— -- “Dancing With the Stars” premieres this evening, and Drew Lachey, a former “Dancing” champ and 98 Degrees star, gave “Good Morning America” an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peek as his brother Nick Lachey prepares to take on the ballroom.
“I guarantee you, right now they’re starting to freak out. The show is today,” Drew Lachey, who won in season 2 with his professional partner, Cheryl Burke, said on “GMA” today. “They’re thinking, ‘Please, just don’t let me go home first, let me remember the steps.’ There’s a lot going on in their heads right now.”
Rehearsal is like a big family reunion, as Nick Lachey’s wife, Vanessa Lachey, is competing against him. She is dancing with Maks Chmerkovskiy, who is married to Peta Murgatroyd, who is Nick Lachey’s professional partner.
“My husband’s with another woman right now bumping and grinding, and I’m going to have to be OK with this,” Vanessa Lachey jokingly told ABC News during rehearsals.
Drew Lachey said he thinks his brother is probably more nervous about the competition than Vanessa Lachey.
“There’s the sibling rivalry in there too,” Drew Lachey said of the fact he’s already taken home the Mirror Ball Trophy. “He’s got an expectation to live up to.”
Murgatroyd told Drew Lachey his brother has a nickname already: Pops.
“It’s because he’s the oldest man in the competition,” she said.
“What’s it come to that I’m the oldest guy on this show?” Nick Lachey, 43, replied.
“It’s come to you being old,” Drew Lachey, 41, quipped about his older brother.
Drew Lachey wouldn’t divulge whether he thought Nick or Vanessa Lachey would do better in the competition because “that’s going to make for awkward holidays,” he said with a laugh, adding, “they’re both going to do well.”
Overall, Drew Lachey said this is going to be one of his favorite casts to watch because of the variety.
“It’s going to be a tough season for the judges,” he said. “Obviously, Victoria [Arlen] and Val [Chmerkovskiy] — her story of coming from the Paralympics to learning to walk again, and now she’s on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ — to Nick and Vanessa and that storyline as well, to Debbie Gibson. You’ve got a lot of people out there with some pretty significant fan bases, and you can’t take for granted the strength of their partner’s fan bases, as well.”