'Dancing With the Stars' Lacey Schwimmer: 'Front-runner' Kirstie Alley, Kendra Wilkinson's female 'support'

lacey-schwimmer-feb-2011-gi.jpg Lacey Schwimmer has been out of the current "Dancing With the Stars" round almost from the start, but she's still invested in the contest.

The pro dancer and radio personality Mike Catherwood were the first couple booted from the 12th season, but Schwimmer will be keeping a close eye on the ABC competition as it continues Monday (April 18). And that will be from a close view, since she's now choreographing the musical guests' numbers; on Tuesday's (April 19) results show, it's country superstar Toby Keith, and Schwimmer reports Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block are scheduled for next week.

Schwimmer tells Zap2it she assesses the remaining celebrity dancers' odds of winning as "not only fan favorites, but the judges' favorites. I think Kirstie Alley is a front-runner. I think Romeo is a front-runner. Ralph Macchio is obviously a judges' favorite; he is awesome, a great dancer.

"And Kendra Wilkinson has a lot of support from the females in the audience. That's interesting, because they mostly want to support the males. It's really cool to see other females wanting to support a strong female who is out there saying it how it is, and showing how vulnerable she is. She's just like anyone else in America who's ever danced and suddenly gone on a national television show."

With perhaps one exception: Not everybody responds publicly to a judge's critique. Over the weekend, Wilkinson said she felt "belittled" and "embarrassed" by Carrie Ann Inaba's recent on-air comment that Wilkinson appeared "afraid of elegance" in her dancing.

kendra-wilkinson-feb-2011-gi.jpg"Whenever I'm being judged," Schwimmer reasons, "I tend to just accept what the judges say and not fight back. It's their opinion, and everybody is entitled to their own opinion ... whether it's about you or television or cheese. It's not to be taken so personally. They're just comments on what they see, and that is their job.

"I always tell my celebrities, 'Just smile, accept what they have to say and if you're super-upset, go backstage on your own time and let your steam out. When you're in the graces of 30 million people who are watching you, be kind.' I don't think Kendra was rude in any way after Carrie Ann said that."

Schwimmer adds, "When you're coming out of the dance and you're out of breath, you can't quite hear as well as you might over TV. In the studio, the microphones are so soft, you're looking at the judges' lips trying to read what they're saying. Whether Kendra misheard or misunderstood, I don't think she's too much in fault. She was just stressed out. Everybody is."

Set to record her first single in the next week or so (asked for the title, she says, "I can't tell you!"), Schwimmer also is spending the rest of the "Dancing" season as a red-carpet correspondent for "E! News." Calling it "one of the doors that's opened for me," she finds the job "such a different experience. I never expected to do it. It's a little funny, because I have to ask (the other dancers) questions I would never, ever ask them in a million years.

"It's interesting, because I end up asking all the questions that I hate to answer. I can't believe I'm actually asking Mark Ballas -- who's a really good friend of mine -- or Cheryl Burke, who's my best friend on the show, 'So, how did tonight go for you? How did you feel about your scores?' I try to ask them personal, funny questions. And they just look at me and laugh."
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images