Just moments after the big reveal on Wednesday, ET spoke with all of the season 28 stars in New York City (with the exception of Mary Wilson, who couldn't make it to GMA). During our interviews, they shared their excitement about joining the show, and revealed who they think will be their fiercest competition.
Though the former NBA star says he's "not really ready" to show America his dancing skills, he joked there's no backing out now! "I've never danced in my life professionally, but I'll be ready by the time it comes to step up and put it out there," he told ET special correspondent Rachel Smith. "It's all part of the comeback. Life is great. I'm living, I'm here now. So why not tell my story and share my testimony with everybody."
"[I'll] just go hard and put work into practice," he added of his strategy going into premiere night. "I think that if I do that, then practice pretty well, just show how good of a dancer I am."
As for who he's looking most forward to competing against? "Karamo Brown, he can move!" Lamar exclaimed. "Ray Lewis can move, too. But nah, no pressure. I'm not even supposed to be here. I wasn't even supposed to survive what I've been through."
The actor, best known for starring on Dawson's Creek, told ET that being cast on the show has been a long time coming for him. "Way back when I was doing Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, I pitched this storyline where the fake me went on the fake Dancing With the Stars. So it's kind of come up since then," he explained. "They offered again and I said, 'Oh man, wouldn't that be crazy?' And I was like, 'Crazy. I like crazy.' I love to dance, I love to move. It just seemed like the most fun thing I could possibly do."
While he's stoked for the entire lineup of celebs, James told us he's especially excited to be competing against Hannah Brown. "I watched the last three episodes of The Bachelorette, she's so sweet!" he said. "I was like, 'How are you doing?' I was just like, 'Can I give you a hug?' I just wanted to make sure she was OK."
America may have already fallen in love with her, but we're excited for even more people to meet the sweet former beauty pageant queen from Alabama. "I am so excited about this, to continue sharing my life with America, but in a different way ... through dance," she shared. "Being very vulnerable and sharing my story that doesn't have to involve a man."
However, she admitted she thinks her biggest competition will probably be a male competitor -- Kel Mitchell. "His dance moves, ugh. Kel is my competition," she mused. "And Ally Brooke. Yeah, 'cause she's got some moves. But it's OK, I haven't shown all my moves just yet. I have some in my back pocket."
The tables will totally be turned as this Queer Eye star will be the one getting a makeover this time around, one that will include plenty of spray tans, sparkly costumes and ballroom shoes. "This is a show that I've been a big fan of and I am ready to come out here and show that I've got rhythm! Baby, Honey! He's ready to do it!" Karamo joked to ET. "It's all about connecting and getting people to cry. If you get people to cry, I can get people to laugh and have a good time. It's like yin and yang. So I'm like, just enjoy myself. I'm not having no expectations. I just wanna enjoy myself and have fun and meet new friends."
Like his fellow competitors, Karamo also thinks Kel will be one of the ones to beat. "You know what, Kel has a lot of rhythm. He just has a lot of energy," he explained. "Christie Brinkley is just gorgeous and beautiful, so it's like, if you age that gracefully, I feel like you're gonna be that graceful on the dance floor. And then James Van Der Beek. I've just been talking to him and literally you look at him, the 13-year-old little girl in me brings back. And I'm like, 'I'll vote for you.'"
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The country singer, who got her start on season 10 of American Idol, couldn't be happier about being able to compete again, even if it's just for fun this time around. "Well, I don't know how to dance, so I don't know why I agreed to it. I'm a horrible dancer," she confessed. "When I walked out on the show this morning, I twerked. I was like, my mother is going to call me and be like, 'Honey, no! Lauren Alaina!'"
"I'll be the class clown. I'm going to be the class clown of the season," she proclaimed. "But I'm pretty athletic, so I'm hoping that helps. I did gymnastics and competitive cheerleading when I was younger."
