As much as "Family Matters" fans loved Jaleel White's transformation from Steve Urkel to Stefan Urquelle, turns out White himself loved it even more. In fact, the year he became Stefan Urquelle inspired White's emotional performance on Monday's "Dancing With the Stars."
On a night in which all the celebrity contestants performed a dance inspired by the most memorable year of their lives, White said his rumba dance to Babyface's "For the Cool in You" was inspired by 1993, the year his lovable "Family Matters" geek Steve Urkel transformed into suave ladies man Stefan Urquelle.
"I was very apprehensive about playing Stefan Urquelle," White said. "But our executive producers saw in me the man that I hadn't become yet … really just introduced a new side of myself to me … when I played Stefan Urquelle, I showed people there was more of me to offer."
During rehearsal for the performance, White told his professional partner, Kym Johnson, "After I played that character, people started treating me differently in the streets."
White and Johnson earned a 25 — out of 30 — score for the Urquelle-inspired performance. White broke out in tears after the dance, which came on the heels of an US Weekly report that he and Johnson had fought during rehearsals.
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He later told "Access Hollywood" he had gotten particularly emotional during preparation for Monday's episode of "DWTS" because, "I never touch these ("Family Matters") characters. I leave these characters in a vault on purpose … and I don't ever want people to think it's because I'm ashamed of them. I love these characters. I leave them there on purpose, because I protect them."
Watch White and Johnson's rumba below, followed by a video of Stefan Urquelle's premiere on "Family Matters" (in which he also danced to "For the Cool in You"):