They're ready! But…
"Nervous?" ABC's Melissa Rycroft asked Amber Riley.
"Yes, definitely nervous. Very anxious," Riley admitted.
Rycroft then turns to Bill Engvall. "You're in the ballroom. What are you thinking right now?"
"I've got to tell you," he said, "it was a lot more nervous than I thought it would be."
"Terrified," Leah Remini concurred.
"It's absolutely terrifying," Jack Osbourne agreed.
So Rycroft asked, "What are you scared of?"
"It's just a dance show," Cheryl Burke assured her partner.
Rycroft agreed, "It's just a dance show."
"Just a dance show." Osbourne didn't seem so sure.
"Millions of people," Rycroft added.
A dance show that – this season – has restricted the couples' initial rehearsals to just four hours each day.
"Peeta is very intimidating when she wants to be. She seems very sweet and unassuming," Brant Daugherty – star of "Pretty Little Liars" – confessed. "This girl's terrifying."
"Is she really?" Rycroft asked.
"I have this, this look," Peta Murgatroyd consented.
"Yeah," Daugherty agreed
"Can I see it?" Rycroft requested of Murgatroyd. "Give it to the camera."
"It's just like…" Murgatroyd stopped, showing off the look that terrifies Daugherty.
"And what's your reaction to that face?"
"I normally start sweating a little bit because I know she's about to yell at me," Daugherty answered Rycroft.
Week One they'll ChaCha, Fox Trot, and Contemporary Dance.
"What are you finding most difficult in rehearsals that you didn't expect? This one?" Rycroft asked Corbin Bleu, referring to his professional partner – Karina Smirnoff.
"It's not that she's difficult," Bleu explained. "She's actually the easiest person to get along with, and we laugh and we have fun. She just – she, she's a tough Russian is all it is. She cracks the whip."
Rycroft's attention then turns to sitcom veteran Valerie Harper. "How are you feeling?"
"I really am feeling well. I have a strained knee, but it's coming back," Harper said optimistically. "I wouldn't be doing this if it was endangering me in any way. And I think it was a great opportunity to get out there and say, you know, ‘I have cancer. Keep living your life. Keep moving, and you can win. You can extend time, at least.'"
"On thing I hope to accomplish is: I guess, mainly, just to kind of put it out there, in all seriousness, that when you get diagnosed with MS that your life doesn't stop and that you are still, for the most part, able to do what everyone else can," Osbourne explained of dancing with Multiple Sclerosis.
"What do you hope to accomplish this season?" Rycroft asked of Riley.
"You know, I really want young girls that look just like me to feel – just get out there and move and dance."
"So you're a new mom," Rycroft commented to former teen star Elizabeth Berkley Lauren.
"How old is he?"
"My son is one, and his name is Sky," Berkley-Lauren responded. "He'll definitely come to rehearsal for sure."
Rycroft's attention then turned to the "Science Guy". "Do you see anybody here as competition or are you just trying to get past Week One?"
"No, no. I don't see anybody who's NOT competition," Bill Nye acknowledged. "I mean, I see every one of them as – if I understand this term, a THREAT."
Potential threats include "Jersey Shore's" Snookie, football's Keyshawn Johnson, and actress, singer, songwriter Christina Milian.
Chemistry can be key to winning, as Rycroft learned from Tony Dovolani two seasons ago. Now it's Leah Remini's turn with Tony.
"I'm kind of your favorite, though, right?" Rycroft teased her former partner.
"This is good. I love this," Remini laughed at Dovolani's predicament.
"You are my favorite, so shut up. Not until now, babe, come on. Previous partner she's talking about," he assured Remini.
Fiery Remini faked outrage. "Why don't you dance with her? I want you to do it. Screw this and screw the interview."
"Why'd you do that one?" Dovolani teased Rycroft.
She played innocent. "I wasn't expecting you to walk right into it."
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
You can see all of the stars as they take to the dance floor for the first time. Season 17 of "Dancing With the Stars" kicks off September 16 at 8pm on WJBF News Channel 6. You can also follow along online with weekly updates and commentary on WJBF.com and Laney's Look.
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