Get to know the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 21 contestants

Celebrity chef Paula Deen is competing in the next season of "Dancing With The Stars."

Celebrity chef Paula Deen is competing in the next season of “Dancing With The Stars.”

(Carlo Allegri / Associated Press)

Get ready, y’all: Paula Deen is coming to “Dancing With The Stars.”

The former Food Network host was among the list of 13 celebrity contestants for cycle 21 anounced Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”

Here’s a look at the diverse list of contestants who will be breaking out their dancing shoes to vie for the top prize:

A hero comes to the the dance floor: Alek Skarlatos, an Army National Guard Specialist, will be partnered with Lindsay Arnold. Skarlatos made headlines in August after he and two friends helped wrestle an AK-47-toting man to the floor after he allegedly opened fire on a train from Amsterdam to Paris.


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We “spy” a return: Alexa PenaVega, know for her role as Carmen Cortez in the “Spy Kids” franchise, will be partnered with Mark Ballas. The actress also appeared on Broadway in the musical “Hairspray” in 2007 and in films such as “Machete Kills” and “From Prada to Nada.”

Honey, he’s good: Singer Andy Grammer, who was born in Los Angeles, is partnered with Allison Holker. Before Grammer scored with songs such as ""Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me,” the musician used to be a street performer on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade.

G’day Bindi: The 17-year-old daughter of the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin will be partnered with Derek Hough. The Australian actress has starred in films such as “Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove” and wildlife shows including “Bindi: The Jungle Girl.”


Couple rivalry?: Carlos PenaVega will face off against his wife, Alexa, this season. The actor and singer, known for his role on Nickelodeon’s musical comedy “Big Time Rush,” will be partnered with Witney Carson.

Ten-time Grammy Award winner turned dance competitor: Music icon Chaka Khan, who is a singer, songwriter, producer, author and actor, will partner up with Keo Motsepe. She has released 22 albums and racked up ten No. 1 Billboard magazine charted songs.

The best-actor nominee: Gary Busey, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Buddy Holly in “The Buddy Holly Story,” will celebrate his 45th anniversary in the industry by competing in the ABC show. The actor, who is also known for his rolse in “Celebrity Wife Swap” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” will be partnered with Anna Trebunskaya.

Social media star: Hayes Grier, a 15-year-old Vine and Twitter star, will be partnered with Emma Slater. Grier, a North Carolina native, has notched more than 3.5 million followers on Vine and more than 2 million followers on Twitter.


Bravo this Housewife of Atlanta: Kim Zolciak Biermann, a socialite known for a spot on Bravo’s hit reality show “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” will be partnered with Tony Dovolani. Zolciak Biermann, a mother of seven, is married to NFL Falcons player Kroy Biermann.

Backstreet’s back: Nick Carter, member of iconic ‘90s boy band Backstreet Boys, will be partnered with Sharna Burgess. At the height of the band’s popularity, Carter was named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World.” He went on to release solo albums “Now or Never” and “I’m Taking Off.” He and his girlfriend Lauren Kitt starred in the VH1 reality series “I Heart Nick Carter.”

Cooking queen comeback: Deen will be partnered with Louis van Amstel. This will be a comeback for the celebrity chef, who fell from grace after a videotaped deposition showed her admitting to using racist jokes and slurs.

Braxton bringing family values: Tamar Braxton, a Grammy-nominated singer, reality TV personality and talk show host, will be partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy. The veteran performer is a founding member of the R&B group the Braxtons. She executive produces and stars in the WE TV reality show “Braxton Family Values,” which is in its fourth season.


Triple Crown in town: Victor Espinoza, the first Latino jockey to ever win the Triple Crown, will be partnered with Karina Smirnoff. Espinoza has won over 3,000 races in his career, including the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

The new season debuts Sept. 14 on ABC.

For more news on the entertainment industry, follow me @saba_h



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