Credit: Maury Phillips/WireImag/Bing Photo: Derek Hough, Maria Menounos and Shawn Johnson at the "Bing It On" Challenge Event Launch in Los Angeles

Can Derek Hough bring out the woman in his Dancing With the Stars Season 15 All-Stars partner Shawn Johnson? That’s what the talented dance pro said he is hoping to do when Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with him and former partner Maria Menounos at the “Bing It On” Challenge Event Launch in Los Angeles earlier this week. Read on for Derek (and Maria’s!) thoughts on All-Stars, Shawn Johnson, and future All-Stars seasons.

Wetpaint Entertainment: I feel like your entire cast is energized by DWTS All stars. Are you feeling it?
Derek: They're on crack, cocaine — I’m just kidding. No. It's really different. The energy's different because normally the first week, everyone's like, “Yay. I'm so excited. Yay, I’m on the show.” And honestly, what I've seen is “We've got to work really hard. We've got to make things happen.” It's a lot more competitive already. The tension in the room already is there. We haven't even started yet, but everybody's really good. I've already seen a few people. I’m like, they're already very, very good.

Are you sad that Maria's not part of this set of all stars?
Derek: I'm always sad, but I am and I'm not because…

Maria: Do you miss me?  

Derek: Yes. I'm very fortunate because I get to see Maria all the time because we're very close to each other. She works right around me so it's good. We get to see each other all the time.

Would you have wanted to be part of All-Stars?
Maria: Hell, yeah.

Muscle aches, blisters…
Maria: Yes. Are you kidding me?

Do you think they should continue the All-Stars thing—
Maria: Yes.

—forever?
Maria: Yes. We get to do it multiple times until we get it right. It should be like until you win, you should just keep coming back. I want to do it for the rest of my life.

Derek: I mean maybe by Season 20, who knows? They might bring it back. But this is an experiment. We’ll see. We don’t know how it’s going to go. It might be crazy. But what’s interesting is that everybody is going to be really good, out of the gate. Someone’s going home first week. Two people are going home week four, and two people are going home week six. Boom, in your face.

Well, at least you’re dancing with an Olympian.
Derek: Yeah. She’s great. Honestly, she’s doing great. One thing I want to make different about this experience for her than last time is, you know, she was 17 last time, and she just got off the Olympics. And she was in like her world. She was a young girl. Now, she’s a woman, and I want to find that woman. Let’s bring her out. Let it all out. Let’s show the rawness, edge you up a little bit. But she’s great. She’s wonderful.

As a host yourself, do you have any advice for Khloe Kardashian who’s going to be doing The X Factor?
Maria: I think if they chose Khloe, they chose her for a reason. And so she doesn’t really need advice. Khloe’s a big personality. She’s fun. She says what’s on her mind, and I think that that’s what they want. They want someone who’s going to speak their mind and kind of get in there and add a little texture to it. So I think she’s going to be great. If she gets it, I think she’ll do great.
Derek: Yeah. That show’s looking at a very specific demographic, for sure. You can tell.

Do you Bing yourselves?

Derek: I love Bing’ing myself. I could Bing all night. Who doesn't, right?

Dancing With the Stars Season 15: All-Stars will premiere on Monday, September 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Check out the full All-Stars cast list here.

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