Carrie Ann Inaba reveals she'd love to see Bruno Mars compete on 'DWTS'

As a diehard "Dancing with the Stars" fan (and with the March 20 premiere fast approaching), I couldn't contain my excitement when I found out I'd be chatting with longtime judge, Carrie Ann Inaba.

We didn't only talk about my obsession with the show, though.

With the Chinese New Year beginning on January 28, Inaba dished on everything from her recent partnership with P.F. Chang's Home Menu, the significance of the upcoming Chinese holiday and how her engagement to actor Robb Derringer is changing the way she'll celebrate this year.

And of course, I had to ask her which star she'd love to see compete on "DWTS" -- because how could I not?

Check out my conversation with Carrie Ann Inaba below:

Tell me a little bit about your partnership with P.F. Chang's Home Menu and why were eager to work together.

I'm excited to be working with P.F. Chang's Home Menu, because first of all, I love P.F. Chang's Bistro food -- and I am part Chinese. What's exciting for me right now is that the Chinese New Year is coming up, and it's a time when we celebrate the new year, and it's a two-week celebration that's been going on forever. It's one of the most important traditional holidays in Chinese culture. It's when you wish your friends and family good luck and prosperity for the new year, and it's one of my favorite holidays ever.

What's great is P.F. Chang's Home Menu is launching four new dishes. When I plan my party -- which I do every year -- I'm going to be able to serve restaurant-style food flavorings and have this ambiance of the P.F. Chang's Bistro and all this wonderful, authentic Chinese food with bold flavorings. But I get to do it in the convenience of my home, because everybody who knows me knows I'm not the best cook. [So] I'm really excited to be working with them.

Do you always host or is this a first-time thing for you?

Well, I got recently engaged -- with Robb Derringer ...

See photos of Carrie Ann and Robb together:

Carrie Anna Inaba and Robb Derringer
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Carrie Anna Inaba and Robb Derringer
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Dancer Carrie Ann Inaba (R) and Robb Derringer attend the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards held at Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
My life is so much better (and way more adventurous) with this man in it. #adventuresinlove @robbderringer
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Actor Robb Derringer and TV personality Carrie Ann Inaba attend the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
An amazing birthday with my love @robbderringer who went to great lengths to give me a very special day. It's been a beautiful birthday... and now we are watching @TheKingAndI thank you love... for making me feel so special. Love you.
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Actor Robb Derringer and TV personality Carrie Ann Inaba attend the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Robb and I would like to thank you all for the incredible love and support, and beautiful well wishes you have sent us for our happy news! It's deeply humbling for us. It has taken us a few days to absorb all of the love you've shown us...and it's been incredible to do so as fiancées. ❤️ We are thrilled to be at this place in our lives and wish the same happiness for all of you. It's the holidays...and we wish you all the best! We are on cloud nine and are ever so lucky to have found this love we share... #engagement #love #holidays #GRATEfUL #wishing you all a happy holiday season
After an amazing finale, heading home with my love, Robb Derringer who is my rock! I'm sooooo grateful for his love and support everyday of my life. We have an early morning tmrw! Up at 4:00am to get ready to cohost Access Hollywood live with the one and only @kithoover! I'm feeling extremely #grateful this evening as I reflect on how fortunate I am in this life. Thanksgiving is around the corner and I'm thankful to all of you and to my dearest loved ones... the furry ones too. Goodnight to all! And if you are like me and getting ready for thanksgiving, and want to learn how to do a proper butterball turkey for #thanksgiving, tune in! See you then and thanks for an amazing season! Goodnight! ❤️😘🙏🏻
Happy Sunday everyone!!!!!! 🌞🌹have a beautiful day! 💕What's everyone up to today? @robbderringer is going flying! #hanggliding
We made our voice heard! #voted🇺🇸 #grateful for the right to vote! Make sure you do too!!
With my love @robbderringer at the incredible @cape_usa 25th Anniversary Gala! Proud to be on this Board! #championing #diversity #aapi
On our way to the Creative Arts Emmys. Be sure to tune in September 17th at 8pm ET on @fxnetworks #FXX. @robbderringer @tadashishoji #dwts #dancingwiththestars
Guess where we are going?? #lastminutegetaway Only a few weeks left til #DWTS starts! 💃🏻#adventuresinlove
Sunset at the beach. Spending some quality time wth my true love. Somehow the ocean and her magnificent presence always balances me out.... #celebratingloveandlife #adventuresinlove @robbderringer
Warm in the city tonight, lovely weather for a walk/talk... #adventuresinlove
Happy Birthday to the most beautiful, loving, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, hilarious, sexy and unique woman in the world. I love and cherish you my girl, my best friend. Here's to 50 more and a lifetime of adventure, discovery, evolution and love. #happybirthday #luckiestguyintheworld #adventuresinlove
Happy New Year from us to all of you. We hope your 2017 is filled with much love, happiness, joy hilarity, adventure and prosperity. #adventuresinlove #happynewyear2017 #mates4life
So overjoyed to share the best thing that has ever happened to me when @carrieanninaba made me the luckiest guy in the world in saying....yes. Thanks to @jeandousset for helping me to create the most unique, exquisite symbol of my love for Carrie, and to @people for such a lovely article. #relentless #adventuresinlove #affianced
Chilly day on the Hudson with my beautiful love...
Watched the Hunter's Moon rise with my Sun, my Moon, my Stars. So proud of her. What you don't realize from this pic is that we're sitting at the highest pinnacle of our roof. She's really afraid of heights but braved it for love...🌝❤️

Yes, congratulations!

