Exclusive: Mario Lopez’s DWTS Advice for Co-star Maria Menunous: Tequila!

Mario LopezMario Lopez and Dancing With The Stars are once again reunited. No, he’s not back on the show for season 14. The Season 3 Alumni and runner-up is the ultimate prize for one lucky fan through the Dance of a Lifetime contest promoted by the Game Show Network, which just picked up past seasons of DWTS to air 6 p.m. Saturdays on GSN. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a stake in Season 14.

Hollywood.com spoke with Lopez about the contest, giving advice to his friend and colleague Maria Menounos, and who else he’s rooting for when the competition returns 8 p.m. ET/PT March 19 on ABC. Lopez said the judges for the contest are looking for passion, a clever approach and people with authentic personalities that shine through in their dancing. But where should Menunous get that “passion?” He’s got a novel idea: “Maybe a tequila shot right before you perform, that’ll help loosen you up,” he joked.

But Lopez also doled out some real advice to his Extra co-host: “I just told her, you know I think she has a great partner in Derek [Hough]. If she listens to him, she’ll be fine,” he said. “And again … just have fun when you’re out there.” He also noted that Menunous shouldn’t get stuck in her own head. “Don’t worry about counting your steps or necessarily thinking too much cause I think it will show and if you have fun, everyone will have fun with you,” he said.

And while Lopez concluded that if Maria doesn’t win, he really would like to see Jaleel White and Sherri Shepherd go far, he’s got a few of his own projects to look after. “Other than seeing me every night on Extra, I got my seventh season of America’s Best Dance Crew coming up around the corner, I got a nationally syndicated radio show called On With Mario Lopez that’s going to be premiering in April … and of course playing dad to my beautiful little girl.”

For more Mario Lopez, fans are encouraged to submit videos to gsn.com and the most unique might end up sharing a unique experience with Lopez. And of course, Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday, March 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.