Will comedian Bill Engvall be “Dancing with the Stars” first redneck dancing king?
That’s what the “Blue Collar” funnyman is hoping—and judging from his elegant performance of the foxtrot on Monday night’s “DWTS” season premiere, he has a shot at going where no redneck has gone before in the ballroom!
Although Engvall only received a score of 18 out of 30 for his first dance with partner Emma Slater, he showed surprising flair on the dance floor.
And after the show, the comic told xfinityTV in an exclusive interview that he couldn’t be happier.
“I felt really good. I think a lot of people are going to be thinking [about me dancing], ‘Really? I didn’t know he could do that,’” Engvall said.
He credited his dance partner Slater, a former troupe member making her “DWTS” pro debut, for making him ballroom-ready. “This little thing took a rough piece of oar and kind of dusted some of the dirt off of it. I was very happy with our performance. I felt our scores could have been higher but I think even [Judge] Len [Goodman] didn’t expect that at all.
“I know it wasn’t perfect. There were bobbles, but overall, I was totally pleased with it,” Engvall said.
Slater admitted, “It took a lot to get Bill to do ‘Dancing with the Stars’ because it was out of his comfort zone. He’s very nervous but he did a really great job.”
The dance pro said “it was a bit of a shock” to find out Engvall had good rhythm!
Engvall smiled, “The only dancing I’ve ever done was with my wife in one arm and a beer in the other hand and that was two-stepping at some little honky-tonk in Texas. This was a whole new ballgame for me. The first part of our training last week, I was so focused and concerned about the steps, that I forgot to dance [and] just let it go. And that’s her biggest challenge with me because I’m a perfectionist and I want to be able to pick up a guitar and play [Eric Clapton’s classic] ‘Layla.’ I don’t want to learn the scales [first]. And so, we’ve been walking through it. She goes, ‘We’ve got to know the steps before we can do [it] to music.’”
When asked what his “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” buddies—Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy—will think of his “DWTS” moves, Engvall said, “I’ll catch some flack. The boys will give me some trouble but it will all be good-natured. Had I come out and fell or stumbled I think I would have really caught it, but I think [now] there’s going to be some of that, ‘He was pretty good.’”
At 56, Engvall is the third oldest competitor on the physically demanding reality show this season; only Valerie Harper, 74, and Bill Nye, 57, are his seniors.
As he pointed out, “Not only that, but we also got some people in this group who have danced, like professionally. I think they’re going to be the odds-on favorites.
“I think we’re definitely the underdogs. Because nobody’s expecting it!”
Meanwhile, Engvall has already experienced the usual “DWTS” fringe benefit—he’s lost weight!
The comedian laughed about his “DWTS” costume. “They had to alter my pants. I’ve lost some weight and they were slipping down. I think I’m down five or six [pounds]. But it’s more that things get firmed up and it’s like, I realized how bad a shape I was in when I started this.”