(ABC)– The highly anticipated season 24 premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” airs Monday night on ABC and “Good Morning America” took a behind the scenes look with former competitor Alfonso Ribeiro at the final dress rehearsal before the show gets underway.
Newly-engaged Nick Viall jumped from one reality show to the next and has already drawn comparisons between “DWTS” and “The Bachelor.”
“You just– all you wanna do is not go home night one,” he said laughing.
The high stakes dance competition is expected to be an intense battle from the beginning. For dance music and reality TV star Erika Jayne and her pro partner Gleb Savchenko they’ve already set some high stakes.
Jayne said they “didn’t come here to lose,” but already promised to forfeit her Lamborghini to her partner if the duo wins. “If I win, I’m getting a Lamborghini,” Savchecnko said with a smile. “I promised,” Jayne confirmed.
Dancing veteran Witney Carson — Ribeiro’s former partner — will be paired up with legendary “Saturday Night Live” cast member Chris Kattan for their ballroom debut.
Charo, the American music and pop culture icon, will step out in the spotlight with her partner Keo Mostepe. Luckily for hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews the Spanish born actress will not be going by her full name, Maria del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martinez Molina Baez.
NFL star running back Rashad Jennings is trading in his touchdown dances for full length routines this season and said the main difference between the field and the stage is, “I can’t hide my emotions, I can’t hide behind a helmet.”
Seasoned dancing pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd welcomed their first child, son Shai, in January and the power couple’s new dance partners said being parents has changed them. “Glee” star Heather Morris said “Maks has been softened.”
“He comes in and he talks about his child laughing and smiling,” Morris added.
Peta’s dancing counterpart Viall said, “She’s incredibly patient. I think maybe that’s that maternal instinct she has now.” Even Peta agreed she’s a little more sensitive with her partner, “If I, like, hit him, I’ll say, ‘Oh my God, are you okay?'”
But the toughest part of preparing for this season for Peta was getting back into shape, “That was tough, getting the body back. It’s still not back, but I’m going out there anyway.”
Former American figure skater and Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan said she feels “nervous” about being back in the spotlight. “It’s so different,” she said about swapping her skates for dancing shoes. “I mean, it’s like putting on old shoes and I’m not sure they fit anymore. You know– ’cause normally I’m just home being mom.”
Another Olympian taking the stage this season is the most decorated gymnast in the history of the sport, Simone Biles. The 19-year-old joked that if she and partner Sasha Farber take home the coveted Mirrorball Trophy, it probably won’t make it onto the mantle — “I think my mom would put it in the safe with the rest of the gold medals just in case,” Biles said.
Sharna Burgess and her former professional bull riding turned fashion model partner Bonner Bolton have practiced every move down to the minute details. “We got the sexy face down,” she said as she gave her best smolder.
Mr. T took his infamous words to heart with his own training, “I trained hard fool!” he told Ribeiro. Adding that he, “just danced down the street and everything.”
The competition kicks off tonight as the dancers debut their moves at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.