Cher to America: Don't Be Terrified of My Child

09/14/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT

Cher to America: Don't Be Terrified of My Child
Cher (left) and Chaz Bono
Jim Ruymen/Landov
Don't be afraid of Chaz Bono. Just be afraid of him doing the quickstep.

That's Cher's tongue-in-cheek advice to America about her son, who's preparing to compete on Dancing with the Stars beginning next Monday.

"I got to tell you something. You doing this dance is about as scary as you making the 'change,' " Cher jokes in a surprise phone call to her son on Wednesday's Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Cher, 65, once again defends Chaz, 42, who changed his name and gender in recent years, from those who object to his appearing on the ABC dancing show.

"If you've got that excess time and that amount of hostility, I'm not so sure I can say anything to you that would make you change your feelings," she says. "I don't know that I would have any magic words to make you feel more comfortable and to soothe you into not being terrified of my child dancing on Dancing with the F*#%ing Stars."

Chaz thanks his mom, and then reveals how rehearsals are going with Lacey Schwimmer. "My first dance is pretty good, the Cha-Cha," he says. "The Quickstep gives me nightmares, but I'm starting to feel pretty confident. We did it for some of the other people on the show today, and they seem to really like it."

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