Wynonna Judd knew exactly where to turn for advice once she decided to sign up for “Dancing With the Stars.”
The country-music star — known for her success both as a solo artist and as half of a duo with mom Naomi Judd — will be among the new competitors when ABC launches Season 16 of the popular dance contest Monday, March 18.
Rivals will include “American Idol” veteran Kellie Pickler, “Real Housewife” Lisa Vanderpump, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, boxer Victor Ortiz, comics Andy Dick and D.L. Hughley, actors Zendaya Coleman and Ingo Rademacher (“General Hospital”), and Olympians Aly Raisman and Dorothy Hamill.
Judd hopes she’s been given an edge by a proven “Dancing” source. She tells Zap2it, “When I talked to Kirstie (Alley), she said, ‘You know what? It’ll be the most fun you’ll ever have, and it’ll be the hardest you’ll ever work. She said it absolutely put a fire under her butt and a pep in her step.
“My lungs and diaphragm are absolutely intact and ready to go, and like the Army, I can deploy in seconds. Look, I’ve sung on the back of a flatbed truck and at the Kennedy Center with Marvin Hamlisch and a 60-piece orchestra. I’ve been on the tallest of mountains and in the lowest of valleys. You just get to a point where you’re so conditioned.”
Expecting actress sister Ashley Judd and their mother to be in the “Dancing” studio audience at some point, Wynonna adds that Alley — who was the runner-up in Season 12 of “Dancing,” then returned for last fall’s “All-Stars” round — mainly helped her realize “how hard this is on your body. This is going to be like going into boot camp for me, because I don’t get to rest a whole lot in terms of movement.
“When I’m touring and I get off the bus, I’ll meet anybody; seriously, I’m like Miss America. And Kirstie said, ‘Wynonna, you’re really going to have to focus on yourself.’ That was probably the biggest piece of information I needed. My kids are already saying, ‘Oh, it’s spring break! We want to come out and see you.’ And I’m like, ‘Sure, we’ll go to Malibu’ … and then I think, ‘Wait a minute. I probably won’t be able to get out of bed, I’ll be so sore.’
“I’m really going to have to put myself first,” Judd concludes, “which may seem to some to be a selfish thing, but it’s about self-care. I think that’s what Kirstie taught me. And everyone who is watching is going to know me so much more than they ever did.”