"I'm excited for him to actually comprehend what a cool uncle he has," Val Chmerkovskiy tells PEOPLE of his nephew Shai Aleksander

By Jen Juneau
March 01, 2017 04:15 PM
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Credit: 247PAPS.TV / Splash News

Shai Aleksander has not one, not two, but three family members going head-to-head on Dancing with the Stars this season.

Though the 8-week-old son of Maks Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd might be too young at this point to pick favorites, at least his uncle Val Chmerkovskiy knows he’s got one thing going for him in terms of his nephew.

“I am the cool uncle!” Val, 30, told PEOPLE at the Planet Hollywood Red Room Wednesday in New York City.

“I’ve bought him an entire wardrobe already, matching to mine obviously, so we’ve got that down. No, I’m excited for him to actually comprehend what a cool uncle he has.”

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Credit: 247PAPS.TV / Splash News

Val will partner up with Fifth Harmony member Normani Kordei on the show’s upcoming 24th season, while Maks will take the ballroom floor with Glee alum Heather Morris.

And for Maks, 37, taking home a second coveted Mirrorball Trophy is his primary motivator for getting back on the dance floor.

“I’m the only one in the house who doesn’t have two, and it’s just making me a little sad, so it’s on!” he tells PEOPLE. “Serious competitiveness. It’s a showdown!”

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The new dad says he’s thankful both he and Murgatroyd, 30, feel like things are taken care of at home so that they can pursue this other important aspect of their lives.

“We have amazing help and we always wanted to see if Peta would be okay to come back because the timing is so short,” he explains. “It was so important for us to recognize this opportunity for her to get back to this, what she loves to do and how she wants to do it.”

“So I try to accommodate as much as possible domestically, and now she’s accommodated.”

While the couple have help, they’re on their own when Uncle Val is over and it’s diaper-duty time.

“I haven’t changed diapers yet. I just don’t want to expose him,” jokes Val. “We’re going to be friends one day, and I don’t want him to look back and be mad at me because I saw him in such a vulnerable scenario.”

Season 24 0f Dancing with the Stars premieres March 20 at 8 p.m ET on ABC.

  • With reporting by KATHERINE RICHTER