Ryan Lochte, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and others join ‘Dancing With the Stars’
Ryan Lochte will be putting on his dancing shoes for the next leg of his apology tour, joining the upcoming season of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” But the formerly blue-haired merman isn’t the only standout this season: Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has also joined the Season 23 cast.
So that’s two Olympians, an ex-Texas governor, Marcia Brady, Vanilla Ice, Babyface and a sparkly helping of reality stars who comprise this fall’s dance card when the competition returns on Sept. 12.
Lochte, whose Olympic showing this summer was eclipsed by conflicting accounts of an altercation at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro, is no stranger to reality television. Following the 2012 London Olympics, the 32-year-old starred in the short-lived E! reality series “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” Lochte will be partnering up with ballroom veteran Cheryl Burke.
“I’m definitely really excited. This is completely new for me,” Lochte said when the cast was announced on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. “I think it’s time for me to hang up the Speedo and put on my dancing shoes and get in that ballroom.
“I’m going to treat this kind of like going into the Olympics,” he continued. “You train for so long and you have that one shot to put it all out there, and I think that’s what I’m going to do.”
Lochte isn’t the only Olympian vying for the mirrorball trophy this season. Human emoji Laurie Hernandez, who won gold this summer as one-fifth of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, will also be joining the cast. She joined her fellow Team USA teammate on “GMA” when “DWTS” host Tom Bergeron revealed the cast. She’ll be paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
“I’m just excited to go out there and dance as hard as I can,” Hernandez said.
“I know she’s got a couple of gold medals and I’d love to get her a gold mirrorball,” Chmerkovskiy said upon meeting Hernandez.
Reality star Amber Rose is going to muva her way across the dance floor with Valentin’s older brother, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, the so-called “bad boy of the ballroom” who has guest judged the dance competition.
Meanwhile, Perry, the 47th and longest-serving governor of the Lone Star State and former Republican presidential candidate, will be swapping campaign speeches and suits for Twitter campaigns and spray-tanner. He’ll be paired with professional dancer Emma Slater.
Nineties rapper-turned-DIY Channel star Vanilla Ice — a.k.a. Robert Van Winkle — will dance with pro Witney Carson.
Former NFL wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jr. will be paired with pro Lindsay Arnold.
The roster wouldn’t be complete without a Disney Channel star, and “Wizards of Waverly Place” alum Jake T. Austin is filling that slot. He’ll be paired with pro Jenna Johnson.
Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Maureen McCormick, the “Brady Bunch” alum who played eldest sister Marcia Brady on the family sitcom, will dance with Artem Chigvintsev.
Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe will be paired with pro Sharna Burgess.
Country star and “One Tree Hill” alum Jana Kramer will be dancing with Gleb Savchenko.
Eleven-time Grammy winning singer and producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds will dance with Allison Holker.
“Taxi” alum, sitcom and Broadway star Marilu Henner will be paired with returning pro and champion Derek Hough.
“Little Women: LA” star Terra Jolé will dance with pro Sasha Farber.
For you scroll-happy viewers, here’s the alphabetized list of stars and pros:
- Amber Rose with Maksim Chmerkovskiy
- Calvin Johnson Jr. with Lindsay Arnold
- Jake T. Austin with Jenna Johnson
- James Hinchcliffe with Sharna Burgess
- Jana Kramer with Gleb Savchenko
- Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds with Allison Holker
- Laurie Hernandez with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Marilu Henner with Derek Hough
- Maureen McCormick with Artem Chigvintsev
- Rick Perry with Emma Slater
- Ryan Lochte with Cheryl Burke
- Terra Jolé with Sasha Farber
- Vanilla Ice (Robert Van Winkle) with Witney Carson
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