THG Exclusive Interview: Derek Hough Talks Dancing With the Stars

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One minute. That's all it took for Derek Hough and Jennifer Grey to become favorites - with the judges and fans alike - on the premiere of Dancing With the Stars.

How does Derek like their chances? Does the perceived experience of Jennifer Grey actually help them? Can he set one of our interns up with his sister Julianne?

Just kidding, we didn't ask about that last item. But Derek was kind enough to talk all things Dancing with us this week. Here's our Q&A with the ballroom pro ...

Derek Hough and Jennifer Grey Photo

Derek Hough with Jennifer Grey.

THG: Have you narrowed down a favorite nickname for you and Jennifer?

Derek Hough: I think we've finally settled on Baby Derek. We've gone back and forth a bit between Jenhougher and Baby Derek.

THG: How is rehearsal going? Do you two have a favorite style yet?

Derek: We've done one latin and one ballroom style so far. Jen has been completely amazing at both. Usually a celeb is stronger in one or the other but not her. We just have to work at keeping her stamina up during the faster paced dances.

THG: Since Jennifer has some dance experience, was it easier to work with her? Does she have that foundation?

Derek: I think its misleading to say she's had dance experience. She had one week of dance training for a movie in which she played someone who didn't know how to dance. That being said she has natural ability, great flexibility and a passion to learn. That's the foundation she brings to the table.

THG: Does Jennifer being so tiny work to your advantage?

Derek: It certainly makes us more evenly matched than some of the other couples, and makes us look like more of a traditional ballroom dance couple, but I don't think it gives us any advantage.

THG: Are you as confident this year as you were last year of winning the trophy?

Derek: I'm never confident. You never know how our audience is going to respond to a dance or a couple. I just take it week by week. Have some fun and teach my partner to dance and hopefully they'll start to have that same love for it that I do.

THG: Who do you think are your strongest contenders? 

Derek: I think the first week of the show proved that anyone can be a contender and a large fan base doesn't necessarily translate into votes. We just have to go out there each week and try and please the audience and ourselves. That's the gameplan. That, and having a blast!

NOTE: See our Audrina Patridge interview for more DWTS scoop!

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Hey, that's a cleevr way of thinking about it.

Dancing with the Stars Quotes

We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before.

Cristian de la Fuente [following his injury, trip to the hospital and subsequent stellar performance]

I am not the best dancer, and I have not been the best dancer from the beginning. I am happy we made it this far.

Cristian de la Fuente
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