“From what I’ve heard there’s people already talking smack, saying they can take me down,” he tells Zap2it after the official cast announcement. “Whoever thinks they’re gonna bring me down, they better watch out. I’m gonna come for you. I’ve been working out.”
Lachey laughs. He hasn’t actually been pumping iron in preparation for his paso doble — his workout regimen has mostly involved trying not to injure himself before he dons his sequins in September. “I have not been preparing,” he admits.
That said, the Season 2 winner still wants to come out of “DWTS” a champion. “For me, honestly, I had so much fun doing it in Season 2 that it was a no-brainer to come back. That, plus my competitive nature. I couldn’t let somebody say ‘Oh, I’m the best, you know? Well, if you beat me, then you can say that. … I’m in it to win it again.”
Lachey has a confidence and a calm going into his second run for the mirrorball trophy that he didn’t have before — but he’s still acutely aware of the massive audience waiting for him to trip up (or to succeed). “You can’t help but have nervous energy when 20 million people are watching you,” he admits.
But in a cast with no divas or super-competitive people only focused on winning, Lachey says he’s most looking forward to having a good time. “The thing that excites me most about this cast is the fun that it’s going to be,” he says.
“Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars” premieres Sept. 24 on ABC.