Lauren Alaina Reveals the Advice She Got From ‘DWTS’ Champ Bobby Bones

ABC/Justin Stephens

Dancing with the Stars‘ upcoming 28th season doesn’t kick off until September 16 but the contestants are kicking it into gear in rehearsals. Among those stars competing for the Mirror Ball this fall is country singer and American Idol Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina.

The Nashville dwelling artist hopped on the phone with us to chat about the rehearsal process and she teased everything from her partner’s identity to the advice Season 27 winner, friend, and fellow Idol star Bobby Bones gave her heading into the competition.

“I am now very nervous,” she says of the premiere episode and her first live dance. “It’s a lot to learn, and I have zero dance experience. It becomes a bit overwhelming when I’m in rehearsals and I’m not getting something or something’s hard that shouldn’t be hard.”

Even though she has nerves, Alaina isn’t afraid of being in front of the camera. “I feel some sort of level of comfort that I’ve been on live television.” The 24-year-old was first introduced to the general public on American Idol back in 2011, when the show still lived on Fox. And now she’s getting advice from the now-ABC show’s current mentor and DWTS‘s most recent champ.

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“I talked to Bobby [the other day] and I was like, ‘This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.’ And he said, ‘One week at a time, champ.’ Which I thought was really sweet.

“It really did make me take a deep breath and think, ‘You know what? You’re right. One week at a time.'”

Alaina credits Bones with her taking part in the show as a competitor. “He’s one of the biggest reasons I did it. He said that it was an incredible experience for him.”

(Credit: ABC/Justin Stephens)

As for her mystery partner — none of the pairs have been unveiled since the all-star lineup was announced — Alaina is keeping mum on the name but dropping plenty of teases about their dynamic in the studio. “I adore him,” she gushes. “He is tough, but it’s good for me. But you know what? I think I lighten him up a little bit.

“I think we’re good for each other because if there’s one thing that’s my downfall for dance, the one thing that I am really going to have to overcome, it’s being serious. Because I am the silliest person I know.”

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“He’s been having to say to me, ‘Be serious, we need to be serious,'” she admits. “I’ve made him laugh where I don’t think he in the past has been much of a laugher in his rehearsals.”

So far, Alaina and her mystery partner have practiced upwards of eight times since meeting and the singer believes her work experience is helping her get the steps. “I do think that my background helps because I’m familiar with music, so I’m able to do the steps.”

(Credit: ABC/Justin Stephens)

She adds, “It’s so fast once you start doing it to the music, but I’m able to remember the steps.”

And this isn’t Alaina’s first time on DWTS — she performed her single “Ladies in the ’90s” on Season 27. At the time she said, “I’m going to come do this show someday.” Fast forward to 2019 and she’s part of the cast herself. “Talk about speaking something into existence,” she quips.

When it comes to her fellow stars on the show, Alaina says, “I’ve really connected with Ally [Brooke]. I think she is so sweet. We’ve been chatting and talking about how hard it is, and encouraging each other. She’s really nice.”

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She admits that she did have a slight fangirl moment with one of her co-stars. “I freaked out when I met Kate [Flannery] from The Office. I had a heart attack. She’s probably going to get a restraining order against me at some point,” Alaina admits.

(Credit: ABC/Justin Stephens)

For now, it’s all about focus as the September 16 premiere approaches. In the meantime, the songstress is unwinding with some Bible study and her current TV favorite, Schitt’s Creek. “I’ve been praying like crazy — God, send me some good vibes please,” she pleads. “This show is definitely bringing me closer to the Lord. I am praying like a machine.”

Dancing with the Stars, Season 28 Premiere, Monday, September 16, 8/7c, ABC