Maria Menounos: 'Dancing with the Stars really scares me'

Published Mar 12 2012, 15:12 GMT  |  By

Maria Menounos has admitted she's nervous to make her debut on Dancing with the Stars.

The Extra host has topped some online polls as the favourite to win Dancing with the Stars, but revealed that her professional partner Derek Hough is having to teach her the basic fundamentals of dance.

Maria Menounos
84th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) held at the Kodak Theatre - Arrivals
Los Angeles, California

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Derek Hough attends the 'Deus Ex: Human Revolution' launch party in Hollywood

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"Now expectations are so high, and I'm not a dancer! I'm literally learning from scratch and it scares me," Menounos told TV Guide. "I would rather have everyone think completely nothing of me and I show them a little something, and it's like, 'Oh, wow! She can do something!'"

Menounos also discussed her strategy to triumph over fellow celebrities in the ballroom.

"Obviously Martina [Navratilova] and Donald [Driver] are fierce competitors and I feel like I probably am the next closest. Because I am very much sports-minded," she joked. "I am pretty competitive. But I think with this, I really am excited that I get to have fun. I keep jumping up and down in rehearsals.

"I want to do well so I can impress myself... I'm more competitive with myself than I think with anyone else. I want to do the best job I possibly can and I certainly don't want to embarrass Derek. Or my family!"

Menounos previously joked that her parents have advised her to "dance sexy" if she wants to win the competition.

Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday, March 19 on ABC.

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