A “Queer Eye” host, a “Bachelorette” and a former White House press secretary walk into a dance studio...
Only “Dancing With the Stars” could round up a cast that is simultaneously as star-studded and as random as its 2019 lineup, which includes Karamo Brown, Hannah Brown and Sean Spicer as well as supermodel Christie Brinkley, Fifth Harmony alum Ally Brooke and two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom.
The competition program seems to have pulled out all the stops for its Season 28 cast, which was announced Wednesday. Since ABC decided to buck its typical twice-yearly format and didn’t greenlight a spring edition, this will be the lone “DWTS” to air this year.
Twelve celebrities make up this year’s star squad, set to hit the dance floor Sept. 16. More quirky and varied than a “Saturday Night Live” parody of “Celebrity Family Feud,” here’s the who’s who of Season 28, in order of their “Wait ... what?” factor.
During his eight-month stint as White House press secretary, Spicer earned a reputation for spreading what President Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway called “alternative facts.” Before his resignation in July 2017, he was routinely scrutinized in the media, even spurring multiple “SNL” spoofs of White House press briefings, led by Melissa McCarthy. Following the “Dancing With the Stars” 2019 casting announcement, longtime host Tom Bergeron took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the show’s inclusion of political figures, as he had hoped the program would “be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations” — though he didn’t name Spicer directly.
As Brown has been riding her newfound reality TV super-stardom, some had already speculated that the “Bachelor” breakout-turned-"Bachelorette” would trade roses for dancing shoes on ABC’s sister program. Now that the news is officially confirmed, one question remains: Will she finally find true love? Guess we’ll have to tune in to “Dancing With the Stars” to (probably not) find out.
In case anyone had any doubts, the veteran supermodel is here to prove she’s still got it. Over the course of her long and fruitful career, the forever cover girl has fronted more than 500 magazines, including Sports Illustrated, Glamour and Cosmopolitan, and she’s sure to make more headlines should she strut circles around her younger competition on the “Dancing With the Stars” stage.
Brown and the rest of “Queer Eye’s” Fab Five certainly know how to make entertaining reality TV, as evidenced by the hit Netflix series’ three Emmy wins since its splashy debut in 2018. Who knows if the host’s cultural expertise will translate to the dance floor, but one thing is certain: The rest of the 2019 “Dancing With the Stars” contestants will have a steady shoulder to cry on for as long as he remains in the competition.
Odom has a rich history with Los Angeles, playing twice for the Clippers and winning two NBA championships with the Lakers. But “Dancing With the Stars” will not be Odom’s first brush with reality TV. The hoops veteran previously appeared on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” during his brief marriage to Khloé Kardashian.
Another contestant who is no stranger to reality programming, Brooke first came to fame on the American “X Factor” as one-fifth of the girl group Fifth Harmony. Since the collective’s split in March 2018, Brooke has released some solo work and made some dance-y performances — perhaps it was all leading to this?
James Van Der Beek
Van Der Beek most recently starred as a slimy executive on Ryan Murphy’s hit FX drama “Pose,” but audiences still remember him as the dreamboat title character on “Dawson’s Creek.” Some superfans are still holding out hope for a reboot of the coming-of-age drama, but they’ll have to settle first for Van Der Beek’s new moves on “Dancing With the Stars.”
If anyone knows how to bring a crowd to its feet, it’s a Motown legend. A founding member of the Supremes, Wilson has performed for countless fans around the world, later continuing her success with her solo music and bestselling books. Should Season 28 bring back Motown Week, Wilson’s competition better watch out.
NFL Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion Lewis has proved his dominance on the football field during his long career with the Baltimore Ravens. Lewis and Odom are the only professional athletes on the list this year, following in the footsteps of previous jocks-turned-"DWTS” contestants such as NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.
After coming up just short of the title on Season 10 of “American Idol,” Alaina now has another chance to snag a reality TV trophy. Since her “Idol” fame, the singer has built up a fanbase in the country music world with two studio albums.
Nickelodeon and Disney Channel alum Mitchell joins a long lineage of former child stars to appear on “Dancing With the Stars.” Previous examples include “Cheetah Girls” singer-actress Sabrina Bryan and “Full House” family member Candace Cameron-Bure. Mitchell first came to fame making young audiences laugh in Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “Kenan and Kel,” starring alongside “SNL’s” Kenan Thompson.
Best known for her quirky one-liners on NBC’s hit sitcom “The Office,” Flannery has maintained a steady TV acting career, appearing most recently in Hulu’s “All Night” and CBS’ “Young Sheldon.” “You’re not drunk!,” the former “Office” drunk tweeted along with the “DWTS” news Wednesday. Cheers!