The season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” is less than one week away, so the pressure is definitely on to prepare for the first dance. On March 13, country superstar Wynonna Judd and her professional partner, Tony Dovolani appeared on “Good Morning America” to talk about their expectations, rehearsals and how they’ve formed a bond of friendship and a mutual respect for each other.
On Wednesday, Wynonna revealed that she has been asked many times to compete on “DWTS.” So, why did she agree to lace up her dancing shoes this time around? “I just wasn’t ready,” she stated emphatically. “This is the year to do things that I’m not so comfortable with. It was either brain surgery, skydiving or dancing.”
To prepare for “Dancing with the Stars,” Wynonna converted the garage at her sprawling Tennessee farm into a dance studio. Reigning champion Tony Dovolani helped her establish new routines to adjust to grueling 4-hour practices, like no tweeting after 9 p.m., going to bed at 10 and drinking lots of water throughout the day. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Wynonna told “GMA’s” Robin Roberts.
Wynonna also explained how she became a caretaker and caregiver of her husband, Cactus Moser, a drummer for Highway 101, after he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that resulted in his left leg being amputated above the knee. Roberts noted, “You went from being a bride to a nurse after that.” Wynonna said it was a difficult time, but now she’s ready to soar on “Dancing with the Stars.” She added, “This is my turn and I feel so supported.”
Past “DWTS” competitor Kirstie Alley has been in contact with Wynonna Judd to offer words of encouragement. “She has become my sister and mentor,” the country star stated on Wednesday. She also revealed that her favorite dance so far is the Tango.
Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and her undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30 million albums worldwide spanning her epic 29-year career. She began singing alongside her mother Naomi Judd when the two made up the outrageously popular duo, The Judds. Wynonna later embarked on a mega-successful solo career, charting countless singles, including twenty #1 hits and over 60 industry awards. The iconic performer was once dubbed by “Rolling Stone” magazine “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.”
Joined in the studio by her husband, bandleader and producer, Michael "Cactus" Moser, Judd’s highly anticipated eighth studio album is scheduled for release this year. This effort, known as a true labor of love, features her upcoming single "Something You Can’t Live Without.” Most recently, she published a novel “Restless Heart” and was part of "The Judds" docu-series on OWN.
Partner Tony Dovolani was born in Kosova and began folk dancing at age three. He was 15 when he and his entire family moved to the United States. In the US, Tony attended Fred Astaire Dance Academy and knew he had found his passion. Since then, he has been a strong and successful competitor in the ballroom dancing world. Tony and his partner for many years, Elena Grinenko, have retired from competing and remain close friends.
When he isn't dancing on "Dancing with the Stars," Tony teaches and does personal appearances around the country. He and fellow dancers Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy are partners in the dance studios, Dance With Me Dance Studios, located in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
- Season 2: Stacy Kiebler (3rd place)
- Season 3: Sara Evans (6th place)
- Season 4: Leeza Gibbons (9th place)
- Season 5: Jane Seymour (6th place)
- Season 6: Merissa Jaret Winokur (4th place)
- Season 7: Susan Lucci (6th place)
- Season 8: Melissa Rycroft (3rd place)
- Season 9: Kathy Ireland (14th place)
- Season 10: Kate Gosselin (8th place)
- Season 11: Audrina Partridge (7th place)
- Season 12: Wendy Williams (10th place)
- Season 13: Chynna Phillips (9th place)
- Season 14: Martina Navratilova (12th place)
- Season 15: Melissa Rycroft (1st place)
“Dancing with the Stars” premieres at 8 p.m. EST on Monday, March 18 on ABC. The first results show elimination airs at 9 p.m. on March 26. During last season's final, Melissa Rycroft defeated fellow all-stars Shawn Johnson and Kelly Monaco to win the mirror ball trophy.
Do you want to stay in the know? Then sign up to get my articles personally delivered to your in-box. Just click on subscribe, and you’ll stay up-to-the-minute with your favorite TV shows, including “Dancing with the Stars.”