October 14, 2009 11:20 AM by Britteny Elrick
It was a shock to everyone when former House majority leader, Tom DeLay, announced he was quitting Dancing With The Stars due to stress fractures in his feet. Although his partner, Cheryl Burke, encouraged him to quit for fear of more serious injuries, the 62 year old politician was determined to stick it out.Â Keep reading to hear what he said immediately after leaving the show…
PEOPLE magazine caught up with Tom after the announcement to hear his thoughts on the competition and how it has changed his life.
PEOPLE: People loved you on Dancing. Itâ€™s been a whole new type of celebrity for you, hasnâ€™t it?
Tom: Yes! I canâ€™t go anywhere without people recognizing me and itâ€™s kind of a kick. Itâ€™s kind of fun.
PEOPLE: What surprised you most about this experience?
Tom: The thing that surprised me the most were the people on the show â€¦ I didnâ€™t know what to expect coming to this show and Los Angeles and being amongst the more creative people. I found that even as liberal as some are, they were very open and very warm. The professional dancers were just amazing. The kind of people they are, their work ethic, how smart they are, how talented they are â€” I was blown away. I made some very good friends.
PEOPLE: How difficult was it to make the decision to withdraw?
Tom: It really was difficult. I was looking forward to seeing how far I could go. I knew I wouldnâ€™t win, but it was kind of a challenge to live week by week and see how I could improve. But you know when your feet give out â€” even if they are two left feet â€” thereâ€™s not much dancing you can do. I didnâ€™t want to go through another week like we did last week.
PEOPLE:Â You exposed your personality on the show. Any regrets about that?
Tom: Oh, that didnâ€™t bother me a bit. That was a second thought. I wanted the challenge, I wanted the competition, I wanted the excitement of learning to dance. All the rest of it flows from there. I got a taste of if and I enjoyed it. They were so good to me. They said they will send Cheryl [to Texas] to teach me the Texas two-step so I can dance it on the finale. Iâ€™m really looking forward to that.
PEOPLE: Are you headed back to Texas now?
Tom: Yeah. I drove out in my RV and in a few days after I wrap up around here Iâ€™m going to get my two bichon frise dogs (Taylor and Bailey), and my wife and weâ€™re going to take a slow trip back to Texas.
For the entire interview, please check out people.com.
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Photo Credit: ABC