‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 27 Cast Talks Theme Nights, Rehearsals & More (PHOTOS)

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ABC/Craig Sjodin
ABC/Craig Sjodin

Bobby Bones

Partner: Sharna Burgess

The radio personality and American Idol mentor says, “I really want to show people that it’s not where you come from, it’s where you go.”

As for what’s driving him in the competition, “I don’t even want to win it for me, I want to win it for her,” Bones adds about Burgess. The pro has come in second place twice.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Evanna Lynch

Partner: Keo Motsepe

When the Harry Potter star and animal advocate got the call for the show she wasn’t concerned about particulars. “I don’t care, I’m in,” she reveals she said when she was offered the gig.
But just because the known vegan is a philanthropist for animal rights doesn’t mean she’ll get political. “I want to be strong and show them that you can do anything and you don’t need to consume animals for that, so I hope that will speak for itself.”

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DeMarcus Ware

Partner: Lindsay Arnold

The Super Bowl champion and former Denver Bronco is working on his skills. “She’s really been breaking me down in all the bad things that I do from football,” he says of his partner during rehearsals.

“I’m gonna stick it out till the end,” he says of making it to freestyle week.

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Nikki Glaser

Partner: Gleb Savchenko

The stand-up comedian is stepping out of her comfort zone for her new gig. “I never have an excuse to dress really sexy and wear what is essentially a swimsuit on television, and now I do and I get to be the pop star that I always wanted to be,” she reveals.

And don’t expect her to get nervous, “I’m a live performer and so I thrive in the live.”

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Joe “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile

Partner: Jenna Johnson

The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise alum isn’t feeling the heat of the competition just yet. “I don’t think there’s any time for nerves, I feel like you just gotta get out there and move and there’s so much to remember and there’s so many steps,” he says, “so for me nerves won’t be an issue.”

When it comes to his memorable nickname, fans may see it reflected in his routines. “Yeah, we might have a little grocery store dance, you never know,” he jokes.

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Nancy McKeon

Partner: Val Chmerkovskiy

The former Facts of Life star began “shelling for votes” when we asked if reboot rumors may boost her popularity on the show. “Oh gosh I hope so,” she says.
When it comes to theme nights, she’s up for anything. “I’ll just look forward to any theme night , because that means I made it past the first week!”

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John Schneider

Partner: Emma Slater

The former Dukes of Hazzard star is looking forward to meeting his goals on the show. “I don’t want to just be the ta-da guy, I want to see if I can do this.”

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Juan Pablo Di Pace

Partner: Cheryl Burke

The Fuller House star with a considerable background in theater isn’t considering that experience an advantage. “I’ve never ballroom danced in my life, so it’s a new language,” he notes.

“Excitement and fear all together, rolled into one,” is what the star says he felt when he got the coveted call. As far as theme nights, the actor says “we might have some cities.”

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Mary Lou Retton

Partner: Sasha Farber

The Olympic gymnast isn’t the first to enter the competition, but the success of her predecessors certainly sets a high bar. “It puts a little bit of pressure on me, but I’m just proud to be here even before the competition starts.”

She’s not concerned about the rest of the competitors either. Retton says “the only person I can control is me.”

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Milo Manheim

Partner: Witney Carson

Disney Channel’s Zombies star is beginning the competition with some sage advice from previous winner Jordan Fisher.
“He just said to be myself, listen to what the judges have to say, don’t take anything to heart,” Manheim explains.

As the premiere nears, the young actor is trying to get a handle on his nerves. “I’ve really got to figure out a solution for that immediately.”

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Alexis Ren

Partner: Alan Bernsten

The model is looking forward to being part of the compeition and hopes to make it to theme nights.

“Disney! I want to do Disney it looks so fun,” she says of potential theme nights ahead.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Danelle Umstead

Partner: Artem Chigvintsev

When the Paralympic skier got the call about joining the cast, she “thought it was a prank, to be honest.”

Thankfully, it wasn’t a prank, Umstead, who has overcome so many challenges as a blind person, isn’t backing down from this one, “I’m very excited and honored and truly excited to be partners with Artem. [I’m] ready to take it on and do my best and see what happens.”

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ABC revealed their Season 27 cast for Dancing With the Stars early Wednesday morning on Good Morning America.

So what does this fresh blood think about the impending competition? TV Insider caught up with the stars and pros in New York City to discuss the new season.

From theme nights and rehearsals to nerves and beyond, the actors, musicians, reality stars, and athletes didn’t hold back when it came to answering the big questions. Click through the gallery above to see what the cast had to say about the new season!

Dancing with the Stars, Season 27 Premiere, Monday, September 24, 8/7c, ABC