'Dancing With the Stars' Competitor Kel Mitchell Reveals His Biggest Competitor This Season

New Dancing with the Stars competitor Kel Mitchell knows who will be his biggest competition on the new season this fall. The Kenan & Kel star is sure that fellow actor James Van Der Beek is going to be the star to beat this season. After all, Van Der Beek already competed on the show... sort of.

In an interview with PEOPLE, Mitchell revealed that he watched ABC's short-lived cult sitcom Don't Trust The B– in Apt. 23, in which Van Der Beek played a fictional version of himself. As Mitchell pointed out, the Dawson's Creek star competed on DWTS in the show, although it did not end well for the fictional Van Der Beek.

Mitchell thinks things will go much better for Van Der Beek in real life, though.

"Definitely this version will go a lot better," Mitchell said. "He’s a beast, okay? Me and him, nonstop. When I’m in there, he’s in there. Every time I go to rehearse, I see James."

Mitchell continued, "The other day, he was in there by himself, just practicing... So shoutout to James. That was a surprise I did see which I thought was very, very cool, that he was in there before his partner got there. He’s definitely in the zone."

The Nickelodeon star is still hopeful he can win the mirror ball trophy this season.

"I like to say I’m my biggest competition, so then that way you can’t really get off of your game plan," Mitchell said. "I like to look at it like, ‘Okay, let me just beat what I did yesterday, let me be better than the day before, and just focus on that.'"

Mitchell, 41, is sure his background in hip hop will help, at least when it comes to memorizing choreography. He described the rehearsal process as "very exciting," but he could not say who he is dancing with just yet. The producers decided to hold back the names of the pro dance partners for each celebrity until the season premiere.

"Our first dance is tango and it’s no hip movements or stuff that I’m used to, so shoutout to all ballroom dancers," Mitchell told PEOPLE. "I have so much respect for them. I am feeling muscles I’ve never felt before. It’s some serious, serious technique that needs to be learned. It’s awesome."

Mitchell and Van Der Beek are not the only actors on this season of DWTS. The Office star Kate Flannery will compete. Supermodel Christie Brinkley, who is also taking the dance floor, has plenty of acting experience, having appeared in Parks and Recreation and Jack and Jill.

The other celebrities vying for the mirror ball trophy this season are The Supremes singer Mary Wilson, Queer Eye star Karamo Brown, country singer Lauren Alaina, NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, pop singer Ally Brooke, former NBA player Lamar Odom and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.


Dancing with the Stars Season 28 starts on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC/Justin Stephens