'Dancing With The Stars': Jaleel White Talks Rumors, 'Moves Like Jagger' And His Bromance With Roshon Fegan

Jaleel White On His 'Dancing With The Stars' Regrets

Last week on "Dancing With the Stars," many of the contestants were brought to tears when they had to relive their most memorable year.

Former child star star Jaleel White decided to choose 1993, the year Stefan Urquelle, Steve Urkel's handsome, smooth-talking alter ego, made his debut on "Family Matters."

Yet, despite the fans' overwhelmingly positive reaction, White wants everyone to know that this was a one-night-only event. In other words, don't expect Steve Urkel to make a cameo on the dance floor.

"You can't have Katherine [Jenkins] and Mark [Ballas] out there doing the amazing dances that they're doing, and then have me come out there in suspenders so that some guys out there in frickin' Idaho will think it's cute," White told HuffPost TV. "This is a real competition, and I'm going to take it seriously."

This week, however, White will be channeling another iconic pop culture figure -- sans suspenders and glasses -- for "Dancing With the Stars'" rock week.

"I'm channeling my inner Mick Jagger," said White. "We're going to be doing a tango, and I'm really excited about it. Kym keeps telling me that this is actually easier than what I've already done, and I'm like, 'Really? Because it doesn't feel that way.' [Laughs.]"

HuffPost TV chatted with White about his upcoming rock week tango, William Levy's one-man bachelorette party, his bromance with fellow contestant Roshon Fegan -- who he says makes him want to be 20-years-old again -- and the rumors surrounding him and partner Kym Johnson.

So you're channeling your inner Mick Jagger this week, which means that you and Kym are totally getting down to "Moves Like Jagger" in rehearsals, right?
Got to do that! We're still going to stay authentic with it, but I actually really like the song. It's infectious, and I even got my competitors running around the rehearsal hall singing it!

Who, at this point, is your biggest competition?
Everybody is going to say everybody this season, but I mean it, and I have a reason for it. There's nobody in this competition that's not working hard. Normally, you get a couple of reality stars with a questionable work ethic, but that's not the case here. Every single person in this competition has a hell of a work ethic. Jack Wagner was working his butt off. I watched him every day. His hair was always wet, and his neck was always wrapped in a towel. Nobody wants to go home.

But I have to say that I'm enjoying Will Levy's one-man bachelorette party. It's hysterical, and when it strikes up, all you can do is enjoy it. He's such a fun guy to be around in rehearsal every day. So right now, my frontrunner would be Will Levy, but that's just because nobody can get a female reaction the way that he can. [Laughs.]

I feel like he also has a bit of an advantage on the Latin dances.
Maybe slightly. You'll have to see my tango and let me know if you still believe that.

Now, I have not been shy about telling the world how much I love Gladys Knight. She's my favorite this season. Sorry!
That's perfectly okay. Gladys is a wonderful energy to be around. She's been in this entertainment game for so long, and she's working hard too! The name of this game right now is just go out and do the best that you can do, so that you can enjoy the after party. [Laughs.] That's what I try to tell everybody. You just don't want to put up a bum dance in this group because you've worked hard all week, and you want to be able to go out with everybody and say, "I did my best." No one wants to spend Monday night knowing that they didn't bring it 100 percent.

Freestyle week isn't until later in the competition, but do you ever wish that "Dancing With the Stars" would allow for different types of dance, like hip hop, on a regular basis?
Not really. Each dance has its own personality, so if you try to inject too much of your personality, it doesn't always work. Len told one of the competitors last week that he wished he would have seen more traditional samba, so if that's what he needs to see in order to grade you, then you don't want to go any further off the books. It's only going to hurt your chances, even when it comes to the freestyle. You have to watch yourself. You can't go and try to remake Bobbi Brown's "Every Little Step," and expect Len to appreciate it.

What about this new judging system? Are you happy that the judges now have the power to send you home, and not the public?
Well, I didn't know anything about the show. [Laughs.] So I didn't have any new system to get used to. I know that Kym, from day one, has only talked about the judges. The judges this, the judges that ... I've always been doing this for her first and the judges, second. Obviously, I'm just trying to enjoy myself for the fans.

The media has changed a lot since you were in "Family Matters," so how are you handling all of these rumors and reports that are popping up every week?
I've been in this business for 30 years, and this is not my first time at the rodeo. My track record as a person speaks for itself. I've never been in trouble with the law, and I'm a diligent father. That's probably the toughest thing that I'm dealing with right now, just the time that I'm spending with my daughter. She came down to the rehearsal hall to play with Kym, and Kym taught her the quickstep. [Laughs.] At two-and-a-half years old, she's already better than me!

I'm going to have a real life after this. When this show ends, and everybody has had their fun and I've had my fun learning to dance -- because don't get it twisted, it has been fun -- I have a real life to get back to. But the experience has been a blast. When we lock the doors and keep everybody out, we're having a great time. You're constantly passing famous people in the kitchen, and we're all getting snacks and cracking jokes. Roshon Fegan has me on the floor every damn day. He just makes me want to be 20 again!

Last week, you channeled Stefan Urquelle.
My regret last week is that I didn't smile more. When I looked back at the tape Tuesday morning with my daughter, I could see my frustration. I could see my anxiety. I did my best to mask it, but I'm human. It was such an emotional moment for me because that character really does mean a lot to me.

Is there any small chance that fans are going to see a glimpse of Steve Urkel on the dance floor?
It's a fair question, but I actually don't think that people really care anymore. I definitely don't see a dance that would allow him to come back without me being marked off for it. I've been noticing that if you get too cutesy with it, the judges will really come after you. Roshon kind of had a cutesy dance last week, but the thing is that he can dance his ass off. God, he saved that dance with his moves. That boy can move! I have so much respect for him channeling Michael Jackson. But I'm just trying to stay away from anything cutesy. I want to stay true to the dance.

You can't have Katherine [Jenkins] and Mark [Ballas] out there doing the amazing dances that they're doing, and then have me come out there in suspenders so that some guys out there in frickin' Idaho will think it's cute. This is a real competition, and I'm going to take it seriously.

"Dancing With the Stars" airs at 8 p.m. ET on Mondays and 9 p.m. ET on Tuesdays on ABC.

Before You Go

Popular in the Community