October 18, 2011 2:43pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Chaz Bono Almost Fully Recovered From 'Dancing With the Stars' Injuries
His recent scores may not reflect it, but Chaz Bono says he's feeling nearly 100 percent after weeks of dance-related aches and pains on Dancing With the Stars.
"I think we're at about 90 percent," Bono tells the Hollywood Reporter, "The ankles are almost fine now. The knees are so much better. Even my Aleve habit has gone down."
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Bono now attributes those early injuries to the DWTS learning curve.
"I really think it's just a matter of my body getting used to it," he says. "For somebody who moderately exercises, going from that to every single day dancing, my body was just in revolt. I think it finally caught up."
Mentally, Bono also feels like he's finally at a good place in the competition. Instead of struggling to get his moves down, he says the performances are starting to come more naturally.
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"Stuff is starting to get easier," he says, referring to the Week 5 Samba. "I don't know if its the style that works for me, or it's because I've been on longer that I'm starting to learn a little bit more so it's not quite so hard."
What remains a bit of a challenge for Bono is coming out of his shell. Partner Lacey Schwimmer brought her father, Buddy, to rehearsals this week -- and the slightly larger swing dancer offered Bono some valuable advice.
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"There were little technical things he showed me, but overall, do it bigger," says Bono, adding Schwimmer helped him shed a few more inhibitions. "When you think you're crazy big, you're still not big enough."
Bono and Schwimmer only managed to bring in a cumulative score of 21 during week 5, putting them in second-to-last place behind Carson Kressley. Should they survive Tuesday's elimination, they'll next take on a Broadway routine.