It’s time to gear up for yet another season of Dancing with the Stars. This year’s spring edition saw a powerhouse trio of celebs — Kellie Pickler, Zendaya and Aly Raisman — blaze through the competition, with all three making it to the finale and the American Idol alum taking home the mirror ball trophy with Derek Hough.
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And while we’re still celebrating that much-deserved victory, we must look to this fall because ABC has announced that the cast for season 17 will be revealed live on Good Morning America (7-9am) on Wednesday, September 4.
The new season will see some format changes meant to freshen up the eight-year-old reality series. The standard for any of these live talent shows is to air two times week — first for the performance episode and then the following night for the results. But DWTS will now air only once a week, with the performances and the results being combined into one two-hour show, similar to what So You Think You Can Dance has been doing this summer.
According to the press release, this is how it will work: “Each week viewers vote for their favorite dancing performances. Each couple will be eliminated at the end of each episode by combining the judges’ scores of that night, along with the public votes from the previous week, which will determine who gets eliminated every Monday night.”
All that’s left now is to speculate on which 12 celebrities will hit the dance floor come September.
Paula Deen reportedly turned down an offer, according to Us Weekly. A source said, “The dance floor is not the appropriate forum for her,” referring to her N-word controversy that caused sponsors to drop her and has damaged (at least temporarily) her career. But host Tom Bergeron wants to see her dance: “We’ve seen career resurgences after the show. People go, ‘I remember why I love that person!” But because Deen’s controversy is still so fresh in everyone’s minds, now might not be the best time.
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FOX News reporter Geraldo Rivera tweeted this week that he also turned down an offer: “Honored to be asked to do DWTS. It’s a great show, enduring & energetic. Sorry Deena but can’t for lots of reasons including a bad foot. Thx.”
Other names that have surfaced as possibilities include Jon Gosselin (whose ex-wife Kate has competed on the show) and race car driver Tony Kanaan, who is supposedly “in talks.”
And what about the professional dancers and judges? Are there going to be any major shake-ups there? There were rumors back in May that Len Goodman and Carrie Ann Inaba would be leaving, but the press release also notes their return, along with Bruno Tonioli and hosts Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet.
During the recent TCA press tour, Paul Lee, the head of ABC Entertainment, said that Maks Chmerkovskiy might return after skipping out on season 16: “Maks is part of the family. He may well be back. We love having him a part of it.” And Derek Hough has confirmed he’s returning, which should come as no surprise considering he’s the reigning champ.
Who do you think should join DWTS? Would Paula Deen or Geraldo Rivera have been great choices?
Dancing with the Stars season 17 premieres September 16 at 8pm on ABC.
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(Image courtesy of ABC)