The race for the mirror-ball trophy is so on!

Dancing With the Stars officially announced the cast for season 16 (!) and it's safe to say it could be its most competitive season yet.

E! News exclusively chatted with Dancing With the Stars' new cast after the big reveal Tuesday morning about a fan-favorite dancer's exit, nerves, hearing from their famous friends and family members and more!

Val Chmerokovskiy will be the only Chmerokovskiy brother competing for the mirror-ball trophy this season as his brother Maksim is sitting this one out.

"I'm going to miss my brother on the show. I'm not going to miss him because I see him every day," Val tells us. "[He's] Grateful to Dancing With the Stars, they have a great relationship and able to work things out and let him pursue his other passions. It's open-ended. Maybe we'll see him back, maybe won't, either way he's contributed so much to the show and the show has done so much for his life and our family in general that it should be a happy ending if so rather than anything bitter. The show must go on!"

Derek Hough reveals to us he also considered not returning because of his other projects (including a ballroom dancing drama for Starz with sister Julianne), but says, "I was busy working on these other projects and as I was working on them and as these things were arising, I was like, I don't want to wuss out. I can do both. I can juggle both." His partner Kellie Pickler isn't worried about Derek's multitasking, telling him, "We believe in you!" Awww!

Country singer Wynonna Judd says her sister Ashley Judd was pretty shocked to hear she was joining the show." I might as well have told her I'm going to join the army. She was stunned at first," Wynonna admits, "And then she said, ‘You know what, you dance all the time.You're going to have a blast!'"

The award for most confident contestant goes to NFL star and Super Bowl winner Jacoby Jones, who boasts,  "I got a little rhythm. I get it from my mama! It's in our DNA!"

And the most nervous contestant? Andy Dick, who tells us, "I'm scared as hell," but adds, "This is actually fun. This is painful, but with elements of fun, excitement. I'm scared as hell."

We couldn't spot any nerves from one of Andy's younger competitors: "I was literally telling every single person that I wanted to do the show, I loved it and I had so much fun," Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman gushes. "I'm so excited Mark [Ballas] is my partner. I love to perform and I love to dance."

Aly reveals to us that she's been in touch with Shawn Johnson, former U.S. gymnast and DWTS season-six champ who was also paired with Mark, and says, "She knew I was going to do the show and she was really excited. She's been texting me the past few weeks. She was so excited when she found out it was Mark."

For more DWTS scoop, watch our interviews with the new cast above!

DWTS season 16 premieres March 28 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share