EXCLUSIVE: Mark Ballas dishes on returning to 'DWTS,' admits he wasn't 'surprised' by Julianne Hough's exit

The decision to return to Dancing With the Stars was an easy one for Mark Ballas once he knew who his partner was!

ET's Katie Krause caught up with the 31-year-old dancer and his wife, BC Jean, at the Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy party at Sunset Tower on Friday, where he opened up about partnering up with Lindsey Sterling. 

"Honestly it was timing," Ballas confessed of deciding to return to DWTS after two seasons off. "Secondly, I knew that I was going to have Lindsey Sterling. She's kind of been on my wish list for a minute, so that was a big part of it for me."

"I've known her, we have a lot of mutual friends, and we've both been fans of what she does," he added. "So that was kind of intriguing to me."

Ballas and Jean have their own musical duo, Alexander Jean -- and admit that a collaboration with Sterling could be in their future. 

"We've talked about it a little bit," Ballas shared. 

"They have [jammed out]," Jean confirmed. "I have yet to join, but it has to happen, of course." 

'Dancing With the Stars' season 25 cast
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'Dancing With the Stars' season 25 cast

Sasha Pieterse

(Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

Terrell Owens

(Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)

Barbara Corcoran

(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for T.J. Maxx)

Vanessa Lachey and Nick Lachey

(Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Debbie Gibson

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)

Drew Scott

(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Frankie Muniz

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Foundation)

Jordan Fisher

(Photo by Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Nikki Bella

(Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

Derek Fisher

(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/WireImage)

Lindsey Sterling

(Photo by Josh Brasted/FilmMagic)

Victoria Arlen

(Photo by Phillip Faraone/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)


As for his first performance with Sterling on Monday's DWTS premiere, Ballas said viewers can expect something "fun." 

"I mean, the first one out the gate is not conceptually anything crazy, because she's very talented. I thinks she's very musical as well," he said. "I just kind of want to show that she's here to dance and be fun. She's moving. Its not easy. She's definitely hauling it. It should be cool."

Missing from the judging table this year is Julianne Hough, and while fans were shocked by her departure, for Ballas, it wasn't that "surprising." 

"I wouldn't say surprised, but we'll miss her," he expressed. "If she's got something else going on, good for her. We all need time. We all need breaks. I just came off of a year doing Broadway and touring with the band." 

"And [Julianne and Brooks Laich] just got married," Jean added. 

"She just got married, so I'm sure she's got a lot on her plate right now. Maybe she just needs a break," Ballas said. "I don't now if [reuniting with Derek and Julianne] is in the cards, but we'll see. You never know."

Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich's honeymoon pics
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Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich's honeymoon pics
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