Chuck Wicks says he is really stepping out on a limb, learning how to dance in front of 20 million people. That's the number of estimated viewers who will watch season eight's opening episode of 'Dancing with the Stars' tonight. Wicks, who will twirl around the dance floor with girlfriend and professional dancer Julianne Hough, says it has been a rough few weeks of rehearsals.

"I've been an athlete all my life, but I'm finding out that dancing is hard," he tells The Boot. "I'm taking this thing very serious, but it's a lot of focus and a lot of hard work."

The first dance the couple will perform is a waltz --"a romantic dance," according to Wicks, who says it will be easy for him, since he already has the chemistry part down pat with his partner! But when it comes to pressure, the singer says he doesn't have it so easy.

"Not only am I dancing with the person I love, but I'm dancing with the person who has won the competition twice before," he says.

Wicks also admits to a few tense moments during rehearsals. "I get frustrated when I don't pick up on something right away, and she'll get frustrated when my posture isn't there or I don't get something right away. She's a great teacher though, and she knows how to explain things that make it easy for me to pick it up. At the end of the day what gets us through is we're having fun."

Wicks says he didn't watch 'Dancing' until he and Hough started dating, but says he's now "addicted" to it. While he won't predict his chances of winning the competition, Wicks says he hopes he can do well for his fans and make his partner proud.

'Dancing with the Stars' premieres tonight with a special two-hour episode on ABC at 8 PM ET.