Kellie Pickler, an "American Idol" alum, says she's "bringing the crazy" to ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" dance floor this upcoming 16th season, when she'll compete with former champion Derek Hough.
In an interview with OTRC.com's George Pennacchio, the 26-year-old North Carolina native and country singer adds that she is excited to restart the old "Pick Pickler" fan campaign, which helped her land sixth place on the FOX singing contest series during its fifth season in 2006.
Pickler is one of 11 new celebrities set to compete on "Dancing With The Stars," whose new season premieres on March 18. The cast members, including their pro-dancer partners, were announced on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, February 26. (Check out the list of 11 celebrities set to compete on "Dancing With The Stars.")
"I'm crazy!" Pickler told OTRC.com. "I'm bringing the crazy out here to the dance floor. Got my crazy shoes on. I don't know. I think everyone's gonna bring something different. I just want to have a good time. This is really an opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone and just grow. I'm looking forward to it."
"I was 19 and green when I got in line for 'Idol,'" she recalled. "You can't even really compare the two shows because they're both so different. I guess the only thing that's really in common is the fact that the fans are involved, which is, I think, amazing. I'm excited that we're getting the old 'Pick Pickler' campaign going on again!"
Hough said he initially thought he would not have time to compete on "Dancing With The Stars" this season, as he has been keeping busy with another project.
It was announced on Tuesday that he and his sister Julianne, a show alum, are producing a scripted Starz cable channel series about the "darker side" of ballroom dancing, which will be based on their own experiences as child and teen dancers. The two are originally from Utah and studied dance in England when they were children and teenagers.
"I don't have an accent"
According to Hough, Pickler already shows promise as a ballroom dancer, despite her lack of experience.
"She's got fantastic legs," he said. "Aesthetically, it's going really nice. She definitely has the ability and the capacity so now, when I see that in her, it's kind of up to me tosort of bring that out of her."
Pickler was praised last year when she shaved off her blonde hair to show solidarity for her friend, a breast cancer patient. But six years ago, during her time on 'Idol,' Pickler became a target for jokes. She was mocked by many viewers over what critics called her "ditzy" demeanor and her naivete regarding exotic cuisine -- specifically calamari -- as well as her thick Southern accent.
Hough told OTRC.com that he's started to talk like her.
"My accent is coming out," he said. "I'm starting to pick it up. It's contagious. I'll be full on by the end of this. But it feels so natural, it feels so good to talk with a little accent."
"I don't think I have an accent -- I think ya'll do," Pickler said. "I'm contagious. They don't make medicine for me!"
OTRC.com, parent company KABC Television and the ABC Television Network are owned by the Walt Disney Company.
Tell us who you think will be the first celebrity to be eliminated from "Dancing With The Stars" season 16 and what you think about the cast by voting in our polls below.