Dancing with the Stars has revealed (most of) the cast for its celebratory 20th season, marking the ten-year anniversary of the show.
There is the usual eclectic mix, but one star is pre-ordained to win.
· Noah Galloway (former soldier, current motivation speaker) is paired with Sharna Burgess
· Robert Herjavec (star of Shark Tank) is paired with Kym Johnson, the two-time winner and fan favorite making her return after three seasons off
· Patti LaBelle (singer) is paired with Artem Chigvintsev
· Riker Lynch (singer and actor) is paired with Allison Holker, an unpopular new pro from last season making her surprising return
· Charlotte McKinney (model) is paired with Keo Motsepe
· Michael Sam (football player) is paired with former winner Peta Murgatroyd
· Willow Shields (Prim in The Hunger Games) is paired with two-time winner Mark Ballas
· Suzanne Somers (actress and author) is paired with former winner Tony Dovolani
· Redfoo (one half of LMFAO) is paired with Emma Slater
· Rumer Willis (actress) is paired with perpetual bridesmaid Val Chmerkovskiy
· Nastia Liukin (Olympic gymnast) is paired with five-time winner (and Emmy winner) Derek Hough
· Reigning champ Witney Carson will be coupled with a twelfth star, to be announced at a later date
Honestly, they needn’t bother having a season, just give the trophy to Nastia Liukin now. Her fellow 2008 Olympic gymnast, Shawn Johnson, won DWTS season 8. When she returned for the All-Star Season paired with Derek Hough, they came in second (and many felt were robbed), and Derek won an Emmy in the process. Nastia’s work ethic and flexibility, coupled with Derek’s choreography, means there is absolutely no way they do not win.
Notably absent from the list of pros competing are former winners Cheryl Burke and Karina Smirnoff. After sixteen seasons Karina will be pursuing other endeavors, including writing a book. Cheryl Burke will be doing a variety show for NBC, and this will be the first season since the very first without her. It somehow doesn’t seem right to celebrate ten years of DWTS without these ladies. However, it is awfully good to have Kym Johnson back in the fold.
Redfoo was not-so-memorably a guest judge last season, so it will be interesting to see the tables turned and him being judged. Willow Shields, at 14 years old, is by far the youngest competitor ever on DWTS. It’s going to be mighty awkward seeing her inevitable “becoming a woman” storyline.
What do you think of the new Dancing with the Stars cast? Who will you be rooting for come March 16?