When Dancing with the Stars
returns for season 17, one notable professional dancer will be absent: Kym Johnson. In an interview with Us Weekly
, the 37-year-old Australian and two-time DWTS
champion revealed she will be leaving the show, but only for the one season.
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"I will be taking the next season off from DWTS
USA, so that I may accept an amazing work opportunity back home in Australia," she said, though she did not provide any extra information about what this new opportunity will be. However, Johnson added that she plans on hopefully returning for season 18 in the spring.
Johnson is one of the most prominent DWTS
pros, having appeared in 13 of the first 16 seasons of the reality competition. She was not a part of the first two seasons, but has appeared every time since then, with the exception of season 10.
She is also a two-time winner of the covered Mirror Ball Trophy, winning in season 9 with NFL star Hines Ward and in season 12 with Donny Osmond. She was also the runner-up in seasons 4 and 7 with 'N Sync's Joey Fatone and NFL star Warren Sapp. Last season she made it to fifth place with soap star (and fellow Aussie) Ingo Rademacher.
While Johnson's absence will be felt for the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars
, other fan favorites will be back. Thus far Val Chmerkovskiy and four-time champion Derek Hough have confirmed their returns. Hough, in particular, is one to keep an eye on as he is the defending champion who has made it all the way to the finale the past six times he has competed. His worst finish came in season 6 when he and partner Shannon Elizabeth finished in sixth place, so every female celebrity is probably crossing their fingers to get him as a partner.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy's brother Val is also a good partner to have, making it all the way to the finale the past two seasons. In his four seasons with the show, he has made it farther every time, so since he was last season's runner-up, maybe he can do what his big bro never did and win the Mirror Ball.Dancing with the Stars
season 17 premieres Monday, September 16 at 8pm on ABC, with no more results shows on Tuesdays. The cast will be announced Wednesday, September 4 on Good Morning America.
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(Image courtesy of ABC)