Sunrise star Sam Mac's 'controversial' take on Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars: All Stars made its way back to screens on Sunday night for a second season featuring ten returning celebrity dancers and four wild card entrants including Sunrise weatherman Sam Mac.
The quick-witted presenter joked that while others may 'hear' music, he 'feels' it, telling Yahoo Lifestyle it's his biggest asset on the dance floor.
The 39-year-old spoke to us ahead of his dancing debut on the show, with the first seven celebs and their dancing partners taking the stage on Sunday night.
The star said he wasn't "surprised" to be asked on the show, telling us, "Dance has always been part of who I am. It's quite evident when you see me move, so I felt like it wasn't that big of a surprise when they called me up for All Stars – I probably wouldn't have fit in a regular season.
Sunrise star Sam Mac’s prank backfires live on-air: ‘Didn’t care’
Sunrise's Kochie and Nat Barr lose it over Sam Mac's blunder: 'Don't cut that'
Sunrise's Nat Barr red-faced over Sam Mac's X-rated remark: 'What!?'
"With all due respect, the standard probably wouldn't have been where I'm at in the dance world. So no, I wasn't surprised, and I guess this is my time to shine, this is my moment."
When asked if he was annoyed he hadn't been called up for the show sooner he joked, "Look, I'm sure that it was on the top of their minds and they probably thought the show was a little beneath me when they see what I can do on the dance floor – I mean, I remixed 'Strawberry Kisses' with Nicki Webster in 2017 and rapped in that and also did a little bit of dancing in that."
He continued, "So they probably knew that it wasn't the right time. But now is the right time. And I think the global pandemic has given us all a chance to think about, you know, what really matters to us in life, what our legacy is, and for me, it's dance and then the fact that I'll be able to inspire the future generation of, particularly, young lads to do their thing on the dance floor is exciting."
Speaking about his first impressions of the show and the whole Dancing with the Stars experience, Sam shared his "controversial viewpoint".
"I felt like they had a rather strong focus on choreography," he shared. "This might be a controversial viewpoint, but I'm anti-choreography. I'm all about feeling the music. I feel if you try to label you know where your foot should be and what step happens at what time, it's a little bit too predetermined, and you're losing the essence of what dance is about to me, which is flow, enjoyment, being in a moment and feel."
The presenter continued, "I certainly won't be winning any points for choreography or even remembering basic steps. What I will do is I'll make the audience feel something through their television and or devices."
He added that it was "a bit annoying" having the judges say you need to be well-choreographed, jokingly saying, "No disrespect to the judges but they're from a different generation. They from a time when things were very much by the book.
"If you look at the evolution of dance, you know, what's happened in the last 10 years, your Cardi Bs, you know, things change and it's not so much about the choreography and the old steps. It's about what can you do that's gonna connect with your audience."
He then quipped, "And, you know, Todd has been an amazing performer, but I don't think he's connected to an audience for 30 years."
Speaking of some of his dancing inspirations, Sam named Elvis Presley and Beyonce Knowles, saying, "When Elvis started dancing, people used to say 'they'll hate his type of dancing,' they tried to ban him from TV for thrusting, I'll probably get the same – I'll probably get banned for thrusting! Like people would say that Beyonce's moves were inappropriate – am I putting myself in the same category as Beyonce and Elvis? Yes. But look, dance evolves, and it's okay to be different. I guess that's the message behind my dance."
On a (slightly) more serious note, Sam shared that it was quite "hectic" going from his job on Sunrise where he's on-air from 5am to then go straight into rehearsals from 10am to 6pm.
"You're basically going all day, but dance is one of my true life passions. So the hours fly by and I think if you spoke to my dance partner Ruby you'd find it was a joy for her and she didn't find me frustrating at all. And the fact that I was anti-choreography, that wouldn't have frustrated her at all," he said with a laugh.
"I mean, I think she counted every day as a blessing, just to be alongside a celebrity of my nature."
Thankfully, due to Sam's training as a schoolboy soccer player, he didn't find the dancing too physically taxing, saying, "I was absolutely in the zone fitness-wise," adding the only thing that ever held him back was "that pesky choreography and remembering things".
When asked what fans can expect from his first dance, he shared that he undergoes quite the "transformation".
"[Fans] had a little glimpse last night that I was in character as a bit of a nerdy, geeky, you know, glasses, green knitted cardigan, kind of aesthetic – obviously, that was a bit of a stretch for me to play a nerdy, goofy kind of character. When in reality, I'm very smooth – anyone who's met me would know that. So, what happens over the course of my dance this Sunday is a transformation.
"So, I'll go from that nerdy, goofy character to hopefully by the end of the dance, the smooth, cool guy who gets the girl. It's a pretty quick, extreme transformation."
Dancing with the Stars: All Stars continues on Sunday at 7pm on Channel Seven.
Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.
Or if you have a story idea, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.