It is finally almost time for Dancing with the Stars: Juniors to start on ABC, and previous DWTS winner Adam Rippon will be one of the judges for this debut season. Fans fell in love with Adam when he competed last spring with Jenna Johnson — and people are thrilled to see him involved in this pint-sized version of the series. He’s opening up about what everybody can expect, and it sounds like this will be a fun season.
Adam Rippon chatted with TV Guide about this judging gig on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors. While his DWTS experience will certainly be valuable as he judges the kids this fall, he says that his experience as a figure skater is probably even more relevant. He saw his role as one where it was important to be able to make kids laugh and feel comfortable, but he also knew that he needed to be honest with them and work to keep them motivated.
People may be hesitant to see kids go through a potentially pressure-filled competition like this. However, Rippon says that everybody involved exceeded his expectations and really brought it. This season was pre-taped rather than airing live, so Rippon needed to play coy in some senses about what details he shared.
The Olympian admits that things got emotional at times, telling People that there were some tears as he tried to be a no-nonsense judge. He tried to keep things real and to focus on ways to help the kids improve — but he was also apparently one to get silly at times as needed to break up some tension.
The Dancing with the Stars champion told the Virginian-Pilot that he was tapped to be a judge on Juniors right after his win last spring — and he thinks the timing was perfect. He has developed very strong relationships with many folks connected to DWTS, to the point where they feel like family, and he thinks that his experience as a performer and competitor allows him to bring something valuable to the show.
This debut run of Dancing with the Stars: Juniors debuts on ABC on Sunday, October 7. Adam Rippon will be joined at the judges table by Val Chmerkovskiy, a current DWTS pro and fiance of Jenna Johnson, as well as Mandy Moore — a choreographer familiar to fans of this franchise as well as So You Think You Can Dance. It sounds as if fan-favorite former contestants Frankie Munoz and Jordan Fisher will be popping up in some capacity. There’s a fun mix of mentors, junior pros, and junior contestants all set to hit the dance floor.
Who will win this debut season of Dancing with the Stars: Juniors? Will the spinoff be a hit with fans? There’s been a lot of buzz swirling about this one — and people can’t wait to tune in beginning Sunday night to check it out.