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And it wasn’t made clear on TV that DeBona was thrown into roles late in the process. "I do have a lot of confidence in Allison," Sklute said. "But people remember the scene when we weren’t getting along."
Sklute viewed episodes a couple of days before they aired. Just before Episode 4 was on TV, he told DeBona, "You’re going to hate me." "And I said, ‘Well, I didn’t like you that night, either,’ " she said. "We kind of have that relationship."
Both said that, in that moment, they forgot the cameras were there. "That’s what made it good for TV," Sklute said.
Just like the whole Allison-and-Rex storyline, which only alluded to her ex-boyfriend and made her unwillingness to jump into a new relationship seem unnecessarily cruel.
"I have this great guy here who really wants a relationship, and I’m not ready for that," DeBona said. "It’s normal, everyday stuff. Everybody on this planet goes through that. But they just didn’t tell the full story because I think they were struggling to make the show work."
The No. 1 question she’s asked these days: "Is Rex your boyfriend?" Her answer: "You’ll have to watch Season 2."
Most of us have bad days, yet most of us aren’t being followed by camera. Some viewers understood that, and DeBona got plenty of support from fans. "Although some people think I’m just flat-out crazy," she said with a laugh.
Personal attacks go with the territory when you’re a TV villain. Apostol recalled getting an email from a colleague of his late grandfather. "He pretty much said that I had shamed the family name and he hated to think what my dead grandfather in heaven was thinking of my performance on TV." (He replied with a faux form letter telling the guy his email had been counted as a vote for Apostol for fan favorite.)
What bothered DeBona most were comments one writer made about her 12- and 14-year-old sisters. They came to Salt Lake City for a Ballet West performance, and the only parts of their trip that didn’t end up on the cutting-room floor were shots of them watching the troupe onstage. In an apparent attempt at humor, one blogger called the girls "mute" and "autistic."
The blogger "apologized to me for days, but I was like, ‘Too bad. You have no integrity,’ " DeBona said. "People can say what they want about me, but they’re little babies. I was so mad."
Since Season 1 aired, she’s recognized everywhere from the sidewalks of Salt Lake City to Starbucks in Times Square. "You can tell when people are staring at you," DeBona said. "I’m thinking, ‘OK, I’m really nice. I’m not that mean.’ "
And she’s not complaining about her visibility. She gets a big smile on her face — and a bit of an incredulous look — when she recalls "pulling up Hulu and seeing [fellow dancer] Beckanne [Sisk] and me and I’m, like, ‘Is this a joke?’ Or being in magazines and stuff. That is the most wild experience I’ll ever have."
Fame — or infamy — definitely has its rewards.
"Out of the entire cast, I’ve gotten the most opportunities outside the show because of it," she said. "Because people want to know if I’m really that bitchy."
She can’t keep up with all the offers — everything from teaching a master class in Cleveland to a stint as a guest instructor at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City after fans of the show requested her.
"It made me realize there’s life beyond this," DeBona said. "I’m not going to be afraid of how I’m going to make a living after I finish dancing."
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