‘DWTS’ star Jana Kramer will spend Thanksgiving here

In an exclusive interview, the dancing finalist says she’s looking forward to coming home for the holidays

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

Though he’s 9 inches taller at 6-foot-5, Jana Kramer doesn’t see Calvin Johnson Jr. as a threat.

“It doesn’t even feel like we’re competing against each other because we’re really good friends, and we’re both representing Michigan,” Kramer says in an exclusive interview with The Detroit News. “When we made it to the final four, we high-fived each other like, ‘Yeah, go Detroit!’ “

The country singer from Rochester Hills and former Detroit Lions wide receiver are among the four celebrities competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” Monday and Tuesday. The other two include IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.

Before heading into a rehearsal Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, Kramer excitedly chatted about being in the finals with professional dance partner Gleb Gleb Savchenko.

“Coming into the show, I wanted of course to make it this far but didn't know if I could,” Kramer says. “I’ve had a great partner pushing me this entire way.”

Besides singing, Kramer is known for her acting career. She starred as Alex Dupre on the TV series “One Tree Hill” and appeared on “Entourage,” “90210,” and “Friday Night Lights,” among other shows.

The most challenging part of being on “Dancing with the Stars,” she says, has been the time commitment. Since the 23rd season of the show aired in September, the 32-year-old has juggled daily dance rehearsals, traveling across the country to give concerts and spending time with her daughter Jolie.

“It’s a lot,” she says. “I’m still promoting my single ‘Circles’ and going on the road, and I have a beautiful almost 10-month-old baby girl, so it’s a lot of moving parts, but it’s definitely been an experience I’ll never forget.”

Kramer hasn’t been back to Michigan since the reality show started, but says she’s going home Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving in Rochester Hills with her family.

“I can’t wait to see my family. They’ve been supporting me like crazy,” she says, adding that she’s also received a lot of support from the Rochester Hills community and fellow Rochester Adams High School alumni.

“I’ve been getting Facebook messages from people from high school, and a lot of people have come out of the woodwork just saying, ‘We think you’ve been doing a great job,’ and it means a lot that people are supporting me even after all this time has passed.”

Win or lose, Kramer says she’s looking forward to relaxing in the Great Lakes State the next few weeks.

“Honestly, I’m just going to be enjoying spending time with my baby girl and enjoying the holiday season,” she says.

Read more “Dancing with the Stars” coverage:

Calvin Johnson, Jana Kramer are cat’s meow on ‘Dancing’

‘Dancing’ goes retro; Johnson, Kramer safe another week

Johnson, Kramer narrowly escape elimination on ‘DWTS’

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