The upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars is not only bringing us one of the most interesting and colorful casts in years, but it’s also introducing America to some seriously talented new professionals.
Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with the hottest import from Ireland since Colin Farrell, Tristan MacManus, who has graduated from the dance troupe to the big leagues since being partnered with Nancy Grace for Season 13.
Have you seen our campaign to get to you start tweeting? Why haven't you started tweeting as much as the other pros?
I get Twitter and think it’s a great way to keep it in touch but I don’t do it a lot. I hate reading when people tweet about what you’re eating or who they are out with, but it’s a nice way to keep in touch with people. Eventually I will do it, but in the right way.
I worry about people asking me tons of questions and me not having time to answer them, it embarrasses me a little bit because I’m not used to the attention.
Twitter seems just to be constant updates, it seems to me as promotional tool where people talk themselves up and I don’t want it to take over what I’m doing.
How have you been adjusting to all the new attention?
The attention is something I have to get used to, I’ve never had so many people talk to me in my life! I’m here to do a job and teach someone how to dance, I’m getting attention because I’m the new guy, it’s mad that people are so fired up about it. I didn’t realize how big the whole experience was, my cousin called me from Australia and said I was on TV down there the other day, it’s crazy.
I feel that this too will pass, everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame, in the meantime I’m enjoying myself, getting my job done and answering all the questions. I can be myself and haven’t said the wrong thing yet!
How do you feel about becoming a potential DWTS sex symbol? Will you milk it like Maksim does?
I don’t know about that, I’m getting on a bit now. It can be easy to buy into anything. I would lose focus if I went with it that attitude of wanting to be famous.
The spotlight is something I never expected, and if I sold out now the work I’ve done to get here would be wasted.
Are you single? If yes, who would be your dream celeb date? If no, how does your significant other feel about all of the attention?
I’m very single, frustratingly single but I’m getting a lot of call backs now! Nancy is the only girl I can think about it at the moment.
I love Rihanna, and Zoe Saldana, she is beautiful. I look at every girl and I think “You’re going to change my life.” I’m very down to earth at heart.
How did you get involved with the DWTS dance troupe?
It was by chance really, I was very aware of the show before but it was something I never thought about doing. I was working with London and DWTS contacted me about doing season 11, but at the time I was in Burn the Floor and had just agreed to do the tour so didn’t want to jump ship. Funnily enough, I had an audition for Strictly Come Dancing, the U.K. version of DWTS and they didn’t want me.
How did you and Peta make the transition from troupe to competing pros? Did the producers ask you or did you have to audition?
I tried to work as hard as I could on the troupe then I made it so it’s all paid off.
Initially it was an interview, and they had footage from the shows to see how I was on camera. While we were on the troupe we would still come in every day to dance and that was like a test along the way.
Then we were given someone who had just started to dance to teach to get an idea of how we react to a novice.
I’m made it here because I have an accent, like a bit of a laugh and I’m a good teacher.
How has it been meshing with the other competing pros this season?
I haven’t yet because I’m in Atlanta, it’s hard to socialize when you’re working day to day. Everyone has a job to do. Everyone has been very helpful and friendly and once we get into it everyone will relax a bit.
I gave up competing a long time ago, but would have danced against Mark, Val, Maks and Derek during my time doing competitions, and I’d have never touched them then! They talk about the rivalry, but I was at the back cleaning my shoes. I remember them being at the top and them winning everything, I was never competitively that person.
We noticed that you have quite a few tattoos, how many do you have and do they represent anything special?
They all mean something. I’ve got five at the moment, but the collection is not finished yet. I have three on right arm from Celtic mythology, it’s broken up into four pieces so I have one more to get.
On my ribs, I have my surname, in Ogham writing, which according to the the Natural History Museum of Ireland is the Celtic alphabet. My cousin at home has a tattoo parlor so I get them all done there.
On my left forearm, it says “My family, my friends, my heart,” in Gaelic. That’s what I’m about, it’s what is important to me so that was the first one I got four years ago.
Want more Tristan? Check out the first part of our interview with the Irish stud where he talks about working with Nancy and their biggest challenges this season.