They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s cats were almost her fiance’s own worst enemy.
Her husband-to-be, Jesse Sloan, who popped the question March 31 on “Live! With Regis & Kelly” explained to reporters backstage after “DWTS” Monday night that pulling off the national surprise was easy.
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“Actually, it went pretty well,” Sloan told reporters. “They were on board and I almost backed out at one point because of our cats. We’ve got a cat [Taz] that’s got special needs and I didn’t want that on my conscience if something went bad. With her blessing, with her on board, I came along and made it happen.”
Inaba adds, “They had to ask me if it’s okay if Jesse comes and I was like, ‘How are we going to do that because who’s going to take care of Taz…? And our assistant stepped up.” [Taz, Inaba’s youngest of five feline friends, was rescued from under the tires of a semi-truck in Los Angeles and had to have his tail amputated.]
The happy couple, holding hands and showing off the sparkler, shared more about their special moment and wedding plans…
How many times have you watched back the engagement?
Carrie Ann Inaba: We watched it briefly, but I haven’t really sat down to watch it. I’m still in shock. It’s been amazing. I can’t be happier. He’s the best guy in the world. I’m just shocked.
How long had you been planning the proposal?
Jesse Sloan: A long time, actually, since January.
Inaba: I asked him, because he’s shy, I had to say, ‘It surprised me that you did it on national TV. What made you do that?’ And he said because he wanted to share it with both of our families. My mom is in New York. My dad is in Hawaii. His mom is in Colorado and Kristen, his daughter, is in California, and my brother.
Sloan: To get the families together, it would have been a dead give-away that something was happening.
How did you pick out the ring?
Sloan: I had a pretty good idea. I took my daughter with me and we picked out the stone and told them what the setting was.
Inaba: I’m not used to having anything on my finger all the time. I keep taking it off because it’s heavy. I have to rest my finger.
When Regis was reading the set-up, at what point did you start to think…?
Inaba: When the lights went down because actually they gave us these cards to read…And I wasn’t even listening to Regis and he’s like, soooo, and then at some point…roses and romance and them the lights went down and that was it. I was like, ‘Oh. Oh my God.’ Because it was confusing when Jake Gyllenhaal came out with the ring. I was like, ‘What is happening today?’ This is the weirdest thing in the world.
Would you have said yes to Jake?
Inaba: No, no. He’s cute and all but he’s no Jessie. But we were thinking we want to invite him to the wedding and have him be our ring bearer. [Laughs]
What are the wedding plans?
Inaba: We’re going to do it in the summer and we’re going to do it in the ocean. We definitely want everyone to get their feet wet after we say our vows.