ABC is having trouble keeping the Dancing With The Stars Season 29 celebrity cast a secret. Actors Anne Heche and Chrishell Stause are reportedly in talks to join this fall's race to win the mirror ball trophy. They will join The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, who is the only confirmed competitor so far. Tiger King star Carole Baskin and Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean are also reportedly joining this season.
On Monday, sources told E! News that Heche and Stause are in talks with ABC and DWTS producers, alongside Baskin and McLean. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who was on television almost daily during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, was invited to join the show, but he reportedly turned ABC down. The cast will officially be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 2, during Good Morning America, with the Season 29 premiere scheduled for Monday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. ET.
Heche is an Emmy-nominated actress for her performance in the 2004 Lifetime movie Gracie's Choice and earned a Tony nomination for Twentieth Century. She rose to fame with a string of hit movies during the late 1990s, including Volcano, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Volcano and Six Days Seven Nights. More recently, she has turned to television and was last seen in a recurring role on NBC's Chicago P.D.
Heche famously dated Ellen DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000 and recently spoke about their relationship in light of the "toxic" workplace environment scandal at DeGeneres' talk show. "Our time was a beautiful part of my life and one that I wear with honor," Heche told Mr. Warburton magazine. "I was a part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her."
As for Stause, she starred on All My Children as Amanda Dillon and Days of Our Lives as Jordan Ridgeway. She also works as a real estate agent and stars in Netflix's Selling Sunset. The show's third season was released on Aug. 7.
When DWTS returns in September, the show will feature Tyra Banks as host. Over the summer, ABC let Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews go, although judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioni, and Carrie Ann Inaba are coming back. The show will also be filmed without a studio audience due to the coronavirus pandemic. "I don't think they're going to make them dance six feet apart," pro Lindsay Arnold, who is not taking part in this season, told Us Weekly. "If that were the case, I don't think the show would be happening. At the same time, I truly believe that it's going to change every week."