Dancing With the Stars’ latest batch of contestants are working hard to prepare for the season 24 premiere, and Us Weekly has an exclusive sneak peek of the rehearsals of three of the show’s sexiest couples.
Sharna Burgess, 31, returning to the show as a pro for the ninth time and hopes to bring home her first mirrorball trophy with professional bull rider Bonner Bolton. The 29-year-old hunk was temporarily paralyzed after a near-fatal accident in 2016, and was given a 1 percent chance of ever walking again.
“I’m 100 percent grateful to be here,” Bolton told Us Weekly at the March 1 cast announcement in NYC. Gushed Burgess about her handsome partner, “He’s such an amazing person with an incredible story. I think he’s going to inspire a lot of people and I think that’s going to speak for a lot this season.”
And will viewers be seeing a romance blossom between these two? (They’re both single!) Only time will tell, although Bolton admits, “[Sharna] was my number one pick. When I looked up and saw her, I was a bit breath-taken by that. Didn’t expect her to show up and meet me that day. Kinda got a little speechless, obviously. She’s not too hard on the eyes!”
Jayne, 45, tells Us she feels “fabulous” about taking on the challenge of learning to dance, and says she got advice from another one of her fellow Housewives. “Lisa Rinna told me that when she did ‘DWTS’ — which was very early, like in season 2 — she never felt better and she never looked better, so I’m excited,” the reality star explained. Savechenko, 33, is ready to take the season head-on. “We just want to do a good job and we’re going to take it very seriously,” he says. “We’ll work really hard and do some really good, quality dancing and have some fun. Just enjoy it.”
Reigning mirrorball champ Valentin Chmerkovskiy (the 30-year-old pro took home the trophy in season 23 with Olympian Laurie Hernandez) and Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei might have the biggest challenge of all. The pair will juggle rehearsals with Kordei’s international tour schedule.
“She’s got like, a 15-city Asian tour coming up,” Chmerskovskiy explains. “The first four weeks of the show, we’re going to be in Tokyo, Osaka, Shanghai, Malaysia, Singapore. I’ve had to travel before, but never to the other side of the world and come back for a live show. If there’s a flight delay and we miss Monday, we’re out of the show.”
The two-time winner (Chmerkovskiy’s first victory was with Rumer Willis in 2015) says he’s prepared to take his partner to the finish line. “I want to make her look her best,” he says. “I want to embrace every single challenge, because if we conquer those challenges, that’s going to bring us closer together and that’s going to get the fans behind her.”
Dancing With the Stars premieres on ABC Monday, March 20, at 8 p.m. ET.
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