Outspoken Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is the latest NFL star to join the “Dancing with the Stars” fray, but while the competition doesn’t start for two more weeks, he’s already got a message for the judges.
“From what I’ve learned in watching these shows, those judges can be a little harsh,” Chad told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson when she stopped by his rehearsal with professional partner Cheryl Burke on Tuesday in Los Angeles. “They have to remember, I am out of my element. Don’t judge me like I’m a professional.”
And Chad had a special message for one of the judges; the one he calls the “Simon” of the group.
“Len Goodman, I’m gonna say this to you and I’m gonna say it to you early before the show even starts: ‘Please do not step on my toes, because I will fight back. Thank you,’” Chad noted.
Thanks to the success of Season 3 winner Emmitt Smith, a former NFL star who won with Cheryl, and Jason Taylor’s runner up success in Season 6 with Edyta Sliwinska, incoming football stars to the celebrity reality competition become early favorites for “Dancing” success. Cheryl said Chad, however, hasn’t yet become a stand out in their seven days of rehearsal.
“He has the potential to be [as good as Emmitt], if he works hard,” Cheryl said. “It’s only the first week, but he’s made a lot of progress.”
Included is that progress is getting used to ballroom shoes.
“You know what? I love ‘em,” he told Shaun. “I had to get used to it because I’m a man…. When I got the shoes, it had the little heel on the bottom, but what I’ve been able to do is… to magnify my sway.”
Beyond the shoes, Ochocinco revealed that one of the things he is working on in his dancing is his posture.
“In football, you’re never [standing] right up. That’s how you get killed,” he said. “Everything is about being low… and now I’m outside of my element where I have to stand tall.
“I have to continue to tell myself to get in touch with my feminine side… ‘cause I got on the heels and I have to… be upright and it’s hard because I’m not used to this,” he added.
While Chad is used to wearing spandex on the field, ballroom dancing outfits are far more fanciful. But the wide receiver revealed he’s ready to push things with his choice of reality show wear.
“I’m thinking outside of the box,” he said.
“He wants something see-thru he said,” Cheryl said straight-faced. “I mean, this is a family show!”
“It’s a family show, but listen, they need to know I’m edgy,” Chad responded as Cheryl laughed. “I’m trying to [make] my costumes 50% Lady Gaga, 50% Rihanna, and then with the help of [Cheryl], when I put it together with the dancing and the costumes with the heels? I mean… What?!”
Chad said he has been avoiding the calls from his Bengals teammates as he gets into his “Dancing” groove, but he’s getting ready for some boyish ribbing when they finally get through. And there’s one man in particular he expects to tease him the most – Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.
“My quarterback is gonna kill me,” Chad said. “My quarterback, he’s one of the biggest jokers on the team and I can see him putting high heels on in the locker room. It’s coming. I’m prepared for it.”
But Chad has no regrets.
“This is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up – especially to work with the beautiful Cheryl Burke,” he said.