09/18/2008 at 12:00 AM EDT
It's a far cry from his sneaker wearing, hip-hop dancing days with 'N Sync.
"I'm wearing heels!" Dancing with the Stars
contestant Lance Bass
told PEOPLE Tuesday at the Lollipop Theatre Networks cocktail party. "It's not that fun. My feet are swollen sausages every day!"
And the pain doesn't end there: At 29, Bass is also feeling his age after four weeks of countless hours spent preparing for Monday night's highly anticipated Dancing with the Stars
season 7 premiere (8 p.m. ET on ABC).
"It doesn't feel the same at all," Bass said, who is partnered with a new ballroom pro, So You Think You Can Dance
alum Lacey Schwimmer
. "The first thing you notice is your knees, then your lower back goes out, your arms start hurting--and the feet!"
While Bass is already considered an early favorite, he's got his eyes focused on his competition. "Maurice Green and even Warren Sapp
and Misty May-- those athletes can do anything," he said. But so can he, according to former 'N Sync member and Dancing
alum Joey Fatone
. "He said I got it," recalled Bass. "I was used to the hard work with 'N Sync."
And despite being "excited, scared, and nervous," he's ready for Monday night's two-dance premiere: "I have the cha cha and my quick step ready to go!" --Kimberly Lansing
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