Helio Castroneves Dishes On Dancing All-Stars Competitors: Shawn Johnson 'Relaxed,' Apolo Ohno in 'Olympic Mode'
As the Monday premiere of “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” draws near, Helio Castroneves says he’s not trying to “psych out” the competition. Instead, the Season 5 champ says he’s enjoying hanging out with his fellow contestants.
“Actually, it’s funny. Derek [Hough] and Shawn [Johnson], I can see they’re real relaxed,” he told Access Hollywood when asked if he and partner Chelsie Hightower are trying to intimidate their competition, during a “Dancing” rehearsal in Los Angeles on Thursday. “Obviously, Shawn — she’s not only a great athlete, but she’s [got] gymnastic [skills]. She has all the good qualities.”
Helio said he’s bonded with Gilles Marini, who has actually offered tips to Helio and Chelsie as they prepare for Monday’s big premiere.
“[Gilles] is great. I love him, actually,” he said. “He’s coming and watching us [and saying], ‘Oh my god, he’s doing great! Oh my god, he needs to improve this.’ We’re like, ‘Relax, Gilles, just relax.’”
It’s a different story with Olympian Apolo Ohno, who won Season 4. Helio said the speed skater is sticking to strictly business with his castmates.
“Apolo is like in Olympic mode. He is on it,” Helio told Access. “You know, [he says], ‘Hi there. Good to see you. Let’s go and practice.’”
The Indy car champ added that Bristol Palin is working “really, really hard,” while Joey Fatone is the chattiest of the group.
“Fatone is fantastic,” Helio said. “He’s just like, ‘Nah, let’s sit down here and talk a little bit more.’”
“Everything is really cool right now,” Chelsie added. “Obviously, the camaraderie between our cast is always really good — we really love each other. It’s fun to have all these celebrities back… Everybody’s just having a good time. We’ll see about five weeks in!”
“Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” premieres on Monday at 8/7 on ABC.
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