"If they renew it, I would jump at the chance and love to be a part of it again," Rippon said.
ABC asked Rippon to join the judges table for the first DWTS: Juniors season after he won the Mirror Ball trophy at the end of Dancing With The Stars Season 26. Rippon, choreographer Mandy Moore and DWTS pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovsky also acted as mentors for the celebrity children. According to Rippon, that meant his experience coaching young skaters was a bigger help than his own time on DWTS.
"My time on Dancing with the Stars for sure helped, but I think what helped me the most was working with young kids and how they respond, because they can tell a bulls— artist, [even] if they don't even know that word," Rippon explained. "I think that they can just smell when you're not being honest with them. So, it really helped me and prepared me to give constructive criticism, but also be supportive, because these kids are all in show business."
"They're all in sports. They're athletes. They're actors and they get it and they want to improve and they're so hungry," Rippon continued. "That's why I loved the show so much is that, they wanted to improve so much."
Although the kids sometimes cried after hearing the judges' critiques, they were all "champions," according to Rippon, who wanted to push themselves even further than adults do.
"I think with Dancing With The Stars, it's like you have these older people and it's [celebrities] or athletes who just come fresh off of the Olympics, and they're willing to try something," Rippon said, "But I think when a kid is willing to go out there and you just see how well they do, it says a lot and I think it inspires other kids to just go out and try new things."
Rippon won the first athletes-only version of the adult DWTS, and enjoyed his time on the show with pro dancer Jenna Jameson. But if ABC asked him to participate in a new All Stars season, he would prefer to be watching from the crowd.
"If they did another All Star season of Dancing with the Stars, I would definitely go and cheer on, but I think I had my shot and everything went well. I do not think that I could do it again," he said.
Surprisingly, Rippon said ice skating did not help him as much as he thought. After all, Rippon is used to having to care only about himself when competing, but on DWTS, he had a partner to worry about.
"It didn't translate as much as I wanted it to, because the big thing is the footwork is so different and I never skated or danced with a partner before," Rippon explained. "So, if things are going like, my timing is off or whatever, when I see it for myself, nobody notices. Only I know and I can make it up or change something really quick and nobody would know, but it was just the working with a partner that I have never done before. All of the steps, all of the holds, it was completely different."0comments
While Rippon waits for ABC to pick up DWTS: Juniors for another season, the Olympian has plenty of other projects in the works, including a gig as a spokesman for Vicks Nyquil and Dayquil SEVERE with VapoCOOL, and a YouTube channel with the production company Portal A.
Photo credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for TBS