OFFSTAGE: What Dancing With the Stars Did for Cowboy Troy

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

By now, we all know that Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver won this season’s Dancing With the Stars. But Cowboy Troy won, too. Because after he performed his 2005 debut single “I Play Chicken With the Train” on the show earlier this week, his iTunes sales hit a brand new high for the seven-year-old song. And as much as I loved it, the song wasn’t exactly a pop culture phenomenon. So I had to know how a song like that gets dusted off for a show like this. Troy told me he has Ukrainian ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff to thank. She told fellow dancer Peta Murgatroyd how great it would be for a freestyle dance. Then Murgatroyd told Driver. And you know the rest. As for his performance, it sounds like Troy had the easy part. “My part was cool, but the dancing? That’s the hardest part. There was so much going on with their turns and flips and all that,” he said, adding that after the show the song was at No. 24 on the iTunes sales charts.

Aside from his reality-television comeback this week, Troy is staying busy with his triplet sons. “They’re about to turn 5. They’re into T-ball and all kinds of sports,” he said. “And ever since they were born, my songwriting style has changed a little. And my fans like those kinds of song, but they also want the amped-up sound. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You know?” Troy is going to spend his summer writing for his next album before heading out on the road with Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson this fall. Where I’m sure Smirnoff will be, looking for her own winning number.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.