Fans of All That can only hope this comedian will put out some orange soda or his Good Burger costume for at least one dance this season, and it already sounds like he's got some tricks up his sleeve. "I was waiting for the call," Kel confessed. "I love to dance. I dance at the house all the time. Me and my family have dance battles. I'm like, 'Let's just do it. I think it'd be fun.' When they called, I'm like, 'Yup, let's get it.'"
"Imma focus on me doing what I'm doing, I'm not worried about anybody else," he added. "It's all love, but I gotta win! I want it, that mirrorball."
The former NFL pro told ET that he's pumped to finally be doing DWTS, as he and the show have been "flirting for a while" now. "After I retired, I needed time for my body to totally heal," he explained. "But now, I feel good and I've always been a fan of this show. I've been dancing since I was a young child, but this style of dance, I have not been [doing]. When you try these hip thrusts and things, usually our hips don't go that direction."
"We don't know my partner, but the moment I found out I was on the show, every city I've been to, I found somebody random to train me immediately," he joked. "It's the hip. Everything is the hip. You see. It's the way you present yourself. It's gonna be good."
After years of being rumored to be in the running for the show, the model is finally joining DWTS. "I'm so excited and I think it's going to be so fun," she said. "I literally don't know how to dance. Seriously, it's true ... I really don't have the moves. So, I'm really excited to learn with the pros."
"It's a wonderful opportunity for me," she added. "If I can't do it with my feet, I'll distract them with my face!"
Following in the footsteps of her Fifth Harmony bandmate, Normani, the singer (who has since gone solo) is beyond excited to get into rehearsals... and finally tell her friends what she's been keeping a secret for so long! "I have not told anybody, except my family of course," she admitted. "But I'm excited to take it on myself. Obviously, Normani's experience on the show, being there was amazing. She had the most incredible time. And she is, like, a whole other level! She is so amazing and so talented. She did unbelievably."
"I hope I can do the same and I'm ready to go out there," Brooke continued. "It's gonna be a different experience, definitely a challenge for me. I don't have a big dancing background, but this is gonna be so much fun, y'all. I'm very excited."
The actress, who played Meredith Palmer on The Office, plans on channeling her character to make it through the competition. "I'm 55. I can't believe I decided it's OK for me to dance," she shared. "But you know, a lot of people take themselves out of the race. So I'm just here to say that I'm the poster child for, 'Hang in there.' And maybe you can still do it. And we'll find out together, America."
"No matter what happens, it's going to be fantastic," she continued. "If nothing else, we'll have a drink and laugh over this. We will."
The former White House press secretary told ET that he decided to say "yes" to DWTS because he wanted to "have some fun in life" and "do something that was a new experience."
"The [press room] was a great experience. Some days were better than others, but I think this is going to be a lot more enjoyable," he shared. "I think it's a great show you can actually sit down as a family and watch. And for the first time, I think it'd be great to tell my kids, 'Hey, watch me on TV!'"
"This is a really good, wholesome show that America can sink its teeth into," he continued. "Most people probably saw one side [of me], which is just standing at a podium tussling with members of the media. Now it's an opportunity to see a different side that wasn't shown at that point."
There will also be two new pros joining this season -- Pasha Pashkov and Daniella Karagach -- who some may recognize from NBC's World of Dance season two.
ABC entertainment president Karey Burke teased earlier this month during the Television Critics Association summer press tour that fans will be introduced to "really fun format changes" this season. While final details have yet to be revealed, we now know that there will be no troupe for the first time since season 11, and for the first time ever, viewers will have to tune in to the season premiere to find out who their favorite professional dancers will be paired up with on the ballroom floor.
"We have a lot of new people behind the scenes," host Tom Bergeron explained to ET on Wednesday. "A new executive producer. There was a fairly widespread feeling among our viewers and among us on the show that we needed to take a look at things and maybe tweak things a bit."
"So, you'll see the results of those deliberations on Sept. 16," he added. "I don't want to give it all away, but the judges will have a little extra oomph this season."
Dancing With the Stars returns for its all-new season Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m ET/PT on ABC.