Thank you! It's a very exciting time. And we love to have parties. When I was growing up, we used to do a lot of celebrating, and every year I celebrate still with red envelopes, which are passed to people who are unmarried. You put a little money in them, they're called lai see, and you give them to family members to wish them good luck. I always do that, and I always get on the phone and wish everybody a happy new year, and then we'll sometimes go down to Chinatown and watch the lion dance. When I was in Hawaii, we used to watch the firecrackers, because these are wonderful ways to ward off the evil spirits, because in Chinese culture, we're very superstitious. [Laughs]. We have all these traditions.

Now that Robb and I are together, we wanted to start something really just for us, so from here on out, we're going to be doing this every year. It's kind of a nice way to get everybody together after the holidays. We're going to put together a family-style Chinese feast, which will include a lot of the communal dishes, because I'm not sure if you know this, but in Chinese culture, we don't serve one appetizer or one main dish -- we do a lot of different dishes. It's really fun, because the various food in Chinese culture have different meanings. For instance, dumplings and spring rolls represent wealth, noodles [represent] long life -- and fruits are meant to bring you good luck and good fortune. So when we plan our party, we're going to be serving all of that, and it'll be a wonderful plethora of authentic flavors. It's just going to be really exciting, and we're going to put red and gold, because they symbolize good luck and good fortune, as well. It's a nice way to just get together with close friends and wish them the best of luck and health and happiness for the new year.

That sounds so fun! And speaking of your recent engagement, has wedding planning started yet?

You know, what's great is wedding planning ... is on the way! [Laughs]. We're planning hopefully maybe the summer, but we're not sure yet. We just got through the holidays, and right now, we're just getting ready to plan our next party. We just had an engagement party last week to celebrate the engagement, and now we're getting ready for our Chinese New Year party.

So, it's coming, yeah! That's the first question everybody asks when you get engaged. I didn't know you're supposed to come up with a date so quickly. We're older, we're both in the golden years, [as] we like to call [it]. We're in no rush, but at the same time, it's going to happen probably pretty quickly.

The "Dancing with the Stars" premiere date was just announced, so I have to ask, who's the No. 1 star you'd love to see compete?

Oh, the No. 1 star I'd like to have? You know, I would love to have Bruno Mars. He's just such a fantastic performer, full of life, and he's from Hawaii -- and there's just such a cool vibe about him. I don't know if we could ever get him, but I think he would be so much to fun to have on the show.

He would be good, don't you think?

RELATED: Net worth of the 'DWTS' Season 23 cast

'Dancing with the Stars' season 23 net worth
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'Dancing with the Stars' season 23 net worth
Julianne Hough Net Worth: $10 Million

Laurie Hernandez Net Worth: $2 Million
Derek Hough Net Worth: $4 Million

Amber Rose Net Worth: $5 Million
Ryan Lochte Net Worth: $6 Million
Carrie Ann Inaba Net Worth: $8 Million

Bruno Tonioli Net Worth: $10 Million

Valentin Chmerkovskiy Net Worth: $1.5 Million

Len Goodman Net Worth: $12 Million

Witney Carson Net Worth: $300,000

Rick Perry Net Worth: $3 Million
Vanilla Ice Net Worth: 18 Million
Maureen McCormick Net Worth: $4 Million
Jana Kramer Net Worth: $2 Million
Terra Jole Net Worth: $500,000
Calvin Johnson Net Worth: $30 Million
Marilu Henner: $12 Million
Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds Net Worth: $80 Million
Jake T. Austin Net Worth: $5 Million

Yeah, he's an amazing dancer! He, and I also think, Ne-Yo ...

Ne-Yo's great. We've had Ne-Yo perform on the show a couple times, he's been wonderful. He's such a nice guy. And we always get Pitbull, and he comes up and gets judges -- he's always such a joy, as well.

So fun! Do you have any behind-the-scenes secret to share? The show's been on for so long, longtime viewers probably feel like they know everything about it -- but is there anything you feel even the biggest fans don't know?

I feel like maybe even the biggest fans don't know that the judges are kept completely separate from the dancers. People always ask me, "what are the secrets?" and I don't really have any, because the judges' trailers are on the opposite side of the CBS lot. We're on the opposite side, and we're not allowed into the studio ... ever. You know how we do the judges' pick and we go in and choreograph? That's the only time we're ever allowed in the studio before the show starts.

Yeah, so people think we know all the secrets, but we know nothing! We're totally separated. It's hysterical. I guess we have Standards of Practices, so we have to.

Lastly, I love when you guest co-host "Live! with Kelly." I think you two are great together. Is that something you'd ever consider doing permanently if given the chance?

Oh my goodness, if given the chance, yes that would be a great thing to do. I love Kelly. In fact, I'm going out there again on February 2nd and 3rd. We get along so well. It's so much fun to hang out with her. We just have so much fun. She actually sent me the most beautiful flowers for our engagement. She's a great friend, and I'm so proud of her for all of her success, and that would be a really fun job, too.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

PHOTOS: Carrie Ann in the kitchen with P.F. Chang's Home Menu

Carrie Anna Inaba partners with P.F. Chang's
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Carrie Anna Inaba partners with P.F. Chang's

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