‘DWTS: All-Stars’ Preview: 15 Secrets of 15th Season

Bristol Palin and dance pro Mark Ballas rehearse for "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" (Photo: ABC)

On Monday night, the best celebrity performers in the history of “Dancing With the Stars” will go toe-to-toe for the “All-Stars” edition.

So with Season 15 of the hit ABC reality show sure to be the most exciting ever, Xfinitytv.com has gone behind the scenes to reveal the secrets of the “All-Stars” cast.

What can fans expect to see during this season’s ballroom blitz? Here are 15 fun show tidbits to mark “DWTS’ ” 15th fabulous season!:

1) Ballroom bromance: There are always a couple of male celebrities who become besties on “DWTS,” and this season is no exception, as Helio Castroneves and Gilles Marini are enjoying hanging out. Brazilian-born race car driver Helio and French actor Gilles will charm viewers with their guy bonding. “[Gilles] is great. I love him, actually,” gushed Helio, who is dancing with Chelsie Hightower. The racing star said Gilles has even become a surrogate coach — sort of. “He’s coming and watching us [and saying], ‘Oh, my God, he’s doing great! Oh my God, he needs to improve this.’ We’re like, ‘Relax, Gilles. Just relax!’” Helio laughed.

Watch an interview about “DWTS: All-Stars” with Helio Castroneves:
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2) Aches and pains: It wouldn’t be a “DWTS” season without physical issues, and although the All-Stars have been here before, they’re still a little rusty. Fan’s choice and Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan has revealed, “I keep seeing Shawn Johnson in the morning. She’s like, ‘my calves!’ I’m like, ‘my back!’ We’re all comparing the soreness of not dancing for so long.”

3) Dancing with the celibate?: Pam Anderson recently raised eyebrows by telling USA Today she’s made a vow that she won’t have sex until the “All-Star” season is over. “Trust me; I could chew through a table right now,” the actress sighed. No one knows if Pam is having trouble finding dates (doubtful) or if it’s a strategy to devote all her time to dance and become a real “DWTS” contender with partner Tristan MacManus.

But the underdog former “Baywatch” babe isn’t the only dancing gal with no man in her life. “DWTS” pro Karina Smirnoff, who split from her baseball pitcher fiance Brad Penny last year and will compete with Apolo Anton Ohno, countered, “At least Pamela does it by choice … I do it because of no choice.” We hope all that pent up energy will be released on the dance floor!

Pam Anderson talks about “DWTS: All-Stars”:
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4) Mirror ball makeover: Expect the famed “DWTS” trophy to look positively opulent this season in honor of the all-stars. For the first few seasons of the show, the trophy was spindly and unsubstantial. In fact, veteran pro Cheryl Burke’s Season 2 trophy fell apart!

But as “DWTS” has become more and more successful, those days are long gone and producers have pulled out all stops out for “All-Stars.” Gilles recently raved, “The trophy is an incredible one this year. It’s like all crystal [and cost] 50 grand. I’m like, ‘I want this!’”

5) Dancing daughter: The last time Melissa Rycroft participated on “DWTS” (during Season 8), she was single and childless. In December 2009, however, she got married to Tye Strickland and in 2011, they had daughter Ava. Now, the former “Bachelor” beauty welcomes Ava, 1½, to her “All-Star” dance rehearsals with partner Tony Dovolani. Fans will soon be delighted to see the scene unfold on camera. An insider told Xfinitytv, “Ava is a girly girl and loves watching Mommy dance. She even tries to copy the moves!”

6) Battle of the boy banders: Although former 98 Degrees star Drew Lachey said he’s “friends” with ex-N’SYNC-er Joey Fatone, the musicians are welcoming rivalry on “All-Stars.” “The smack-talk is already starting with the boy band competition thing,” said Drew, who will dance with Anna Trebunskaya while Joey is re-teamed with his Season 4 partner, Kym Johnson.

Drew Lachey speaks out:
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7) Rehearsals No Yawn for Shawn: “DWTS” golden boy Derek Hough has been entertaining his partner, gymnast Shawn Johnson, during practice. “Derek says he feels most like himself with Shawn because they keep it lighthearted and goofy,” a source told Xfinitytv. On Sept. 19, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, “Derek spent the whole rehearsal day talking like a pirate. Shawn couldn’t stop laughing.”

