Sizing up the competition. Sasha Farber is paired with Selma Blair for season 31 of Dancing With the Stars, but he thinks several other couples could give them a run for their money.
“There are definitely a lot of dark horses, and Trevor [Donovan] came in this competition being afraid to dance,” the ballroom pro, 38, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, October 4. “That’s, like, the main thing you wouldn’t do if you’re afraid to dance, is do a dance show. And he’s firing on all cylinders. He’s doing phenomenal.”
The Burn the Floor alum also thinks Charli D’Amelio and her partner, Mark Ballas, are one of the pairs to watch as the season progresses. “There’s a growth that’s coming,” Farber told Us. “Charli is so young, and she’s maturing every week, which is amazing — which means they’re on the right path.”
The TikTok star, 18, is a trained dancer, but according to Farber, that kind of background doesn’t always translate to a win on DWTS. “The best dancer doesn’t always win,” he explained. “It’s a race, and it’s long. It’s a marathon. So, I think everyone has their own little advantages and disadvantages.”
The Russian-born dancer noted that D’Amelio’s age could be a disadvantage — but it could also make her adaptable. “She’s young … so it’s gonna be hard for her to show the feeling, the emotion,” he told Us. “That’s gonna be one great thing that she’s gonna learn on the show.”
Despite all the healthy competition, Farber and Blair, 50, have been tearing it up in the ballroom, even as the Cruel Intentions star dances while battling multiple sclerosis. During the Monday, October 3, episode, the duo danced the rumba while Blair was blindfolded.
“It was helping me to block out some of the noise,” the Legally Blonde actress explained after the performance. “I do get real sensory overload and shut my eyes a lot, so this was a gift. But also, it can be quite disorienting but really thrilling, and I loved it and I love Sasha.”
Farber, for his part, explained that the blindfold was something he thought of during rehearsal after noticing that Blair often shuts her eyes while practicing. “I wanted to make her feel as comfortable as I possibly can on the dance floor, and we gave it a whirl,” he said. “It worked. It was a gamble, and I’m so proud of her.”
After the season premiere, Farber’s estranged wife, Emma Slater, told reporters that Blair’s first performance on the Disney+ series brought her to tears. “To look at her and to say she’s an inspiration is an understatement,” the U.K. native, 33, said in September. “She is just magical to me.”
Farber and the dance pro called it quits in August after four years of marriage. The Mamma Mia! star is partnered with Donovan, 43, this season.
“They’re pros and won’t let their personal life get in the way of DWTS,” an insider told Us of Farber and Slater in August, adding that the duo will “continue to work together as professional dancers.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on Disney+ Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.