Many of the contestants on Dancing with the Stars were apprehensive about switching partners for last week's switch-up, but that wasn't the case for Drew Carey. In fact, the Price Is Right host says he'd like to swap again. (No disrespect to Carey's pro partner Cheryl Burke, of course.)
"It's nice being with Cheryl and having a working relationship like that, but I didn't mind it at all," Carey tells TVGuide.com about the switch. "One of the reasons I did this show was I thought it would be fun to learn dancing from a professional dancer from Dancing with the Stars. So now I got to learn from two. I thought it was exciting, honestly, and I would love to do another switch to see how somebody else teaches. I'm in it for the experience, so I would love to see what it's like to take a lesson one week from Peta [Murgatroyd] or somebody."
With no ballroom dance experience under his belt, Carey recognizes that he's not considered a frontrunner this season — especially going up against professional athletes like Charlie White, Meryl Davis and Amy Purdy.
"It's a competition, but it's a fun competition. It's not life or death," Carey explains. "My joke is, it's not fair that I have to go up against Olympic gold medal ice dancers, but it's not fair that the Browns have to play the Patriots. That's just how it goes. ... I'm only in it for the experience. I'm not really in it to win a Mirrorball trophy."
Check out our full Q&A with Carey to see what he and Cheryl are working on for Disney Week — as well as what viewers would hear if microphones were planted in the skybox during the shows.
Carey: I was pretty confident in the routine. I had it all dialed in, and I had it more memorized than all the other routines that I had. Witney's super easy to work with and fun. The routine was really fun, and I really liked the music. And to tell you the truth, it didn't have as many steps as other routines that I had, so it was pretty easy to memorize. I had a pretty easy time with it.
What was the biggest difference between working with Witney and working with Cheryl?
Carey: Cheryl comes in and she says, "Here's the routine." She shows you it on her phone. It's all mapped out, and that's what you learn. Witney kind of made it up with me as we went. She had a general idea and ... she kind of worked on it over the day and a half, then had it all figured out. Cheryl has it all down and just teaches it to me. So, that was the biggest difference. But either way works for me.
Are you bringing anything you learned from working with Witney into your rehearsals with Cheryl this week?
Carey: Cheryl likes to get all the steps down before she puts music in and Witney let me use music right away to help me learn the steps. So, Cheryl's [now] letting me use music to learn it as I go. We already incorporated that in, which is really helping me out a lot. ... It makes it a lot easier to learn and it lets me know what things are coming. Your body reacts different when you're doing it to music. All the different stings and the horns and stuff that comes in helps you react better.
It definitely seems like you've been showing steady improvement from week to week. Would you agree?
Carey: Well, everybody else is great from the get-go! [Laughs] Absolutely. I think I'm improving week after week, and basic stuff that I had to learn, I know. Today we were doing something and Cheryl said, "OK, this part's a grapevine," and I just knew how to do it. ... And she doesn't have to hound me as much about my frame. A little bit, but not as much as she did a couple weeks ago. So she goes, "Watch your frame," and I know just what to do instead of having to stop every two seconds. So, it's a lot easier for Cheryl that way. And that'll get better and better.
Is it intimidating going up against people like Charlie and Meryl?
Carey: As long as I do well every week and do a good job and [represent] myself well and do the best I can, then I'm getting everything I can out of it. I'm not worried about when I get kicked off or not or win the trophy or not. It doesn't matter to me. I'm here just to have fun and have a good experience, so that's what I'm worried about.
To be honest, that's the attitude I get from [other contestants] too. Everybody I talk to is there strictly just to have fun. It's a really fun group to be around. If you were to take hidden microphone recordings of what we're saying when we're up watching everyone else, away from the camera, all you would hear is positive, fun things. You wouldn't hear one negative comment. Everybody's so nice and friendly and has a really good spirit about things, even in rehearsal. ... Everybody just wants to do a good dance every week and just let the chips fall where they may.
Your routine for Most Memorable Year of Your Life week was very touching. How did it feel to have your son in the ballroom?
Carey: It was great. I don't see him as much as I want to, and so anything I can do to let him know how much I love him and care for him... he's the greatest kid. He's got the biggest heart and he's so sweet. He just turned 9. It means a lot to me. He means the world to me, and I love being a dad. I'm just really proud of him and everything he does, and I want him to be proud of me in everything I do. When you're working so hard, and you're away from him so much when you're working, I want him to see why.
You've also spoken pretty candidly about your health and weight struggles.
Carey: I haven't lost any weight on this stupid show. People bring this up to me all the time. I've talked to people who have lost a lot of weight by being on the show I guess a lot of contestants have lost a lot of weight on the show. I haven't lost a pound. I've been dancing my head off. I've also been eating extra. I haven't been eating any junk, but I've been eating extra. I'll have a couple extra protein shakes, extra fruit and stuff like that. I'm taking in extra calories for what I'm burning off. I still weigh the same when I step on the scales. It's very frustrating. I didn't join this to lose weight. That wasn't my goal when I got the show. But people bring it up to me all the time, like, "Have you lost any weight?" I'm like, "No."
What's been the most surprising or most challenging aspect of the show for you?
Carey: It's a lot of hours, man. Yesterday I got done with work at 6, had a half-hour to eat dinner then I had rehearsal. ... I was at rehearsal til 11:30. Went home, got up at 6:30 this morning ... and got to rehearsal at 8. ... And then tomorrow the same thing. The hours are brutal.
Physically, it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was training for a marathon before I started doing this, so I'm in pretty good shape. My legs are in pretty good shape. My shoulders are more sore than my legs. I'm not used to holding my arms up that much.
What are you and Cheryl working on for this week?
Carey: It's Disney Week. I'm doing a quickstep. It's going great. ... I'm really pleased with it. It's pretty complicated. This is my hardest one ever. There's a lot of steps to learn, and this is the longest dance. The first dance I did was a minute and 10 seconds, and this is a minute and 30 seconds. So that extra 20 seconds is murder. It's a lot of steps to memorize, and a quickstep is all kinds of stuff happening.
Has it been difficult to juggle Dancing and The Price Is Right?
Carey: I'm having a great time. It's such a good show. I feel pretty lucky I'm on two shows on TV. I feel like I'm putting in a lot of hours but I'm doing something that's fun all the time. Price Is Right is a lot of fun. I'm dancing with Cheryl Burke, which is like, twist my arm, you know what I mean? I could be working in a coal mine. ... It's really a great experience. It's a rare experience and not many people get to do it, and I'm really excited I get to do a show like this, and [be] on Price Is Right at the same time. I'm like the luckiest guy in the world right now. It's the greatest.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.