On Wednesday morning, fans of Dancing With the Stars were treated to the latest lineup of celebrities competing for the mirror ball trophy. Season 29 seems to be one of the best ones yet. The lineup was announced on Good Morning America.
This season’s cast includes Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean, Tiger King star Carole Baskin, Selling Sunset‘s Chrishell Stause, and former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe.
We’ll also see former NFL player Vernon Davis, Cheer‘s Monica Aldama, and actors Jesse Metcalfe, Anne Heche, Skai Jackson, and Justina Machado.
Rounding out the cast is The Real host Jeannie Mai, rapper Nelly, Catfish host Nev Schulman, NBA superstar Charles Oakley, and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.
Though they’ve been cleared for a return to the ballroom, the season 29 cast gathered virtually for the announcement. They shared their thoughts on the season ahead with GMA.
“I may have a Superbowl ring, but I need that mirror ball trophy,” Vernon says in the promo.
“This is one competition I was born to win,” Monica says.
“The biggest thing for me is the longer my partner and I can stay in the running and in the competition it will keep the cats forefront in the viewers’ eye, and to me, that was where Tiger King missed the ball,” says Carole.
“It really should have been focused on the animals, and I’m hoping Dancing With the Stars will do that. I am competitive, but I am competitive with myself. I want to do the very best that I can possibly do.”
Nelly is also excited to put himself to a new test. “I’m a Scorpio. I feel like I can do anything, so this is gonna be my biggest test yet, but I’m up for it,” he said.
“I love competition, and I think this is one that will set me apart from others if I can pull this one off, only because I got two left feet, and probably two right ankles, so I’m trying to see where we can go with this thing.”
The season will feature even more changes than previous seasons. In July, it was announced that longtime host Tom Bergeron and cohost Erin Andrews would not be returning to DWTS. The next day, ABC announced that the series’ new host is none other than Tyra Banks.
Tyra is also serving as an executive producer on the series.
“I’ve been a fan of DWTS since its beginning … The fun mixed with raw emotion, seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones, the sizzling dance performances … it’s always transported me to my days of turning it up 10 notches on the catwalk,” Tyra said.
“Tom has set a powerful stage, and I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats.”
“Tom has been an integral part of the ABC family for nearly two decades, from hosting AFV to Dancing with the Stars — we are grateful for all he and Erin have done to make Dancing a success,” Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement at the time.
“As we gear up for the show’s 29th season, we can’t wait to welcome Tyra Banks to our Dancing stage. Tyra is an award-winning multihyphenate whose fierce female prowess and influence across many industries have made an indelible mark. Her fresh take on America’s favorite dancing competition will surely bring more than a ‘Smize’ to fans everywhere.”
All of your favorite pro dancers will also be returning to the ballroom. Last month, ABC confirmed that Artem Chigvintsev, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd, Val Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Keo Motsepe, Jenna Johnson, Alan Bersten, Brandon Armstrong, Sasha Farber, Pasha Pashkov, Emma Slater, and Gleb Savchenko will all return as professional dancers. Britt Stewart and Daniella Karagach will join the pros for the first time.
Fans are anxiously awaiting the pairings, but they have some time to go. The pairings will be announced on the show’s two-hour premiere on Monday, September 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. We can’t wait!