Olympian Adam Rippon And More Set As Judges For Dancing With The Stars: Juniors

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Almost as much as TV audiences love to watch people showing off their vocal talents, they love to watch people putting their dancing skills on display, and it always helps when those people are celebrities. ABC gets that, and is getting set to bring the half-pint spinoff Dancing with the Stars: Juniors to fans everywhere. But you can't have DWTS without a panel of judges, right? So it's good that the network announced they'll be bringing in Olympic athlete and former Dancing with the Stars winner Adam Rippon, Dancing with the Stars pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy, and TV-familiar choreographer Mandy Moore.

For the upcoming spinoff Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, the producers clearly didn't want to reach too far outside the box to round up a trio of athletic and knowledgable judges. And who could blame them, since the past 13 years have provided 26 seasons full of talent and congeniality. And they got the full gamut, too, with a contestant-turned-winner in Adam Rippon, an ongoing professional and occasional winner in Valentin Chmerkovskiy, and a professional choreographer (who also works on So You Think You Can Dance) in Mandy Moore.

The big announcement was made on Good Morning America, where Adam Rippon, Mandy Moore and Valentin Chmerkovskiy were all on-hand to talk about joining the sure-footed new reality show. As well, they got to watching dancing videos from each new judge when they were children, which everyone got to put number values to, accordingly enough. Rippon was not as impressed with his "I'm a Little Teapot" routine in quite the same way as everyone else.

For everyone's history with the show: Adam Rippon followed up on his 2018 Winter Games success by signing on for Season 26, the shortened Athletes season, and he went on to win it with dance partner Jenna Johnson. In the first dozen seasons of Dancing with the Stars, Valentin Chmerkovskiy made multiple appearances (usually involving his brother Maksim), and then became a full-time pro for Season 13. He has competed in every season since, and came out on top in Season 20, with Rumer Willis, and in Season 23, with Laurie Hernandez. Mandy Moore, who obviously isn't the same-named This Is Us star, has been with Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance for many years, and won the Emmy for Outstanding Choreography in 2017, having also been nominated for five other Emmys over the years. Moore was also famously the choreographer for Damien Chazelle's 2016 hit La La Land.

You can find the yet-to-be-revealed youthful celebrities and pros on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors airing on ABC when it makes its big (ish) debut on Sunday, October 7, at 8:00 p.m. ET. And for those waiting on the flagship series to return following its semi-standalone Athletes edition, Dancing with the Stars will be back on ABC on Monday, September 24, at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows are on the way, head to our summer premiere schedule and our fall premiere rundown.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.