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We are getting close to crunch time for the new season of Dancing with the Stars. With a September 15 premiere, it’s no surprise that longtime hosts hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews headed to Good Morning America on Thursday to spill the beans on the famous celebrities who will attempt to foxtrot their way to victory. Included in the new list is an aging fashionista, a cauliflower-eared fighter and a Duck Dynasty cast member. You can check out the full list, below.
The rumor mill was correct last week when it listed veteran fashion designer Betsey Johnson as a Season 19 contestant, dancing with pro Tony Dovolani. Mixed Martial Arts and Ultimate Fighting Championship pro Randy Couture will be dancing with Karina Smirnoff. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who is probably best known for that sitcom portrayal of Carlton, will dance with professional Witney Carson. Back to the Future’s Lea Thompson has also signed on, and will dance with Artem Chigvintsev. NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip will take time out of his busy schedule to partner with Emma Slater. Pretty Little Liars actress Janel Parrish will dance with Val Chmerkovskiy, 17 year-old Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson will partner with Mark Ballas, Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett will dance with Allison Holker and Tommy Chong will randomly be a part of the season, dancing with Peta Murgatroyd. Awesome runner and Olympic champion Lolo Jones rounds out the biggest names on this list, dancing with Keo Motsepe.
Typically I know all of the contestants on Dancing with the Stars as soon as they are announced, but this year there were a few stumpers. YouTube sensation Bethany Mota is only 19, but apparently she’s gained fame and acclaim for her fashionista opinions. She also gets to dance with Derek Hough. Then, model Antonio Sabato Jr., whose claim to fame is an underwear billboard in Times Square, will dance with Cheryl Burke. Finally, PBS’ Tavis Smiley has taken a position on Dancing with the Stars, and will be partnered with Sharna Burgess.
Dancing with the Stars has done a great job of teasing Season 19, mostly because the crew enticed former ballroom professional Julianne Hough to return to the show. She’ll be joining as a judge this time around, which will undoubtedly change the dynamics at the judging table, since there will be four people instead of three. Additionally, the scoring dynamics will also change thanks to that extra body. I’m interested to see how everything will pan out and whether there will be any dramatic pushback from the dancers who used to participate with Hough when she gives them critiques.
Luckily, we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out if the new season will shake things up. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars will hit the schedule on Monday, September 15 at 8 p.m. ET. With today’s casting announcement, we are one step closer to glittery costumes and a few truly horrible slip-ups on the dance floor. I can’t wait.