Kym Johnson felt the strain of being Jerry Springer’s partner on season 3 of Dancing with the Stars. This pressure was not only due to the fact that she needed to teach the talk show host how to ballroom dance, but also due to what Jerry Springer planned to achieve with his newly acquired dancing talents outside of the program.
“The reason he was doing Dancing with the Stars was to learn to dance for his daughter’s wedding,” Johnson, 46, tells of Springer, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 79 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. “The reason he was doing Dancing with the Stars was to learn to dance for his daughter’s wedding.”
She says, “They wanted to do a father-daughter dance,” which was one of the options. “He was completely genuine in the reason why he wanted to do the show.”
Johnson recalls that at the beginning of season 3, she had just started competing on Dancing With the Stars as a professional. Due to the fact that she was traveling all the way from Australia, she did not anticipate being acquainted with her celebrity companion.
She remembers, “I’d just gotten to America, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be familiar with any of my celebrity role models.” “He apologized to me the very first time we met by looking at me and saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ Only via The Jerry Springer Show had I ever heard of him. Instantly, we hit it off, and ever since then, he’s been like a father figure to me.
Johnson was able to see Springer’s devotion over the course of the season. “He was really open to the experience,” their mother, who is the parent of twins Hudson and Haven who is 5 years old, adds. “He was willing to do anything that I asked of him.”
Johnson was even given the opportunity to go to Chicago and attend the recording of his notorious talk show, which she describes as “a wild experience.” She found it quite interesting when Springer shared his experiences from his time spent working in politics and as a news anchor.
Johnson remembers, “I remember going out to dinner with him and his old buddies that used to do the news with him in Cincinnati,” and says that this is one of his favorite memories. “The stories they had, made me think of the movie Anchorman,” she said. Simply said, listening to them is really gratifying. It was intriguing to speak to him about whatever he had done, from being a news anchorman to being a mayor to being a politician to presenting The Jerry Springer Show.
After having lunch with Springer in Chicago, Johnson collaborated with him on the choreography of a dance that would be performed at the wedding of Springer’s daughter Katie, who is now 47 years old.
“I’ll never forget that moment,” says Johnson. “I’ll always remember that moment.” “He was an exceptionally kind and loving member of the family. He loved his family immensely, especially his wife Micki and their daughter Katie.
Even though Johnson was unable to attend Katie’s wedding in October 2006, she and her partner, Springer, performed a waltz on Dancing With the Stars that was dedicated to Katie. Katie was known to stop by her father’s rehearsals from time to time.
“At the very end, he walked up to her and gave her a hug. “The love that they had for one another was absolutely breathtaking,” Johnson reflects back. “It meant a lot to me that I was able to be there for him and Katie at that moment,” I said.
In spite of the fact that NFL star Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke were the ones to win home the Mirrorball Trophy from that season’s tournament, Johnson and Springer ended up finishing in fifth place overall in the competition.
Johnson claims that the judge was startled that they continued advancing even though they knew they weren’t the finest dancers. “He was surprised that we kept getting through each week,” Johnson recalls. “I believe that the people of the United States fell in love with him in a different manner. Simply put, he was able to connect with everyone.
“Even on the streets, when we were traveling around, people would stop him all the time and start chanting his name,” she recalls. “This continued the entire time we were together.” “He would make a point of stopping to say hi to everyone and snap a photo with them. He made time for each and every person. I had a new perspective on Jerry as a result of this. Each and every week, we had an incredible amount of fun.
Over the years, Johnson and Springer maintained their friendship by keeping in contact with one another and meeting for dinner whenever Springer traveled to Los Angeles or whenever Johnson and Springer found themselves in the same city. Even though Springer was unable to attend Johnson’s wedding to Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec in 2016, Johnson claims that Springer was able to attend a dinner with the happy couple shortly before the wedding.
“It was nice for him to meet Robert because Robert knew how highly I spoke of him,” Johnson says of the encounter.
“I didn’t know that he was sick,” Johnson says, despite the fact that they had been in communication. “It must have happened somewhat unexpectedly. He was just the most amazing human being.”
Rabbi Sandford Kopnick of The Valley Temple in Cincinnati, a close friend of Springer’s and a religious leader verified on Thursday that Springer’s sickness was “sudden,” as Johnson had claimed. Rabbi Kopnick is from Cincinnati.