DWTS Runner-Up Reveals the Only Reason He’d Return to the Ballroom


Heavy A "Dancing With the Stars" alum spoke out about the show.

A “Dancing With the Stars” alum says he’s too busy to return to the ballroom, but he admitted if he was able to work it out he’d do it – for his mom.

In a September 20, 2023 interview on the “Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef” podcast, DWTS season 3 alum Mario Lopez said he’d have to think about a future return to the show because he has a lot on his plate.  In 2006, Lopez, 49, competed on the third season of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition and was partnered with pro dancer Karina Smirnoff, where they landed in the runner-up spot behind Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke.

When Yontef quipped that Lopez was ‘robbed” of the mirrorable trophy and asked him if he would ever consider returning for an All-Stars season, Lopez said he did enjoy his time on the show.

“I mean, I had a lot of fun doing it and I got to dance a lot in my last holiday movie, ‘Stepping Into the Holiday’ on Lifetime, which did really well,” he said. “And I think they want do some more, where we get some more dancing. But I don’t know if I’d have the time to do this show. But for some reason it was able to work out, you know, it could be fun. I know my Mom would get a kick out of it.”

Mario Lopez Said He’s a ‘Mama’s Boy’

While speaking with Yontef, Lopez touched on his close relationship with his mother, Elvira. He also teased that she was the only reason he agreed to join the TV dancing show in the first place nearly 20 years ago.

“It was just challenging to learn the different dances,” he said of the ABC dance-off. “It wasn’t so hard on my body… it was just sort of,  it was fun. It was challenging but it was fun and my Mom wanted me to do it. I’m big Mama’s boy, so I did it.”

Lopez had actually been asked to compete in the second season of DWTS, but he turned it down. In 2006, he told TV Guide he did it for his mom. “My mom kept bugging me to do it, and I wanted to make her happy,” he said, “When she found out that I was going to be on, she freaked out. And when I found out what it entailed, freaked out! “

A decade ago, Lopez shot down the idea of an All-Stars season. At the time, he told TV Guide, “I’m really busy, so I don’t think I’ll be able to do it.”

“I don’t watch the show and didn’t even watch when I was on it. My mom wanted me to do it,” he added in the 2012 interview,  according to CBS News.

Mario Lopez Didn’t Rule Out a Return to Another Popular Show

Saved by the Bell reboot


Lopez has been working as an actor since he was a child, and by his teen years he was a star on the Saturday morning sitcom “Saved by the Bell.”  He told Yontef that between his  nationally syndicated radio show, iHeart’s “ I’m with Mario,” and his entertainment news shows “Access Daily” and “Access Hollywood,” he is “literally on TV or on the radio for hours a day.”

While he has a busy schedule, Lopez told Yontef he wouldn’t say no to a “Saved by the Bell” reunion or reboot. “I mean, I don’t know, to tell you the truth, there are no plans at the moment, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but who knows? Who knows? “ he teased.

“There’s a lot that I want to do, but probably more on the production side, just more producing and what have you,” he added. “But you know, I got my plate full and feel very blessed and lucky.”

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