This season’s “Dancing with the Stars” could be called “Dancing with the Illness,” as both Valerie Harper and Jack Osbourne are triumphing over disease on the ABC reality show.
While Harper, 74, battles deadly cancer, Osbourne, 27, has multiple sclerosis. He told reporters after the Monday night season premiere, “I have had no adverse reactions so that’s good.”
But he admitted, “Doctors always have concerns. It’s just the nature of their job. They are concerned individuals. At the end of the day, I’m my own test. They can’t tell me how I’m going to feel. There’s no rhyme or reason to the way MS kind of unfolds itself so they just tell me, roll with it and you be the judge.”
Osbourne added that, so far, “I’ve been feeling fine. Really good.”
And he’s feeling even better after a well-received foxtrot with partner Cheryl Burke, which received a strong score of 23. The performance had his mother, Sharon Osbourne, sobbing in the audience as she sat next to Jack’s father, rocker Ozzy Osbourne.
“I felt massively relieved it was happening so it could be over,” Osbourne admitted of Monday’s first “DWTS” performance. “I was terrified and the past few days have been a rough roller coaster — nightmares, freakouts.”
The former “Osbournes” star revealed when he has his mental episodes, “I squat. It’s the weirdest thing. I literally pop a squat. It’s like a weird meditative thing.”
Osbourne said he has bonded with Harper.
“We had a little conversation at lunch, but it wasn’t so much about [our illnesses]. We just kind of talked about how messed up our brains were,” he joked.
More seriously, Osbourne added, “Valerie is kind of turning into team mom. Everybody is having a nice chat with her. She’s so wonderful and has always got a big smile on her face. She’s nice to be around.
“Valerie is that beacon of white light. She is much braver…than myself.”
Although “DWTS” competitors always lose weight on the show, Osbourne said, “That’s the least of my concern. If it happens, great, but I’m not like, ‘I’m going to get in a 30 by the end of this week!’ No. Screw that. I just want to survive.”