Photo Credit: Courtesy of Playboy
Audiences are used to seeing Karina Smirnoff's body gliding gracefully across the dance floor on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. What they aren't accustomed to -- but might soon be getting an eyeful of -- is her body absent of all clothing.
Last week, Hugh Hefner announced that the 33-year-old Ukrainian-born dance pro -- who is paired with fan favorite (and former Karate Kid star) Ralph Macchio on this season of Dancing -- would be appearing nude in the May issue of Playboy magazine. And now, the world has pictorial proof: The cover of the May installment was unveiled on Wednesday, showcasing Smirnoff in a black see-through bodysuit, the likes of which probably won't be seen on DWTS. (What do you think of it? Vote in our poll!)
And the magazine, which hits newsstands April 15, will also feature an eight-page, 10-photo pictorial in which Smirnoff takes everything off.
The news that Karina would be appearing au naturel in the gentlemen's mag initially provoked talk that she might be axed from the family-friendly DWTS. But a source close to the show tells People that show execs were aware of Smirnoff's plans and -- perhaps surprisingly -- fine with them. "(Karina's bosses) did know ahead of time and they still gave her one of the best pairings," the source says.
For her part, Smirnoff seems happy to doff her duds. In the article accompanying her photo spread, Karina boldly reveals why she decided to show off her form. "As a dancer I've always embraced my body," Smirnoff says. "I'm thrilled to show off my strong, toned physique in the pages of Playboy and celebrate my sexiness. To me, sexy is the confident energy a person produces. Sexy is the comfortable feeling of being who you are. Sexy is not just having beautiful lips, legs and arms; it's beyond that. Sexy is soul."