Bill Nye "in it to win it" on "Dancing with the Stars"

"Science Guy" Bill Nye and partner Tyne Stecklein on "Dancing with the Stars." ABC

Bill Nye is ready to bust a move on "Dancing with the Stars."

The "Science Guy" is part of the new cast of competitors on ABC dancing competition, facing off against the likes of Valerie Harper, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Keyshawn Johnson and Leah Remini.

So, is he nervous about putting on his dancing shoes on live TV?

"There's nervous, and then there's this other level, which, I think we would go with terrified," he told CBSNews.com.

The 57-year-old TV personality also said his rehearsals with professional partner Tyne Stecklein have been "exhausting."

"I watch myself on video, I'm so bad. It's extraordinary," he added. "The guy has such horrible posture, he's so pigeon-toed -- how can he even move around on the Earth? He's so uncoordinated."

But he's got a good partner in Stecklein, who is new to the competition this season.

"She is an expert at this business," Nye said. "It is just weird to me, as an educator, how good she is -- what needs to be fixed, remembering it, encouraging you, being firm but fair and all that, and she's just a world-class athlete."

Despite those nerves (I'm extraordinarily nervous," he admitted, "But in the theatre [said in a British accent], they would say if you stop being nervous, stop doing it"), Nye is ready to cha-cha -- the style he'll be dancing during Monday night's premiere -- waltz, tango, and foxtrot his way to the mirrorball trophy.

"I'm in it to win it, people!" he declared.

Nye does have a bit of a dance background. "I love swing dancing," he said. "And there's a dance called the jive, which is sort of the international interpretation of swing. So I think there should be some transferable skills. I'm just hoping against hope that there are skills that can be transferred."

But he's also been sizing up his competition: "I mean, there's Corbin Bleu! He's a professional dancer. Keyshawn Johnson's a professional athlete. Elizabeth Berkley is statuesque and has quite a bit of dance experience," he said. "I'm in a tough league." Comedian Bill Engvall "may come out of nowhere -- he's been on stage forever, he's funny, he's engaging. Amber [Riley], I mean, these people are professional entertainers!" he added. And as for Snooki, "People might have a certain expectation about Snooki and her attitude to this thing...[But] she's motivated."

Nye's motivated, too, and hopes his presence on the show will raise awareness about science - his and Stickland's team name is "Hot Knowledge," he said, and he'll even have the logo for The Planetary Society on his costume -- along with another Bill Nye ensemble staple: "There will be a lot of bow-ties!"

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

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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