Bill Nye knows you all are thrilled to see him bust a move on Dancing with the Stars – but your excitement is making him nervous. Or, in his words, “[It’s] terrifying! Not just nervous.”
The Science Guy – who is, it should be noted, a long-time recreational dancer – will hit the ballroom starting next week as a contestant on the 17th season of Dancing, which means he’s currently hard at work practicing with his pro partner, newcomer to the show Tyne Stecklein. “She’s extraordinary,” Nye told EW on the phone earlier this week. “I guess they all are. She’s a professional athlete at a world-class level. When you’re around these people, first of all it’s moving. But it’s also unsettling because it doesn’t look real, it’s so far out of your everyday experience. WOW. The other thing is, she’s an outstanding instructor. I’m honored.”
A fan of the show, Nye is quick to highlight his role model past contestants, mostly focusing on athletes such as Jerry Rice, Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Ohno. But Nye can’t keep his focus just on dancing — during EW‘s chat with him, it was obvious his first passion is science, as evidenced by his excited tangents on everything from The Juno Mission (“There’s a spacecraft called Juno at NASA. And so it’s going to – this is- it’s hard to believe – it launched in 2011, I was there in Cape Canaveral, it went out beyond the orbit of Mars, [and] is now falling back in toward the earth on October 9″) to his favorite planet (“[My] favorite planet is Earth. I grew up on Earth, my friends are all Earthlings”). Would fans expect anything less on the 20th anniversary of Bill Nye the Science Guy?
Read on for an edited Q&A with Nye, where he explains his lab coat ballroom attire, his dance-ready catchphrase, and what exactly science has to do with ballroom dancing. READ FULL STORY