Carrie Ann Inaba Gushes Over ‘Dancing’ Hunk, ‘Unpredictable’ Season

'DWTS' Judge Carrie Ann Inaba (Photo: ABC)

It’s Levy-mania! “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said that the show’s new celebrity hunk William Levy created a female frenzy in the ballroom Monday night that she’s never witnessed before.

And the audience hubbub began even before the cameras were rolling, the ABC reality show’s longtime judge revealed to Xfinitytv in an interview about the show’s 14th season. “When William came out during the commercial break, they were setting a camera shot and mayhem broke out — the screaming and ‘I love yous!’ I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Carrie Ann said.

“I think that boy has star quality!”

The actor, famous for starring in Mexican telenovelas, is only known in the U.S. for appearing in a Jennifer Lopez music video. But his good looks and hard body transcend borders, and his DWTS debut was a lovefest, as he used his charisma to get a 24 score for his cha cha.

DWTS: The Secret of William Levy

Days later, Carrie Ann was still marveling at his great reception: “I’ve never seen that sort of Beatles phenomenon before [except when] I went to a Jonas Brothers concert once with my fiance’s daughter—that crazy mayhem and the women screaming and losing control.”

She noted that only one other DWTS celebrity has thrilled the ladies as much as William—“you see a lot of that with Maks [Chmerkovskiy] but nothing compared to what William got so it’s nice to see somebody create such a reaction in the ballroom. We’ll see what he does on the dance floor as the weeks progress, but I think that man is going to be a star.”

Catch the DWTS Season 14 Premiere Below:

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While William caused the biggest sensation, former Family Matters star Jaleel White and classical singer Katherine Jenkins are the current show leaders as they tied for 26 points.

Both danced foxtrot, and Carrie Ann told Xfinitytv what she expects from the two. “I think Katherine has a lot of ballet influences in her dance and is very lyrical. I don’t know how well she’ll do in the Latin dances. I think she’s going to be pretty good in them. I would say that maybe some of the funkier, grittier styles of dancing might be challenging for her because I can tell she’s very lifted when she dances so when she has to get into her feet, I’m interested in seeing how that will go.

“With Jaleel, I don’t know what’s going to challenge him. I was mesmerized. I think he might need to keep his overall perspective in check. Because after performing like that on the opening night, so amazing, and [getting] the reaction, it would be hard to keep it humble. I think it’s easy to get very confident. I know our audience sometimes loses interest in people who get overly confident. I would say for him—you could do really well, but they want to root for you. As long as he doesn’t get overly confident, I think people will stay behind him.”

Jaleel White Smokes ‘Em with His Foxtrot:

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Overall, Carrie Ann said, “I’m loving season 14. I was blown away by the premiere, so I can’t wait for the rest of the season.

“We’ve never had a cast with such high marks on the first week. I didn’t give anything less than a seven, which is unheard-of on opening night. As a previous dancer, watching great dancing like that is exciting. The other judges and I were laughing about how great a season it’s going to be.”

The longtime judge thinks it will be unpredictable, too. “I think that we have a lot of good movers this year, so I think they will be able sustain the dance quality, but I do think we’ll have a lot of ups and downs on the leader board because we have people who are going to be better on some dances than other dances and that’s really going to shake it up a lot. As judges, we’ll be able to really get in there and look at some of those details on these dancers and it’ll be fun.”

Carrie Ann, who is hosting the 26th Genesis Awards this weekend [note: Saturday, March 24] and producing an upcoming YouTube/Petsami channel show about cats, doesn’t want to give her opinion on potential DWTS winners yet.

“I’m not even going to go near that one! I think that there are many people and I think everybody at home saw that, too. Next week they’re going to do the quick step and the jive and I think that’s going to be very revealing because [the first week] cha cha and foxtrot are easier dances for the ballroom style. Jive and quickstep are very challenging. I’m actually shocked that they put it [those] in week 2 because that’s pretty hard to do so I think next week we’re going to see a little bit more of a differentiation in range of the dances and the performances.”

“Dancing with the Stars” airs Monday at 8/7c on ABC. For more on DWTS, visit

Check Out Katherine Jenkins’ Leaderboard Topping Foxtrot:

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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