Former pageant queen Hannah Brown won season 28 of the ABC dance competition last year

By Dana Rose Falcone
July 15, 2020 12:00 PM
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Last month, former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe found out she would be continuing her reality TV career and indulging her love of dance on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.

In PEOPLE's exclusive preview of the latest episode of her Kin web series, 9 to Wine with Kaitlyn Bristowe, Bristowe, 35, shares her biggest fears about heading to ballroom and thoughts on who she wants to partner with on the show.

"I'm going to be under a microscope again, and I feel like it took me a couple years to get out of that feeling of everybody's eyes on me and criticizing and just everybody has an opinion," she says. "So my fear about going back into the world of national television with something as vulnerable as dancing, I'm excited, but I'm also a little bit nervous again to be critiqued for being myself."

Kaitlyn Bristowe
Alexander Tamargo/Getty

And of course, Bristowe hopes to make it past the first night of the competition.

"You never want to be the girl that goes home night one. And that's another big fear of mine," says the "If I'm Being Honest" singer. "Even though I've grown up dancing and I have the confidence in the dance studio, I've never done ballroom dancing in my life. What if I'm terrible at it?"

RELATED VIDEO: The Bachelorette's Kaitlyn Bristowe Joins Dancing with the Stars for Season 29 — 'I'm So Honored'

Luckily, she can reach out to one of her Bachelor buds for help.

"Obviously Hannah [Brown] was the last Bachelorette. She just won Dancing with the Stars. We're scheduling a call because she wanted to say congratulations, and I'm looking to her for so much advice and encouragement," Bristowe says of Brown, 25. "She said, 'Get rest while you can.' I'm like, oh boy! She's like 10 years younger than me so ... I pulled my back the other day trying to do a squat. I might be in trouble!"

Kaitlyn Bristowe; Hannah Brown
Amy Sussman/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank; David Livingston/Getty

Bristowe also reveals she'd actually been tapped to appear on DWTS right after her stint as the lead on The Bachelorette in 2015, but her contract got pulled at the last minute.

"They just said, 'You know, you're still under contract with The Bachelorette. We are not going to be doing any of our leads going on the show anymore, so, unfortunately, you are not able to go on,'" Bristwoe recalls. "And I was devastated."

In time, Bristowe says she gained perspective and realized, "The universe might have other plans for you."

And while she doesn't know who she'll be competing against or with whom, she says she has "no preference" as to which pro she teams up with.

"I just want them to be like, nice," she says. "And want to win!"

While ABC hasn't yet announced the rest of the cast for season 29, the network broke the news on Monday that co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews won't be returning to DWTS as the series heads in a "new creative direction." Tyra Banks has been tapped as the show's new host and executive producer.

It's unclear how the upcoming season will unfold amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic; no announcements have yet been made regarding filming after TV productions were shut down due to COVID-19 earlier this year.

Currently, the new season is slated to premiere in the fall. The show holds a Monday, 8 p.m. ET time slot on ABC's upcoming primetime schedule.