Rebecca Budig will know soon whether she’s on thin ice.
The longtime cast member of the ABC weekday serial “All My Children” skated regularly as a child, but that was only partial preparation for her to be one of the first celebrities on the rink for “Skating With the Stars,” ABC’s new “Dancing With the Stars” spinoff that premieres Monday, Nov. 22.
“I don’t feel any added pressure,” Budig tells Zap2it about being one of the inaugural “Skating” stars. “Maybe I will when Nov. 22 rolls around, but not right now. They came to me about ‘Dancing With the Stars’ several times, but the timing was always wrong.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love to dance,” Budig adds, “but I am passionate about ice skating. My sister and I skated together growing up, and we’d always watch it on TV. And she is so jealous of me right now!”
The other stars who will be skating are New York “Real Housewife” Bethenny Frankel, Olympic-medalist skier Jonny Moseley, Motley Crue music veteran Vince Neil, Disney Channel star Brandon Mychal Smith (“Sonny With a Chance”) and actress Sean Young (“Blade Runner”).
Partnered with Fred Palascak — who’s married to fellow skater Melanie Lambert — Budig reports that in their early training sessions, “We didn’t work on the routine as much as we worked on the basics. That might seem boring, but it was really good … and really hard.”
After the first season of “Dancing With the Stars,” FOX tried a similar variation with “Skating With Celebrities” in 2006. Budig believes the new show’s makers “learned from FOX’s mistakes. This a different company, and they do ‘Dancing With the Stars’ really well. That’ s another reason I’m doing this, because the production quality is high. That made me feel a little more at ease jumping onto this bandwagon.”
Still maintaining a full workload as Greenlee on “All My Children,” Budig says the soap’s producers are “excited for me. They said, ‘It sounds like fun.’ They’ve also dealt with this with Cameron Mathison and Susan Lucci (who were ‘Dancing With the Stars’ contestants), so they know I’m going to be busy. It’s also not as long as ‘Dancing’; it’s only five weeks.”
However, Budig allows that putting ice and skate blades into the equation ups the stakes: “In this first routine, there are some lifts, but it’s pretty tame. I can see where it could go, though. It definitely has the potential to be dangerous.”
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