"Dancing with the Stars" 2013 premieres March 18 on ABC, and included as part of the celebrity cast is "American Idol" alum Kellie Pickler, who will dance with three-time pro champion Derek Hough. In a March 16 TV Guide blog post, Hough shared some thoughts on his multi-talented new partner, the competition and whether or not he'll continue "breaking the rules" to please "DWTS" fans.
Hough praised Pickler's "natural ability and skill" on the dance floor, and said that though the duo's week one cha cha will be "very traditional," their week two jive will "surprise people." He promised plenty of "super-intricate" choreography, and suggested that the routine might "step out of line" and draw the ire of judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. Although Hough and "DWTS" All Star season partner Shawn Johnson took plenty of heat from the trio for not following the established rules, he wrote that his approach with Pickler would once again prioritize creating memorable routines over obeying the judges' instructions.
Hough also praised the rest of the celebrity cast, calling the other competitors "awesome." He took special note of good pal Mark Ballas' celebrity partner, Olympian Aly Raisman, and "The Bachelor" 2013 Sean Lowe, who he called "pretty good" in the ballroom.
For her part, Pickler confessed to having pre-performance anxiety in a March 16 tweet, writing "#DWTS goes LIVE on MONDAY (March 18th)...Only 1 more day to rehearse the cha cha!! NERVES are kicking' in!!! #ShakingInMyDanceShoes."
Rounding out the "Dancing with the Stars" 2013 cast are "Real Housewife" Lisa Vanderpump, country superstar Wynonna Judd, comedians D. L. Hughley and Andy Dick, Superbowl champion Jacoby Jones, soap actor Ingo Rademacher, boxer Victor Ortiz, Disney star Zendaya Coleman and Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill.