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Jesse Metcalfe Reveals Why He Finally Joined ‘DWTS’ After Saying No For Years

Dancing With the Stars, News

Dancing With The Stars contestant Jesse Metcalfe is probably most known as the hot gardener from Desperate Housewives. His acting career started over 20 years ago on a little soap opera called Passions. (This Is Us star Justin Hartley got his big break on the daytime sudser, too.) 

While Jesse now stars on Hallmark’s Chesapeake Shores, the actor was hesitant to join DWTS. In fact, ABC has been asking him for years to compete on the dance competition. But he turned them down. What changed?

Jesse Metcalfe Reveals Why He Finally Said Yes to DWTS

The movie and television start spoke to Extra about his decision to join Season 29 of DWTS. During the interview, he revealed that this is the THIRD time the network has offered him a spot on the roster. 

However, he previously turned it down because of optics. In the past, Jesse thought that fans and fellow actors would “look down” on him for joining DWTS. But now he believes the “landscape” has changed. He cites the popularity of social media as the catalyst for the change. 

Jesse notes that celebrities and fans alike are taking to social media to create brands for themselves. He mentions DWTS co-competitor Carole Baskin as an example. He says that Carole is “making the most” of her notoriety from Netflix’s Tiger King. 

Which Season 29 Contestant is a ‘Ringer’?

During the video chat with Extra, the actor said he doesn’t have any dancing training “whatsoever.” However, he notes that he’s athletic. But he does realize that athleticism doesn’t always translate well to the dance floor. 

As for his DWTS competition, he thinks one star has a leg up. Backstreet Boy AJ McLean is a “total ringer,” Jesse says. 

The term “ringer” is common among DWTS fans and contestants. It means someone who has dance training or dance-related skill. As a member of a boy band, AJ often had to learn dance routines.

DWTS ‘Harsh’ Judges Don’t Phase the Actor

Fans of DWTS know that the judges can be harsh. Len Goodman, in particular, is a stickler for the rules of dance. However, he may not judge Season 29 due to COVID travel restrictions. ABC has an announcement this week about Derek Hough returning to DWTS. Could he be a temporary fill-in for Len? 

Whether the judges are harsh or not, Jesse isn’t worried. When asked about the ‘harsh’ criticism from the judges, Jesse shrugged it off. He said that as an actor, he “signs up” for constant criticism. In fact, he said he’s faced the critics throughout his 20-year acting career. 


The actor stars alongside action icon Bruce Willis in the new film Hard Kill. The reviews thus far aren’t very kind. The movie premieres on streaming platforms later this month. 

Dancing With The Stars returns for Season 29 September 14, on ABC. Follow us on social media for all the latest TV news. Watch Jesse’s full interview with Extra below.

Jennifer Havener

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