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AJ McLean says Nick Carter's 'DWTS' advice "freaked me out a little bit"

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ABC/Frank Ockenfels

Like his Backstreet Boys bandmate Nick Carter before him, AJ McLean is about to step into the Dancing with the Stars ballroom for his chance at the Mirrorball trophy.

Nick was runner-up on season 21 of the show, so naturally AJ sought advice from his pal — though it wasn’t quite the advice he was looking for.

“His initial conversation with me freaked me out a little bit,” AJ laughs to ABC Audio. “…He was just like, ‘Hey, man, just so you know, there’s going to be curveballs and they’re going to throw crazy stuff at you and you have to learn a brand new dance in like two hours.’ And I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! You’ve got to give me a minute, man. Like, let me take in every day as it comes.’”

Despite unintentionally psyching him out at first, AJ says Nick has been a “massive, massive supporter” along with his other BSB bandmates.

“Nick’s just been really like a mentor for me through this process so far because he did make it to the finale,” AJ says. “And I know that there’s a lot of — I don’t want to say pressure, but there’s a little bit of pressure, I feel like that’s been put on me, you know, to at least come in second and not get voted off the first night.”

So what’s his strategy going into tonight?

“I’m just going to leave everything on the dance floor and go out there and bring down the house,” he says. “I know that there’s no audience, but I want everybody at home to get up out their couch, get up off their chairs and just have a blast. And that’s what I plan on bringing.” 

Dancing with the Stars premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

By Andrea Tuccillo
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