As Hurricane Sandy continues to bash the East Coast with torrential rains and dangerous winds, the cast of Dancing with the Stars expressed their concerns and well wishes for all the folks experiencing the storm, some of whom are related to the cast.
A few of the show's professional dancers, including the Chmerkovskiy brothers, reside on the East Coast when Dancing isn't in season, and revealed that some of their family members are gutting out the brunt of the storm. Tony Dovolani, paired with Melissa Rycroft this season, divulged that his family had evacuated their Connecticut home.
Although he has a commitment to the show, Dovolani said that he was considering returning to his family to be with them and help them through the storm. Ultimately, his wife convinced him to carry on with the show.
"I said, '[If] worse comes to worst, I'll come home' and she said, 'No, we want you to keep entertaining...People need smiles in times like this,'" said Dovolani, who moved to Connecticut from his native Kosovo at age 15. "That was the greatest advice she could've ever given me."
The storm, which is being tagged as a "superstorm" by meteorologists due to the convergence of multiple storms on the East Coast region, has submerged parts of the Northeast in up to 13 feet of water and blasted cities with winds of up to 90 miles per hour. With lives at stake and the sustained damage already estimated to cost billions of dollars, the entertainment world was delivered a dose of perspective on Monday night.
"This is what we were doing tonight but it's such a small scale compared to what's going on in the world," Rycroft said. "There [are] a lot of people...[that] have family and lives over on the East Coast. There was a little distraction among everybody because it's your family...If we could provide entertainment during a time like that, that's great but right now I think there [are] so many more important things going on."
Maks Chmerkovskiy, another East Coast dweller, revealed that his family is safe despite its hesitation to head for safety. The Ukraine native expressed his well wishes for those caught in the storm.
"Our prayers are with everybody. It's devastating to see anybody suffer," said Chmerkovskiy, who's paired with Kirstie Alley for his fourteenth season. "I know New York is going to pull through and laugh about it tomorrow, but it's definitely no laughing matter, so stay safe."