8) Dancing to the runway: Partners Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke are sure going to pile up the frequent flyer miles this season. Cheryl has said they’ll train exclusively in Dallas, where Emmitt lives with his family, and fly to Los Angeles just in time for the weekly “DWTS” tapings.

9) Marini madness: Look out, ladies. You’ll see more of handsome Gilles this season, as he plans to take his shirt off while dancing with partner Peta Murgatroyd. “He’s got a great body,” Peta smiled. “I think I’ll make him take it off.” And Gilles confirmed, “I probably will shock [people] more than ever because I’ve been working extremely hard on looking very different. I want to show people … that they can look amazing at 35.” We can’t wait for Gilles to play the hunk card!

10) Dating dancers: Pros Peta Murgatroyd and Maks Chmerkovskiy finally came out as a couple this summer after rumors flew about their relationship last season. With the romance now common knowledge, insiders wonder if the dance stars will be relaxed enough to hint at their love on-camera. Peta recently admitted on a red carpet, “He’s an amazing person, inside and out. I look forward to our future together.” And when asked if marriage to Maks was in her future, Peta laughed, “I wouldn’t say no.” Could “DWTS” see its first TV proposal? We can dream, can’t we?

11) Competition and camaraderie: Although all the stars desperately want to beat each other for the mirror ball trophy, they’re also bonding like old army buddies, because they have been through the “DWTS” boot camp before! Sabrina Bryan’s pro partner Louis Van Amstel revealed, “We’re waiting for our music and hanging out in the kitchen with everybody talking and reminiscing.”

12) Tweeting with the All-Star: Kirstie Alley loves to Tweet, so fans can expect to follow her “DWTS: All-Stars” journey whenever she decides to share. Lately, the actress has tweeted on everything from her favorite brand of organic cookies to her undergarments (“frankly an actresses [sic] best friend is a good pair of @SPANXINC”). Cheryl Burke laughed, “Kirstie will Tweet me, like, ‘watch your back!’” Cheers to never being boring!

13) No longer “his” show?: Fans should watch “All-Stars” for their last chance to see “DWTS’” resident bad boy Maks Chmerkovskiy strut his stuff. Maks just announced in the New York Post that he’s leaving the show after this season. “What else do I have to do there?” he asked. “It makes total sense [to leave].” The veteran pro once shocked fans with his bold on-camera comment that “DWTS” is “MY show.” But now, he appears done with the gig, saying his role is only to give the celebrities a push in their careers. He wants to focus on his own now by pursuing other reality shows and acting. But not so fast — Maks has threatened to leave “DWTS” before only to come back. He can’t leave without finally winning the mirror ball that has eluded him, can he? And what if he doesn’t win it this season with partner Kirstie? Stay tuned.

14) Bristol the pistol: Sarah Palin’s daughter was a lightning rod of controversy during Season 11 with partner Mark Ballas as she finished third despite questionable dancing skills. And tabloids cruelly labeled her overweight. This season, however, you can expect her re-pairing with Mark to look different. The pro dancer told Entertainment Weekly, “She looks amazing. She’s lost weight and she is getting in shape. She might be more confident.” Mark hopes the conservative single mom won’t be as shy the second time around the “DWTS” ballroom. Bristol famously donned a monkey suit for a laughable routine two years ago, but for “All-Stars,” “I’ll see if she’s willing to try a sexier outfit,” Mark promised.

What does Bristol have to say? Find out here:
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15) Something’s fishy: Olympic speed skater Apolo should be a “DWTS” front runner, but his partner Karina has said he’s really nervous and is losing his mind. That is, he can’t remember his steps for his first dance on Monday, the cha cha. “I told him to eat more fish,” Karina said. “It’s got Omega 3s that’s really good for your memory.” Will Apolo recall his Season 4 form in time—or just stink? We’ll soon fins out!

“Dancing With the Stars: All Stars” premieres Monday (Sept. 24) at 8 p.m./7c on ABC.

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

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