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DWTS' Tristan MacManus Rates Iconic Dance Moves And Dishes On His Dancing Dealbreakers

Tristan MacManus is looking forward to hanging up his dancing shoes and sitting on the other side of the judging panel for a change.

MacManus is a seasoned pro when it comes to Dancing With The Stars, having performed as a dance partner on both the US and UK versions of the show.

The Irishman has teamed up in the past with celebs including Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson, Empress of Soul Gladys Knight, pop singer Jamelia and ice skating queen Dorothy Hamill.

With that CV,  it's no wonder he was asked to complete his own personal DWTS trifecta and join the Aussie show this season as a judge, along with dance experts Sharna Burges and Craig Revel Horwood.

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And while he loved his time as a professional dancer on the show, MacManus let 10 daily know that he's excited to indulge in some of the ~cushy~ perks of sitting in the judge's chair. 

“The thing I’m looking forward to most about being a judge, and not a dancer, is hopefully how my knees feel," he said. "I have a lot of chronic pain I’m trying to get rid of,” he said of the heavy toll that cha-cha-ing and samba-ing can take on your body.

Pamela Anderson and Tristan MacManus during the live two-hour season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars (Getty Images).

MacManus added that there’s a very different type of responsibility when you’re a professional dance partner on DWTS, compared to being a judge.

“You’re teaching someone but you’re also treating them,” he explained to 10 daily.

“You’re trying to keep their confidence up, keep their attention and basically trying to keep their morale up,” he said of the gruelling, but rewarding task of helping celebs learn and perfect a dance style in just a week.

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“I don’t have to worry about that when I’m a judge, I just have to worry about judging what I see in the performance,” he continued.

“If I make someone cry, it’s not up to me to stop them from crying! [laughs] It’s up to their professional partner.

“Not that I’m going to be trying to do that!” he promised.

While fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood has gained, shall we say, a bit of a reputation in the UK as the Dancing bad cop -- MacManus said he has no plan to assume a hero or villain role on the bench.

“I’m going to be a reactive judge -- I’m a reactive person as opposed to an active one," he said. "I don’t go out looking for negative things. But if they’re there, I’ll point them out" he told 10 daily.

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MacManus hasn't seen any of our stars shimmy just yet but is extremely familiar with one contestant -- thanks to him and his wife Tahyna Tozzi's 3-year-old daughter, Echo.

"Someone asked me the other day who I knew and I was like, ‘Jimmy Giggle!’" he excitedly said of children's TV presenter, Jimmy Rees.

"And I feel bad because his name’s not even Jimmy Giggle. But yeah, I want to hear his [real] voice and hopefully, he dances a lot better than the puppets do," he said of the popular kids' show star.

Tristan's Dancing Dealbreakers

If anyone knows the dos and don't of Dancing With The Stars it's Tristan -- so we thought we'd ask him for a few words of advice on behalf of our celebs.

He told us that there are a few things that really grind his gears when he's watching a couple boogie down on the DWTS dance floor.

“What annoys me is when you see someone and you think, ‘You know what, they’re really good’ and then they do something that’s ‘sexy’ for the sake of doing it,” he explained.

“You don’t need to hide behind that if you put the effort in,” he advised.

That's not to say being ~sexy~ is discouraged, but sexy gimmicks? Not so much.

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MacManus' other important nugget of wisdom is, it's totally okay to make lots of mistakes! Sort of.

"The big thing about this show is that you have to hide what you do wrong and I understand that because it’s a performance," he said.  But I’d sooner watch someone go out and make a million mistakes but I know what it took to try doing it, than just cop out and hide it," he said.

And, honestly, we all love watching people making a few funny blunders on the dancefloor because that's very #relatable and something we all do at weddings -- make a bunch of sloppy mistakes while trotting out the Nutbush.

Which incidentally, McManus is a huge fan of -- even though he's reluctant to show off his dancing skills at reception parties.

"I don’t dance at weddings," he laughed. "I’ll dance at the end of the night. I’ve done the Nutbush at different times in the night -- I don’t know if there was any music playing," he joked.

Fingers crossed we get to see Tristan's version of the Nutbush at some point this season -- which starts on Monday Feb 18, hurray!

Dancing With The Stars premieres Monday, February 18 at 7:30, only on 10 and WIN Network.

Main Image: Nigel Wright/Network Ten.