John Schneider made it to sixth place on Season 27 of Dancing With the Stars, a feat that he says was both a blessing and a curse. The actor and singer, who wanted to be on the show at least in part to remind fans of his music career, saw the reality TV competition as a great platform for the next phase of his career.
"The reason I went on the show – because they'd asked before – was because we had released a single every Tuesday of this year, so this year's all been about music, and [my girlfriend and business partner] Alicia and I both wanted people to start thinking about me musically rather than just as the guy from any number of television shows," Schneider told PopCulture.com. "I love the television shows, but we do independent music, so we paid for all this music, and it would be nice to actually sell some of it."
Still, the New York native was unaware of how exhausting and grueling his time on the TV show would be.
"I had no idea really how much of a time commitment and effort commitment it was going to be," Schneider admitted. "So [pro partner Emma Slater] and I rehearsed at least five hours a day every day that I was doing that, so it was ten weeks. And on the days we actually shot, on Mondays when we actually did the show live, that was a day that started at 7:30 in the morning and didn't end until 9:00 or so at night. Actually, sometimes it was midnight, because if you made it through, you'd rehearse the next week's dance. You'd start rehearsing. So it was pretty crazy."
"But I loved it," he continued. "I enjoyed it. I lost 26 pounds doing the show. Time-wise, what was so odd was we'd already committed to, not a big concert schedule, but some concerts, and some autograph signing things, and I still do car shows ... So there were concerts, there were autograph shows, then Dancing with the Stars called, and we said yes, and fit that schedule over top of the existing schedule. And then it just got insane. It got crazy busy, and I lasted for seven weeks."
Schneider became a fan favorite on DWTS, but had to bow out of the upcoming tour, for a very good reason.
"We spent an incredible amount of time this year doing music, and creating content, and next year is going to be all about doing concerts and selling records, really," Schneider explained. "Well, whatever they're called now. Downloads, and CDs, and all that kind of stuff. When we did Dancing with the Stars, it was all-consuming, and the tour sounded like it was not going to be all-consuming ... It became all-consuming."
"All of a sudden, 'Well, yeah, you'll be singing, but it won't be any of your music, because we can't change the show at all from one person to the next,'" he added. "Which makes sense to me, but it wasn't how they tabled it. They tabled it like, 'Hey, come on, you can do your music, and we'll help you promote your music,' but that was kind of a bit of a bait and switch."
Even though the Dukes of Hazzard star won't be on tour, both he and his music will still be a part of some of the tour stops.
"We talked about it initially, and it was like, if it can't be about helping me further the music career that I'm picking back up again, then there's really nothing in this for me," explained Schneider. "I'm 58 years old. I've had a lot of fun. I had a great time doing the show, but it has to be about selling my music, not about selling your show."
Instead of dancing, Schneider will perform concerts to coincide with the Dancing With the Stars tour.
"I can't wait to see Milo [Manheim] again," Schneider said. "I mean, Milo, what a doll. I can't wait to see Juan Pablo again. So these are friendships we'll have. Bobby [Bones]. These are friendships I'll have always, so I want to go see them do the show without having the responsibility of having to go up there and sing 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy,' and do a quick step at the same time."
In addition to Schneider's daunting Odyssey project, which by the end of the year will have 52 songs – one each week of the year throughout 2018 – and an upcoming Greatest Hits project, the multi-talented star also has several other business ventures, which he has streamlined for his loyal fans.
"I have an app!" Schneider revealed. "I've come into this century. Because of Snapchat, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, and MySpace ... We have an AirBnb. We have all kinds of things at the studio, but there were too many places to send people, so we hired someone and designed an app which is a portal. So if you go and you get the free app, John Schneider, just the John Schneider app, it will take you to all those places so you don't have to remember."0comments
Along with the app, updates on Schneider, including music downloads and concert dates, can be found at JohnSchneiderStudios.com.
Photo Credit: David Livingston / Contributor, Getty Images