Dancing with the Stars is celebrating its 10th anniversary with season 20, and on Good Morning America the newest lineup of stars was announced. The cast features a few big names, but the biggest surprise is that five-time winner Derek Hough is back, despite early reports that he would miss this season due to a Radio City Music Hall show this spring.
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Hough said that his availability just happened a few days ago and that the producers of his show are working with him so he can rehearse in NYC and fly back and forth to do DWTS. And he’s probably going to be very busy since he has an Olympic gymnast for a partner.
Other stars include the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Suzanne Somers, Patti LaBelle, openly gay football player Michael Sam, Hough cousin Riker Lynch and a double amputee war veteran.
As for the pro partners, in addition to the 10 who were previously announced and Hough, last season’s newbie (and the first one eliminated) Keo Motsepe will return for a second season.
There is one glaring absence. Defending pro champion Witney Carson did not get a partner, but she will compete. The 12th star will be announced later, and it was heavily implied that it will be The Bachelor‘s Chris Soules (who they may wait to announce until the finale of that show).,
Here’s a look at the 11 stars who will compete for the Mirror Ball Trophy on DWTS season 20 and their professional partners:
Michael Sam: The 25-year-old football player who became the first openly gay man to be drafted in the NFL, though he was cut before the season began
Riker Lynch: The 23-year-old singer from R5 (with his siblings) who also played a Warbler on Glee and is second-cousins of Derek and Julianne Hough
Redfoo: The 39-year-old singer from LMFAO and a former guest judge on DWTS
Noah Galloway: The 33-year-old double amputee U.S. soldier and motivational speaker
Robert Herjavec: The 52-year-old businessman and one of the stars of Shark Tank
Willow Shields: The 14-year-old actress best known for playing Katniss’ little sister Primrose Everdeen in the Hunger Games films (she is the youngest contestant ever by two years)
Charlotte McKinney: The 23-year-old supermodel and star of the Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl commercial
Patti LaBelle: The 70-yea-old legendary singer
Rumer Willis: The 26-year-old actress who is the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore
Suzanne Somers: The 68-year-old star of Three’s Company and ThighMaster spokesperson
Nastia Liukin: The 25-year-old Olympic gymnast
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas
Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev
Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe
Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy
Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough
Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker
Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess
Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson
Redfoo and Emma Slater
I have mixed feelings about this cast. To start, I do not like the idea of a 14-year-old girl competing on the show. Will she have to shake her hips for a Rumba or a Samba? It just seems really, REALLY inappropriate for someone so young to do this. It was already kind of creepy when they had 16 or 17-year-old girls, but 14?
Second, I don’t like this Derek switcheroo. I was fine with him missing a season because he’s always favored to win and kind of steals the show from everyone else. It will be interesting to see how the constant back-and-forth stresses him out, doing so many stage shows in NYC and flying to L.A. for DWTS. And, of course, they give him another serious contender to go all the way. He never gets the older ladies, only top-notch dancers or Olympic athletes.
As for the rest, there are some genuine stars (Patti, Suzanne), but also a lot of random people. I’d argue that Herjavec is the least famous or recognizable of all the sharks on Shark Tank. McKinney is nothing but a flavor of the month, Riker is just a less-famous version of his brother Ross Lynch and Redfoo seems extremely annoying.
And while I can certainly respect Noah Galloway (even though I obviously never heard of him), the double amputee thing has already been done on this show and I’m worried, like with Amy Purdy, the judges will be extremely lenient with him and make everything about how inspiring he is instead of judging him equally as a dancer.
I’m not sure if I’m that excited about anyone, but it could be because Derek Hough just stole the announcement and knocked the wind out of me by his sudden and shocking return. For the last three seasons there were at least a few stars I was genuinely excited about, but not this time.
Dancing with the Stars season 20 premieres Monday, March 16 at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)