Dancing With the Stars contestant John Schneider performed on the show's premiere on Monday, Sept. 24, earning 18 out of 30 points for his dance to "Good Ol' Boys" from Dukes of Hazzard with his dance partner, Emma Slater. It's an impressive score for Schneider, who reveals he had to miss one of the final rehearsals, for a very important cause.
"When the opportunity comes to play the Opry, no matter who I tell – I told my dance partner in Dancing With the Stars, 'Well I can't be there Friday because I'm playing the Opry,'" Schneider recalled to The Nashville Soundbite. "She said, 'What?' She's from London. 'You're playing the Grand Ole Opry?' So it's respected everywhere. It's known everywhere. It's a great band and a wonderful place to call home."
The singer and actor tied for sixth place with contestant Danelle Umstead and Artem Chigvintsev, but he isn't about to be deterred.
"I had a blast," Schneider told Fox News. "I had so much fun. I enjoyed it… but it's interesting. You have to be comfortable. You have to have fun 'cause you have to get over opening night. Nobody can go to the dentist for you."
Judge Len Goodman told Schneider his dance "lacked any finesse," an accusation the 58-year-old didn't entirely refute.
"I did get loosey-goosey because I was having fun, not because my teacher [Slater] didn't beat it into me," Schneider said following his performance. "I took the notes [of the judges' comments]. We're going to work on the notes tonight [in rehearsal]."
Schneider might be working harder than ever, but his hard work is already paying off, at least in one way.
"I've lost 15 pounds," said the singer. "It's really crazy. I don't hurt as bad as I did. After the first week, I felt I'd been run over by a bus or something. And getting up in the morning was hard to do."
Schneider, who lives in Louisiana with his longtime girlfriend, Alicia Allain, once considered taking up dance as a hobby they could share, before life took a tragic turn for the couple.
"We had started taking dance class, Alicia and I, in 2016, and then we had the worst two floods in the history of Louisiana," Schneider revealed. "That put the stop to our dance lessons, but after this we certainly want to take it up again."
Schneider is releasing one song every week in 2018, part of a 52-week project called The Odyssey. He will also release Greatest Hits…Still in November. More information can be found by visiting his website.