In the past, ABC has teased one or two celebrities ahead of the big announcement of the full casting of Dancing with the Stars, but not this year. There was no fooling around this time. Well, sort of.
As is the tradition, the stars chosen for season 28 were announced on Good Morning America who include a former White House press secretary, a “Bachelorette,” pro-athletes from the NFL and NBA, a Supreme, and more. However, for the first time ever, they didn’t announce which amateur celebrity will be paired with which pro dancer. To find out, you’ll have to watch the first episode when the show premieres in September. Sneaky, sneaky.
Here’s who will be lacing up their dancing shoes this season:
- Country music star Lauren Alaina
- Supermodel Christie Brinkley
- Pop star Ally Brooke
- Last season’s Bachelorette Hannah Brown
- Culture expert Karamo Brown
- Actress from The Office, Kate Flannery
- NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis
- Actor from All That, Kel Mitchell
- NBA champion Lamar Odom
- Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer
- Actor from Dawson’s Creek, James Van Der Beek
- The “Supreme” Mary Wilson
They will be dancing with Brandon Armstrong, Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Cheryl Burke, Witney Carson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Daniella Karagach, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko and Emma Slater. The strange thing is, there are 14 dancers listed but only 12 stars. Does this mean that two more stars will be announced at a later time? Did ABC really think that we wouldn’t notice? Something’s up.
One of the great things about DWTS is the show’s variety of stars that they bring to the show, but that variety can also be a negative. This season, the youngest contestants, Lauren Alaina and Hannah Brown, are 24-years-old while the oldest competitor, Mary Wilson is 75! Maybe we’ll be surprised, but how can someone three times older be able to compete with those young ones? The other old-timer on the list is Christy Brinkley who is 65. Besides her age, models, super or not, don’t have a good track record on this show. However, I suspect that she will do just fine.
Then there is the one celebrity no one was asking for: Sean Spicer. Regardless of your chosen political party, I can’t think of any press secretary that I’d like to see dancing. I’m guessing that they’ll match him up with either Witney or Lindsay. They’re both so sweet, I can’t imagine either of them giving him any flack but might compare him to their dad.
As always, it will be interesting to hear some of the personal stories of some of the stars this season. Lauren Alaina is a Christian and is said to be dating Christian comedian John Crist. Kel Mitchell is a star from Nickelodeon’s former and revival series, All That and is also an outspoken Christian who posts encouraging videos on his YouTube channel.
Hosted again by Tom “never-should-have-left-AFV” Bergeron and Erin Andrews with judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, Dancing with the Stars debuts on Monday, September 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.