With 10 days to go before the premiere of “Dancing With the Stars,” ballroom champ Chelsie Hightower says she’s excited about the progress her new partner, Romeo, is making. “He’s definitely in it to go a long way, taking it very seriously and working his butt off. He’s picking it up so quickly, and it’s obvious his athletic background is so helpful with that,” she says of the rapper once known as kid star Lil’ Romeo. In terms of his body, ‘There’s not a lot we have to do — he’s in great shape already.” Plus, “He’s really easy to be around. We laugh and play all day.” They also hug goodbye, as chronicled by paparazzi and numerous websites.
Asked which celebrity among the competition she has her eye on, Hightower noted that Disney Channel dream girl Chelsea Kane (formerly Staub) “is actually looking good. I’ve seen a few sets she’s done and she’ll definitely be a competitor. She’s cute and sweet and lots of fun.”
Chelsie took a critical hammering for some of her choreography with Michael Bolton last season — particularly having the pop star make his entrance form a dog house for a “Hound Dog” number. But she’s clear that she has no intention of letting naysayers cause her to pull back, creatively. “You know what, if you don’t take risks, you’re not interesting. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. And at the end of the day it’s a TV show,” shrugs the beautiful blond, whose partners have also included rodeo star Ty Murray and extreme snowboarding champ Louie Vito. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You just have to move on and keep looking forward to the next week.”