Redneck comedian Bill Engvall has become the biggest underdog in “Dancing with the Stars” history, dodging elimination every week while more experienced dancers go home.
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After he outlasted former “Showgirls” star Elizabeth Berkley to make it to next week’s semifinals, Bill revealed a happy byproduct of his surprising “DWTS” run — he’s lost 25 pounds!
“I started at a [size] 35 [waist] and I’m down to a 32,” he smiled to reporters after Monday night’s show.
The “Blue Collar” funnyman said he hasn’t changed his diet–the weight loss is all due to dancing with partner Emma Slater.
“Just working six hours a day with this little whippersnapper,” he said.
Emma told reporters, “I realize I don’t give him breaks.”
But their intense rehearsal sessions have both slimmed down Bill’s body — and kept him on the show!
"I'm in there doing twice as much probably as most people. We don't take a break because I'm 56. It takes me longer to get this," he commented.
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Bill received low judges' scores and caustic comments on Monday, but viewer votes pulled him through. He said, "I know that tomorrow the [critical] pundits are going to be out in full force and I don't care. We work as hard as anybody else and we deserve to be here and we do what the show is asking us to do and that's be entertaining, come prepared, and that's all we can do.
“Thank God I have such a wonderful fan base.
"The judges may give us 7s but I don't think they've run into rednecks before. Not just rednecks, but everyday guys and gals who watch to see what entertaining thing we're going to do. It's paying off.
"I don't care if they gave us low scores 'cause the people that mattered voted. We're doing these dances for the fans," he said.
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However, Bill and Emma confided that their bags are always packed at “DWTS” in case they have to board the elimination plane to New York.
"I bring a bag every week. It's in my dressing room and ready to go," Bill said.
Emma added, “We watch each other pull our little bags behind us, put it in our trailer and every week, I’ve been able to put those clothes on and just go to the Grove [shopping mall near the “DWTS” studio] and get a drink instead of having to fly to New York.”
The comic laughed, "We're going to go home at some point - and it may be with the mirror ball trophy. I don't know!"
“Dancing with the Stars” airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.