Team Janelskiy in the house! Newly announced Dancing With the Stars contestants Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy stopped by Us Weekly‘s New York City office on Thursday, Sept. 4, hot on the heels of the big season 19 cast reveal on Good Morning America. Still buzzing from all the excitement, the duo dished to Us about rehearsals, judges, and their biggest competition.
“We feel pretty confident,” the Pretty Little Liars actress, 25, said of how she feels going into the Sept. 15 premiere. “We’re a good team, and I got a great coach. I like the way he teaches. Sometimes I’ll get frustrated when I feel like I’m a little bit overwhelmed, but that’s just me wanting to get things right.”
Chmerkovskiy, for his part, joked, “I go home and I break down in private.”
Asked whether they’d been sizing up the other celebs — like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro, YouTube sensation Bethany Mota, and ’80s icon Lea Thompson — Parrish singled out comedian Tommy Chong as an unlikely standout. “Tommy Chong has some moves,” she told Us. Added Chmerkovskiy: “Tommy Chong’s got the illest hip action I’ve ever seen, for sure.”
Parrish and her partner have a plan to beat him, though. “I want to start off strong,” Chmerkovskiy said of his strategy. “You know, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and people have really high expectations for Janel, obviously, so I want to exceed those expectations.”
Watch the video above for more from Team Janelskiy, including which judge Parrish fears the most, how she feels about the outfits, and which of her Pretty Little Liars costars may pop up in the audience this season!