It’s "Dancing with the Stars" day! Season 14 premieres tonight, and—with some studly stars and our favorite ballroom ladies and gents fighting for that Mirror Ball Trophy—it’s definitely going to be a good one. To start off the season right, DS got the inside scoop from "DWTS" pro Kym Johnson about her expectations for partner Jaleel White and who she thinks is her biggest competition:
Dance Spirit: How has Jaleel’s dancing been in rehearsals? Is it different than you expected?
Kym Johnson: I really didn’t know what to expect from him, but it’s going really well. There are things that we still have to work on, like his frame, but he’s definitely got rhythm. Now we’re at the point where we’re just ready to dance for an audience.
DS: Were you a fan of Jaleel’s character, Steve Urkel, on "Family Matters"?
KJ: "Family Matters" was very popular in Australia, but I actually didn’t watch it. I felt a bit bad about that when I met him. Obviously, I knew the character of Steve Urkel, since he made that very famous. But he’ll play more of a smooth character when he’s on the dance floor.
DS: We won’t see any of Urkel’s signature moves?
KJ: I don't think so. Jaleel says he doesn’t think the judges are ready for The Urkel.
DS: So what’s your strategy for this season?
KJ: I think the best way to approach this competition is to enjoy it as much as possible, and just take it week by week. The first show is always really fun. That’s when we’ll see what the other couples are bringing to the dance floor, and we’ll figure out where we stand in the competition and what we can work on. Hopefully we’ll connect with people.
DS: Who do you think will be your biggest competition?
KJ: I have to say it’s going to be a really strong dance season. I think William [Levy] and Cheryl [Burke], plus Donald Driver and Peta [Murgatroyd], are really good. Plus, I saw Katherine Jenkins rehearse the other day, and she’s beautiful, so she’s going to be a tough one. It seems like everyone is big competition right now. There are going to be some amazing performances.
We can't wait! And if you’re like Kym, and "Family Matters" wasn’t a part of your regular TGIF lineup, here’s a little insight to why this team will most likely kill it on the dance floor. I give you The Urkel:
For all of you "Dancing With the Stars" fans that have been dying to know who will be tearing up the dance floor this season, here's the rundown:
The star: Jack Wagner
Why you know him: He's starred in "Melrose Place" and "General Hospital," but he's best known as Heather Locklear's ex-fiance.
His partner: Anna Trebunskaya
The star: Melissa Gilbert
Why you know her: She played Laura Ingalls on the television show "Little House on the Prairie."
Her partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy
The star: Donald Driver
Why you know him: He's a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and Super Bowl champion.
His partner: Peta Murgatroyd
The star: William Levy
Why you know him: Apparently he's the "Brad Pitt of Mexico" and has appeared in several J.Lo videos.
His partner: Cheryl Burke
The star: Sherri Shepherd
Why you know her: She's a co-host on the "The View."
Her partner: Val Chmerkovskiy
The star: Katherine Jenkins
Why you know her: She's an opera star who's actually been a guest performer on the show in previous seasons.
Her partner: Mark Ballas
The star: Gavin Degraw
Why you know him: Pop singer and the voice behind the song every lyrical dancer has performed to: "Belief."
His partner: Karina Smirnoff
The star: Martina Navratilova
Why you know her: She's a tennis legend. (She has 18 grand slam titles!)
Her partner: Tony Dovolani
The star: Roshon Fegan
Why you know him: He's one of the stars of the Disney Channel's "Shake It Up."
His partner: Chelsie Hightower
The star: Maria Menounos
Why know her: She's one of hosts on "Extra." (I remember her from her days on "Channel One"! Do you?)
Her partner: Derek Hough
The star: Jaleel White
Why you know him: Look! It's Steve Urkel!
His partner: Kym Johnson
The star: Gladys Knight
Why you know her: We're pretty sure there's no explanation needed, but just in case, she's a Motown star and 8-time Grammy winner.
Her partner: Tristan MacManus
Who will you be rooting for this season? If we had to guess, we'd put Maria Menounos and Derek Hough at the top of the leader board right out of the gate!