“I think she knew the dancing was going to take a step backward with me involved and not Derek,” Lachey said in a phone interview.
After all, Derek is a six-time champ on “Dancing With the Stars.” Lachey was the fifth celebrity ejected on the ABC contest this season, which Jordan Fisher won.
“There’s an opening number — to call it dancing would be a disservice to real dancers,” Lachey said. “There is some movement.”
But Lachey described Julianne Hough as “awesome” and hard-working. “Everyone involved — the crew and production — it couldn’t have been smoother,” he said. “Obviously, Disney takes great care of you when you’re there.”
Lachey and Hough host two ABC specials from Walt Disney World. “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” airs at 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30. “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration” will play Christmas morning and feature 98 Degrees performing “Season of Love.” The performers at Disney World in both specials include Fifth Harmony, Ciara and Darius Rucker.
Lachey raved about the visit. “It had been a long, long time since I had been to Disney World,” he said. “I go to Disneyland pretty often. They’re so different. You forget how much bigger Disney World is, just how expansive it is. I guess one of coolest things was the Avatar ride at Animal Kingdom.”
His family — wife Vanessa Lachey and their three kids — stayed in Los Angeles. “It was a work trip,” he said. “If I’m lucky enough to do it again, I’ll definitely bring the family next time.”
Lachey is on the 31-stop 98 Degrees holiday tour, which plays Jacksonville on Nov. 30. The group includes brother Drew Lachey, who won season two of “DWTS.” Other stops are St. Petersburg on Dec. 8, Miami on Dec. 9, West Palm Beach on Dec. 10 and Sarasota on Dec. 11.
On the “DWTS” finale, Nick Lachey performed “Someone to Dance With,” which was inspired by his time on the show.
“I went into it not being a very confident or good dancer. I don’t think I necessarily came out of it a good dancer,” he said. “For me, dancing is not the comfort zone. I was really happy I did it.”
Spouse Vanessa was another celebrity this season, but Lachey said “it was more about a support system than competing.” She was out the week after he was ejected.
“We both knew going in who the better dancer was,” he said. “It was no shock to anybody, including us, that she lasted longer on the show.