‘Dancing With the Stars’: Meet this season’s cast
Yes, it’s true. The new “Dancing With the Stars” lineup has been announced--but before continuing on to learn who made the cut, take the time to open another tab on your Web browser: Some of the names might require a search.
Not exactly a good starting off point for the long-running competition show, which has seen its ratings come down a bit the last couple of seasons. Its most recent season, an All-Star edition featuring past contestants, wrapped last November with 16.73 million viewers, down 27% from the previous fall’s finale. The dropoff was also felt in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic.
ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee expressed optimism for the aging reality show and its young adult troubles during the Television Critics Assn. press tour last month.
“I do think that the old stars made it a little bit older,” Lee said of the “All Stars” ratings performance with the advertiser-cherished demo. “I think we have the ability for casting fresh to bring in younger audiences again ... We think there’s a lot of life left in it.”
Its life for its upcoming 16th season will include some reality vets--"American Idol” alum Kellie Picker and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump--some athletes and Andy Dick.
The two-hour season premiere will air March 18 at 8 p.m.
Here’s the cast (and their partners) ...
*Professional boxer Victor Ortiz, who had us scratching our heads with his 2011 fight against Floyd Mayweather--there was a head butt, a kiss and a hug in one round! He will be paired with new pro Lindsay Arnold.
*Comedian D.L Hughley might dub himself one of the original Kings of Comedy ... but can he he reign supreme on the dance floor? He’ll be paired with Cheryl Burke, who has won twice before.
*Fresh off his Super Bowl XLVII win, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones will give his legs a different kind of workout. He’ll be paired with Karina Smirnoff.
*A stint on “2 Broke Girls” made sense. But Andy Dick on “Dancing With the Stars” might require a content rating system change. He’ll be paired with former troupe member Sharna Burgess.
*Double shift? “General Hospital” star Ingo Rademacher (a.k.a. Jax) will juggle daytime with prime time. The actor will be paired with Kym Johnson.
*American gymnast Aly Raisman, who was captain of the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team last summer in London, will trade the balance beam for hardwood floors. We can only hope her McKayla Maroney and meme-tastic face will be there for support at some point. Raisman will be paired with Mark Ballas.
*Country singer Kellie Pickler is a veteran to the reality competition format. She appeared in the fifth season of “American Idol,” placing sixth in the competition. Could partnering with Derek Hough make her a front-runner on this show?
*Country music legend Wynonna Judd is also giving the dancing game a try. We’re only bummed she won’t be paired with her mom, so we’ll just have to do a search on our DVR for OWN’s “The Judds” docu-series instead. Judd will be paired with Tony Dovolani.
*Zendaya Coleman is the latest Disney star to join the ranks. The “Shake It Up” actress will be paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
*Legendary figure skater Dorothy Hamill is reuniting with sequins! Can the Olympic champion be as graceful on the dance floor as she was on the ice floor? She’ll be paired with Tristan MacManus.
*"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump has been all over Bravo lately, with the current season of “Real Housewives” and her spinoff “Vanderpump Rules.” Now hoofs debate will rest on her own twinkle toes. She’ll be paired with new pro Gleb Savchenko.
You might notice a few recurring professional dancers missing from the mix--Anna Trebunskaya, Chelsie Hightower, Louis Van Amstel and Maks Chmerkovskiy. What gives? A rep from the show had this to say:
“We frequently rotate the professional dancers, so it is not unusual for them to rest a cycle. As we consider who will be matched up each season, there are a lot of factors that dictate which couples make the best pairings. We appreciate each of our dancers’ dedication to the show, so this is a very difficult decision. Anna, Chelsie, Louis, and Maks continue to be a part of the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ family.”
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