Val Chermkovskiy is set to compete on Dancing With the Stars for the first time as an engaged man, and he’ll go head to head with his fiancée, Jenna Johnson, to boot. Chmerkovskiy is paired with Facts of Life star Nancy McKeon for the 27th season of the celebrity ballroom competition, while Johnson will dance with Bachelor in Paradise fan favorite, Grocery Store Amabile.
While he says he and Jenna area “team” at home, Chmerkovskiy told People all bets are off in the ballroom.
“We’re a team in the household, but on the dance floor my responsibility is really to make sure Nancy has an awesome experience, and part of that experience will, at some point, entail beating Joe, and that will be a really difficult moment to come home to.”
Chmerkovskiy added that the couple’s personal business is “secondary” to their jobs as pro dancers.
Earlier this year, Johnson won the four-week Dancing With the Stars: Athletes season with Olympic skater Adam Rippon, but her fiancé is set on taking the defending champion’s DWTS title.
“I’m excited,” Chmerkovskiy told Entertainment Tonight of the upcoming competition.
“I’m really excited. I wish [Jenna] all the best. You know, I’m always rooting for her, obviously, but Nancy is my number one priority when it comes to Dancing With the Stars.”
Val Chmerkovskiy proposed to Jenna Johnson during a romantic vacation in Italy in June. The mirror ball-winning DWTS pro now admits the pair will have to have “a little separation” between their work and personal lives as an engaged couple during the upcoming season of the ABC dancing competition.
“I’m already sleeping on the couch, so win or lose, I’m already.”
During an appearance on Good Morning America for the Dancing With the Stars cast announcement, Jenna Johnson revealed that her fiancé, who has won two mirrorball trophies on DWTS (with celebrity partners Rumer Willis and Laurie Hernandez in season 20 and 23, respectively) continues to inspires her.
“I’m really excited. This is our first time going head to head and he inspires me, so I’m just excited to have him back [on the show],” Johnson said.
While Val Chmerkovskiy will return to Dancing With the Stars this season, his brother, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and sister-in-law, Peta Murgatroyd, are sitting this season out. Still, the engaged couple will get to compete against newlywed DWTS stars Sasha Farber and Emma Slater, who tied the knot in March.
Dancing with the Stars Season 27 premieres Monday, Sept. 24. At 8 p.m. ET on ABC.