DWTS: Mark Ballas on Rooting for Chaz Bono, and the Trouble With Same-Sex Partners

Mark Ballas may be paired with reality staple Kristin Cavallari for the latest installment of Dancing With the Stars, but that doesn’t mean his loyalties sit solely with her. Talking with TVLine Saturday night in Los Angeles at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony, the two-time DWTS champ expressed a soft spot for one of his Season 13 rivals: Chaz Bono.

“He’s a lovely person. He’s putting himself out there. He’s going to go for it. I’m rooting for him,” said Ballas, adding it was “whack” that Bono has endured a flurry of negative comments for being the show’s first transgender contestant. “This is a dance show at the end of the day. It’s not politics. It’s a dance show. He’s going to do great, and he’s lovely. So good luck to him.”

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Ballas also addressed the idea of whether or not DWTS might ever feature a same-sex couple, a topic that’s received renewed attention since openly gay contestant Carson Kressley was paired with Anna Trebunskaya instead of a male pro. “Is [a same-sex pairing] possible? Yes,” said Ballas. “But in my opinion and in the opinion of most professional dancers who really are well-versed in this sport, it puts you at a disadvantage. Because if you put two women together, a woman’s never going to be able to lift another woman over her head like a man. And if you put two men together, no matter how hard you [try], a man is never going to be able to move like a woman. At the end of the day, we’re judged off how the man moves, how the woman moves. So you’re giving yourself a handicap. But am I up for it? Totally. I’m not against it at all.”

And what about his own prospects for this year’s mirrorball trophy? Ballas, who’s finished third for the past two DWTS seasons (with Chelsea Kane and Bristol Palin respectively), sounded optimistic. “It’s going great. [Kristin] is lovely. Like ray of sunshine, up for the challenge, listens to me, has zero ego, and completely just goes for it.”

Ballas said he’s been working hard to get Cavallari to straighten her legs, but thus far she’s proving to have a good sense of rhythm and hasn’t suffered any injuries. “Not yet,” he added. “Thank God!”

Are you excited for Season 13 of Dancing With the Stars? Sound off with your thoughts below! And for all my reality recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV. (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)