding. I know, big idiot sign on my head. I feel like a truck has run me over. My toes hurt, my pinky toe needs a big fat kiss. I can't even tell you how much it hurts. I could complain till the cows come home about my body, but I'm super grateful to be on the show because I know there's only six slots for the girls and I don't take it for granted that I'm one of them. I'm taking it very seriously and giving 1000 percent.
ETonline: So far we've seen you do the waltz, the jive and the rumba -- what's tonight?
Phillips: Tonight is the tango, and Hollywood Week, so it's really cool and kind of stealth. But still, no one has seen me do a contemporary song yet, so if I make it to next week, I look forward to being able to do a song that's been on the radio recently. I'd like to be able to shake my groove thing [laughs].
ETonline: Last week you performed to Hold On, a major hit for Wilson Phillips. That must have felt incredible.
Phillips: It was the pinnacle, you know? It was very moving. It was cathartic to perform to that - to dance out the emotions. It was a beautiful experience and something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
ETonline: At this point, who do you see as your biggest competition?
Phillips: In the guy department, J.R. Martinez. For the ladies, Ricki [Lake]. But then again, I thought Kristin [Cavallari] was big competition, so it just proves you never know. This is a high-wire act and anything can happen. The minute you get your panties in a twist, and start worrying about what the other dancers are going to score, you're done for. That's the moment you face your demise. You can only focus on yourself, otherwise you'll just trip out.
ETonline: That said, what's it like standing on results night, waiting to hear your fate?
Phillips: It's like waiting to get the results from an AIDS test [laughs]. You're just like, "please god let it come back negative." That dread. Of course I'm exaggerating, but you have no control over the results, you do feel a bit helpless.
ETonline: Regardless of the outcome, what do you hope people take away from your time on DWTS?
Phillips: I really want to send a message of hope. I know there are a lot of people who struggle with depression and anxiety, and I've been there. I get it. I know what it feels like to wake up and feel like there are two dark crows waiting for you. It's a horrible way to live. There is another way, and it's all about not isolating when you're in that place. It's about prayer, and reaching out and that's hard for a lot of people. And I still have my good days and my bad days so it's really important to let people know they're not alone.