Politics, controversy and headlines have been cast into the next edition of Dancing With The Stars when it returns to ABC’s primetime on September 14. Next season’s biggest “get” is Alex Skarlatos, the Army National Guard specialist who just made headlines when he and his pals overpowered a man suspected of being a terrorist who’d opened fire on a Paris-bound train.
Joining Skarlatos is Paula Deen, whose TV career took a nosedive when she acknowledged in a deposition she’d used a racial slur in the past, and her network and sponsors bailed. In its bio of Deen for this morning’s announcement, ABC made no mention of the incident.
Gary Busey, one of now-presidential-candidate Donald Trump’s most colorful Celebrity Apprentice participants, is back on reality competition TV, as Busey had already revealed on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. The full cast was revealed this morning on Good Morning America, in keeping with tradition. This season also is the first in which a married couple competes: Spy Kids star Alexa PenaVega and husband Carlos PenaVega.
The new season’s list, in alphabetical order by first name:
- Alek Skarlatos partnered with Lindsay Arnold
- Alexa PenaVega partnered with Mark Ballas
- Andy Grammer partnered with Allison Holker
- Bindi Irwin (daughter of late Crocodile Hunter Steve) partnered with Derek Hough
- Carlos PenaVega partnered with Witney Carson
- Chaka Khan partnered with Keo Motsepe
- Gary Busey partnered with Anna Trebunskaya
- Hayes Grier partnered with Emma Slater
- Kim Zolciak Biermann partnered with Tony Dovolani
- Nick Carter partnered with Sharna Burgess
- Paula Deen partnered with Louis van Amstel
- Tamar Braxton partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Victor Espinoza (jockey) partnered with Karina Smirnoff