‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 28: Kel Mitchell Says James Van Der Beek Is The One To Beat

Kel Mitchell arrives at the 2019 "Dancing With The Stars" Cast Reveal at Planet Hollywood Times Square
Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images

Dancing with the Stars Season 28 is set to premiere on Monday, and fans are looking forward to seeing which members of the cast will emerge as the frontrunners. However, Kel Mitchell says he already knows who his biggest competition is — James Van Der Beek.

According to The Inquisitr, Mitchell, who was named as a member of the cast along with Van Der Beek, Lamar Odom, Sean Spicer, Ally Brooke, Lauren Alaina, Karamo Brown, Kate Flannery, Christie Brinkley, and others, has been in awe of James’ work ethic.

The Kenan & Kel star revealed that every time he’s rehearsing, James is right there putting in the work, adding that the Dawson’s Creek actor seems to be in the zone when it comes to preparing for next week’s premiere.

“He’s a beast, okay? Me and him, nonstop. When I’m in there, he’s in there. Every time I go to rehearse, I see James. The other day, he was in there by himself, just practicing. So shoutout to James. That was a surprise I did see which I thought was very, very cool, that he was in there before his partner got there. He’s definitely in the zone,” Mitchell told People.

However, despite seeing how focused James is when it comes to winning the coveted mirror ball trophy, he says he’s still looking to shock fans by being crowned the champ at the end of the season.

“I like to look at it like, ‘Okay, let me just beat what I did yesterday, let me be better than the day before, and just focus on that,'” Kel said of his mindset going into the experience.

The actor also claims that he’s not allowed to reveal who his partner is, but that she’s been awesome. Mitchell admitted that their first dance is a tango and that learning the technical dance has been a challenge for him, and given him a lot of respect for ballroom dancers.

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Kel also related that his dance moves have been taking a toll on his body, remarking that he’s been feeling the effect in his muscles at the end of the day, but that he finds the entire experience “awesome,” and is lucky to have a great coach in his mystery partner.

Fans can watch Kel Mitchell, James Van Der Beek, and the rest of the cast try their luck in the ballroom when Dancing with the Stars Season 28 premieres Monday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.