Drew Lachey took home the coveted mirror ball trophy on Season 2 of "Dancing with the Stars," but as he returns to the hit reality series for the All-Stars edition, the former boy band member has got his eye on his non-champ co-stars.
"I think the runners-up are the ones to beat because they still have that taste - they still want to win," Drew told AccessHollywood.com's Laura Saltman in an interview on Friday. "So, the runners-up are going to be the tough ones."
While he did earn the trophy (knocking out runner-up Jerry Rice) in 2006, the competition has gotten even fiercer since Drew first hit the dance floor - a motivating factor in his decision to return to the ABC show.
"Every season has been a step up in talent level, aggressiveness and taking on the dances. So for me, that's a big reason of why I decided to come back," he explained. "Second season was great -- it was challenging, it was hard -- but I want to see how I hold up against some of the big boys that have done it in more recent seasons."
As for whether he'd like to be partnered with his original pro, Cheryl Burke, Drew said he's prepared either way.
"If Cheryl and I dance together, we already know how to work together, we already know how far we can push each other. There's that history there," he said. "That being said, with a new partner, there's a new excitement of different skill sets, different choreography, different styles. So, there [are] pros and cons for both.
"Whoever gets Cheryl is gonna be happy," he added. "But I guarantee you I'll be set with whoever I get as well!"
"Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" premieres on Monday, September 24 at 8/7c on ABC.
Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.