All eyes will be on Chaz Bono when he hits the ballroom for the first time on "Dancing with the Stars" on Monday, and he's feeling the pressure.
"That's my pressure. I'm feeling pressure to not suck," Chaz told Access Hollywood Live's Kit Hoover as she visited his rehearsal with professional partner Lacey Schwimmer on Wednesday. "I don't want to be the first to go. That would be horrible."
Chaz has the support of his mom, Cher, who surprised him as he visited "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Tuesday's episode, phoning in to voice her support of her son, but not all of the activist's friends started out as confident.
"When I told people who know me, they just bust out laughing," Chaz said of his friends' initial reaction to the news he'd be competing for the mirrorball. "In my family especially, I mean look who my mom is, I let her do the dancing and I'm in the background."
When asked what is going to surprise people most about Chaz's performance on the dance floor, he said it won't be his moves.
"There's nothing there that's going to frighten children or some such stuff. [What will surprise people is that] I'm actually gonna be dancing," he said.
Chaz said he's stayed away from the message boards on ABC's website, which had many comments from disgruntled fans, outraged by his casting on the show, but in the other places he has seen some of the vitriol, he's been able to let the criticism go.
"I have very thick skin," he said.
"It's more motivating for us to do better in this competition and to almost prove people wrong that don't need to be saying this stuff," Lacey added. "I think they have courage behind the computer, but if it came [to] coming face to face, it'd be a whole lot different."
"If anything, it just adds fuel to my fire," Chaz added
"Dancing with the Stars" Season 13 premieres at 8 PM ET on Monday, September 19 on ABC.
Copyright 2011 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Lacey Schwimmer
- Dancing with the Stars
- Chaz Bono