By People Staff
Updated August 26, 2009 12:00 AM
Credit: Hutchins Photo

He cha cha-ed his way into third place on Dancing with the Stars — and now Cristi n de la Fuente is joining a singing competition. But the hunky Chilean actor won’t be hitting any high notes himself.

“I love music,” de la Fuente says on the phone from Mexico City. “I’m great singer but the only problem is the way it sounds. It’s bad!”

Instead, de la Fuente will host Viva el Sue o! (translation: Live the Dream!), which begins Sunday on Univision. The contest will discover Latin America’s next big musical superstar from a group of professional singers who haven’t quite made it big yet.

“The great thing about this is all of the contestants are professional singers,” he says. “They all started a career that didn’t end with them being big stars, so that’s why this show may be the opportunity for them to touch stardom.”

Despite his expert moves, don’t count on de la Fuente dancing much on Viva el Sue o! “I gave myself some time off,” he says. But the actor is still in touch with his former Dancing with the Stars pros — and will tune in to root for the new crop of contestants.

“They’re my friends now so I’m watching them and I know what they go through,” he says, “and when they’re getting upset and trying to hide it. Of course I have to follow them.”

Still, he couldn’t help but feel a little strange while watching his former partner, Cheryl Burke, paired up with Gilles Marini last season. “For me it was weird because you get that feeling that she was my dancer and she’s dancing with somebody else,” de la Fuente says. “It’s like, ‘Hmm, that’s not right.’ But it was fun. I always wish her the best. She’s a great girl and hopefully she does well every season.”

So, will Burke — and her new partner Tom DeLay — take the trophy this season?

“I don’t have any predictions this season so far,” he says. “It will be great to see the first show and have something to say.” –Brian OrloffHutchins Photo