Writing in her blog for People, Smirnoff admitted that she will be interested to see how DeGraw "handles the pressure".
"If he does as well live as he does in the studio, it will be great," she said. "He's just nervous. But it'll be cool. I'm excited."
Smirnoff described this season's Dancing with the Stars cast as "competitive" but explained that she's looking forward to showing people what DeGraw has been working on.
"I think he's incredibly charming and sweet, and he's got some really good moves," she said.
Smirnoff also praised DeGraw's "natural ability" for dancing, saying: "When he does move for the first time, it doesn't look awkward. But he gets so embarrassed and shy every time he does a dance step. Once I make him believe in himself and make him believe that what he's doing is amazing and great, I think there's no stopping him."
Smirnoff has previously said that DeGraw has "swagger and charisma".
Dancing with the Stars will premiere tonight at 8/7c on ABC.
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