'Dancing With the Stars' premiere just a week away for country singer, Rossville native Lauren Alaina

'Dancing With the Stars' premiere just a week away for country singer, Rossville native Lauren Alaina

September 6th, 2019 by Lisa Denton in Life Entertainment

ABC Photo / Justin Stephens / Season 28 of "Dancing With the Stars" will find 12 celebrities competing for the mirror ball trophy. They are, from left, Hannah Brown, Lamar Odom, Sean Spicer, Mary Wilson, Ally Brooke, Ray Lewis, Karamo, Kate Flannery, James Van Der Beek, Lauren Alaina, Kel Mitchell and Christie Brinkley.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

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* “Dancing With the Stars” will premiere at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, on ABC.

Country music star Lauren Alaina is in the final week of practicing her fancy footwork for the season premiere of "Dancing With the Stars."

The 28th season of the ABC dance competition debuts at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, with a cast that also includes a supermodel, former White House press secretary, a Bachelorette, pro athletes from the NFL and NBA, fellow singers and a TV icon.

In multiple interviews after the Aug. 21 introduction of the cast on "Good Morning America," Alaina described herself as a klutz. "I think about falling and I fall," she told "Entertainment Tonight."

"My friend told me it's going to be 'Stumbling With the Stars' for me. Fingers crossed. I just don't want to fall."

Still, the 24-year-old Rossville native, known for her bubbly personality, said she's game to give it a try, telling iHeartRadio station The Bull that she hopes to draw upon her prior athletic training in gymnastics and cheerleading for the competition. "I did competitive cheerleading," she said. "I was always in the back. I would tell people it was because I was the tallest. I think it was because I was the worst."

ABC Photo / Justin Stephens / Country singer/songwriter Lauren Alaina is among the 12 contestants on season 28 of "Dancing With the Stars."

ABC Photo / Justin Stephens / Country singer/songwriter...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Here are five things to know as we count down to the new season.

1. Blame Bobby Bones. Alaina is friends — at least for now, she teased — with the Nashville radio personality who won season 27 of "DWTS." He talked her into competing when she got the offer, after first suggesting it last season when she sang on the show. "Everyone needs to pray for me, because I am not a dancer," she told The Bull. "Bobby Bones talked me into it." She joked that it could mean the end of their friendship if she has a poor showing. "If I get out the first week, I'm never talking to him again," she said.

2. She's comfortable with voting. The season 10 runner-up on "American Idol" said fans got her to the finals of the singing competition, so she's hopeful they can move her through the dancing competition. "I think it'll help me, the fact that I've been on a show," she told "Entertainment Tonight." "My fans voted me into my career, so I'm used to voting. But [I'm] going into this show with zero skill of what I'm going to be doing. On 'American Idol,' all I've ever done is just sang. So we'll see. Pray for me."

Season 28 cast of “Dancing With the Stars”

* Lauren Alaina
* Christie Brinkley
* Ally Brooke
* Hannah Brown
* Karamo Brown
* Kate Flannery
* Ray Lewis
* Kel Mitchell
* Lamar Odom
* Sean Spicer
* James Van Der Beek
* Mary Wilson

* Len Goodman
* Carrie Ann Inaba
* Bruno Tonioli

* Tom Bergeron
* Erin Andrews

There's speculation that there will be changes to the voting process this year after Bones' controversial win last season. He won the popular vote, along with the mirror ball trophy, but he rated only average scores from the judges.

3. Shhhh ... she has a dance partner. Alaina's dancing partner is reportedly Gleb Savchenko. The pairings won't be officially revealed to the audience until the show's premiere, but spoilers abound in the media. Alaina posted an Instagram video announcing that she had met her partner, without divulging his name. Her biggest news: "I started dancing. I didn't fall. I'm so excited."

4. Odds of winning. Despite her own misgivings, sportsbook BetOnline puts Alaina's odds of winning at 7-1, placing her in the middle of the pack before any of the contestants ever step foot onstage. NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis is the favorite, with odds of 4-1. Between him and Alaina are actor James Van Der Beek (9-2), "Queer Eye" star Karamo Brown (11-2), one-time Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke and comedian/actor Kel Mitchell (both with 6-1 odds). Trailing Alaina are supermodel Christie Brinkley (12-1), former Supremes singer Mary Wilson (12-1), "Bachelorette" alum Hannah Brown (14-1), "Office" actress Kate Flannery (14-1), former NBA player Lamar Odom (25-1) and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (50-1).

5. Girl, interrupted. Alaina had to postpone her first headlining tour, That Girl Was Me, to be on "DWTS." The tour would have started Sept. 14 in Missouri, but after agreeing to the dance competition, she said she realized, "I couldn't give the show and the tour 100%." The tour has been rescheduled for January, perhaps with a mirror ball trophy Alaina can brandish onstage.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.


Lauren Alaina / Photo by Evan Mattingly via Country Music Association

Lauren Alaina / Photo by Evan Mattingly via...

Photo by Evan Mattingly via Country Music Association


* Season 1: Kelly Monaco

* Season 2: Drew Lachey

* Season 3: Emmitt Smith

* Season 4: Apolo Anton Ohno

* Season 5: Helio Castroneves

* Season 6: Kristi Yamaguchi

* Season 7: Brooke Burke

* Season 8: Shawn Johnson

* Season 9: Donny Osmond

* Season 10: Nicole Scherzinger

ABC File Photo / Adam Taylor / Lauren Alaina won't be the first North Georgian vying for the mirror ball trophy on "Dancing With the Stars." J.R. Martinez, an actor, best-selling author, motivational speaker and U.S. Army veteran who considers Dalton his hometown, won the competition in Season 13 with partner Karina Smirnoff.

ABC File Photo / Adam Taylor / Lauren...

Photo by Adam Taylor

* Season 11: Jennifer Grey

* Season 12: Hines Ward

* Season 13: J.R. Martinez

* Season 14: Donald Driver

* Season 15 (all-stars): Melissa Rycroft

* Season 16: Kellie Pickler

* Season 17: Amber Riley

* Season 18: Meryl Davis

* Season 19: Alfonso Ribeiro

* Season 20: Rumer Willis

* Season 21: Bindi Irwin

* Season 22: Nyle DiMarco

* Season 23: Laurie Hernandez

* Season 24: Rashad Jennings

* Season 25: Jordan Fisher

* Season 26 (athletes): Adam Rippon

* Season 27: Bobby Bones