This has been the most work I've ever had in the off-season. I didn't stop working. I was touring and making appearances and attending charity events. I didn't get any break or holiday or anything like that, but that's how I like it. I love being busy. It felt like this season crept up so quickly. The premiere is right around the corner and I feel like I just met James.
I think there's a very eclectic bunch of people this season and, so far, everybody has such a nice personality and demeanor. There's not one of them who isn't really, really lovely to work with. I think having three Olympians will be amazing for the competition. They're going to make everyone work a little bit harder to catch up to them.
Rehearsals have been going very well. James has come into the studio and really given his all. I feel very, very blessed and grateful that he has musicality and timing under his belt. Obviously being from a boy band, he knows how to count rhythm and has done a little bit of choreography. All of that has sort of shaped him into the "dancer" he is today.
We have fox-trot to start out with. James is 6'2" and that will be really nice for the fox-trot. We've been working really hard on his frame and where his head is positioned. The first week, his head had a kink in it, but we rectified that now. I think everyone's going to really love our dance. Also, he has such a passion for the music industry that when the song comes on, he really gets into it. He's not afraid to show emotion, which I love.
It's super fun being paired with James. He's a great-looking guy, and I think he's really going to show America that he can dance. He's not going to rest on the fact that he's a cute guy. But I do think it helps a little bit that he's very charming and he hasn't got an arrogant bone in his body.
His main fan base is the tweens – the teenage girls. They absolutely go crazy for James. We have a younger audience watching this season, and I think it brings a fresh vibe. They kind of just revamped the whole show.
I think the changes are a great thing. Brooke [Burke-Charvet] has been an amazing host and she's such a beautiful person, but I think the show needs to develop a little bit more. We are trying to create a younger demographic watching our show. I really think we need a younger vibe. Erin Andrews is like the girl-next-door. She's been hosting for so many years and she's a friend of mine.