"Dancing with the Stars" Host Samantha Harris on Life After Baby

Filed under: Celeb Parents

Despite hosting seven seasons of the television hit "Dancing with the Stars," joining CBS's "The Insider" as their newest co-host and filling in for host Meredith Vieira on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" it's a miracle we caught up to 35 year-old Samantha Harris at all – this woman is busy. But despite her grueling schedule, Samantha says she's never been happier. She filled us in on life at home with her daughter, seventeen-month-old Josselyn and those crazy DWTS rumors.

You've been hosting Dancing With the Stars for seven seasons now -- ever been tempted to compete yourself?

Ha! I've been spun around the dance floor a few times by Jonathan Roberts (a professional). When I first took the job in season two, I admit I wanted to be on the show. But once I saw how strenuous and intense the workouts were, I was intimidated. But it would be fun to learn all the dances.

It looks fun! What's your most memorable DWTS moment?

It was during the first episode of season seven when Cloris Leachman sat on judge Carrie Ann's lap and then thrust her leg up on the judge's table next to Bruno Tonioli while he kissed her calf! She's so hilarious -- and 82 years old!

We've all heard about singer Jewel and "Access Hollywood" host Nancy O'Dell withdrawing from the competition five days before the season eight premiere due to dancing-related injuries. Jewel is being treated for a fractured tibia in both legs, and Nancy has a
torn meniscus. Do you think the workouts are too strenuous?

Every season is more competitive than the last, and that's probably why we see more injuries as time goes on. The average training day is six to eight hours – that's a lot! We even had an Olympian on the show last year who tore her Achilles tendon. And with each season, comes more pressure to make it better than the last. So it's easy for the stars to push themselves past their limit without even realizing it. Dancing is a true sport and people don't understand that until they're on the show.

However despite the grueling work, I've never heard one contestant say they've regretted being on the show – many say it's been the best experience they've ever had. Even Nancy O'Dell has said how grateful she's been for the opportunity to compete.
We're dying to know – who will replace Jewel and Nancy?

We'll find out today! I had a script meeting last week and the network has said we might not replace them, or maybe we will...but we wanted it to be a surprise.

Congratulations on your new gig as a fill in-host for Meredith Vieira on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" and also on your position as a correspondent for "The Insider." How do you have time for all these jobs and also juggle family life?

I'm not the first or last mom who is pulled in a million different directions, but I admit it's a struggle. For example, today I did voiceovers for "The Insider," then went straight to the DWTS studio to do voiceovers – and I have more tonight! I also just did a few voiceovers at home with my seventeen-month old daughter Josselyn on my lap. I bounced her on my knee while I talked about the Octomom and Donny Osmond. My husband helps out a lot though – I don't know what I'd do without him. We both have such hectic schedules but we're a team.

In 2007, you missed the season five premiere of DWTS to give birth to your daughter Josselyn, but you returned to work just three weeks later. Why did you want to get back to the grind so soon?

DWTS is only a ten-week season, so if I missed just one episode, I would be missing a lot. My job is different than your average five day a week, nine to five gig. It comes and goes so quickly so I don't want to miss a moment of it. I had missed seven episodes already and was itching to return. My doctor said I could go back to work in two weeks but I waited three to be safe.

What's the biggest surprise about being a parent?

I've noticed how much my priorities have changed. Before, my life was focused on my husband, job, and friends. Now I just want to rush home and play with Josselyn or read her books.

What's Josselyn's favorite book?

We've been reading her "Goodnight Gorilla" every night, and sometimes we switch it up with "Goodnight Moon." We don't allow her to watch television or movies yet, with one exception: There is a great educational DVD set called "Your Baby Can Read" created by an infant researcher named Robert Titzer. The premise is that babies can learn the written word and spoken word simultaneously.

Got any plans to have another baby?

We'll see. We're just having such a good time with Josselyn. We feel so lucky that she's eating and sleeping right so we're completely focused on her.

Do you have any words of wisdom to other working moms?

Being a mom is one of the toughest jobs there is and it's completely normal to feel torn between spending time with your family, maintaining a career, and just getting enough quality time for yourself. But it helps to be able to reach out to other moms who are in the same boat. We're all in it together and need to support each other.


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.