Rumor alert! Will there be a “mystery dancer” when Dancing with the Stars season 28 premieres next week? (Sept 16)
Bobby confirmed to ET that he’ll be back in the ballroom on Monday for the season premiere. Joking about the controversy over his and pro partner Sharna Burgess’ win, Bobby said, “I have the mirrorball, they can’t take the actual mirrorball!” Then he added, “And who knows, I may come back. They haven’t said who the mystery dancer is yet.”
Mystery dancer? Hm. Who could it be?
Last spring, Bobby received backlash from longtime DWTS fans for outlasting stars like Milo Manheim and Alexis Ren, who consistently received higher scores from the judges each week. He worried for a hot minute, that he might be responsible for his partner Sharna Burgess, not being asked to participate in season 28. However, he does take credit for this season’s tweaks.
“Well, I’m going back next week and Artem didn’t get cut because of any backlash, so it really had nothing to do with that,” Bobby told ET. “I actually called and asked them. Like, ‘Hey!’ But actually, they were able to use our win to get celebrities this season. If anything, the network, to me, was like, ‘We’re really happy you won because we were able to reach out to people who would have never come on the show because they couldn’t dance. And we were able to go, ‘Hey, here’s a guy who couldn’t dance and won.'” Wow, if the the producers actually said to Bobby’s face that he couldn’t dance!
“I’m happy that we broke the system,” he added of the format changes. “So, I think it’s great. It’s been on for 27 seasons, so it’s cool to actually move around. And I love the team there, so I’m pumped!”
Bobby is also rooting for his pal, American Idol season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina, who joined the cast at his urging.
“As much as we kid around about the backlash and all of that, I love that show and I love the people, so I said, ‘Lauren, you have to do it. It’s awesome, and the fans are so passionate about it,'” he continued. “I stayed on her for a good two months and she agreed to do it. I’ve spoken to her almost every day at this point. Lauren’s an athlete, so she won’t go on with the most dance experience, but she has a great personality. People watching the show will love her, and she’ll end up being a pretty good dancer, for sure.”
Bobby hints at what will be the focus of Lauren’s backstory on the show, particularly during Most Memorable Year” week, in which the stars are challenged to interpret a personal story through dance.
“I know she won’t share the American Idol stuff. I mean, not that she doesn’t want to, but I know what she’s probably going to share, so I’m not going to speak on that because I’m going to let her have that moment,” he teased. “But she had some tough times, as of recent, and I think that she’s a really strong person and has really come through a lot. And if I know Lauren, she’s going to put it all out there.”
Lauren has indeed, had tough times in the past couple of years, including the death of her stepfather due to cancer, and breaking off an engagement to her longtime boyfriend.
Dancing With the Stars returns with a two-hour premiere on Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.