'Dancing With the Stars' Finalist Kel Mitchell Wasn't Originally Supposed to Compete

One of the bright spots of this season of Dancing With The Stars has been the rise of Kel Mitchell and his partner Witney Carson. After coming out of the gates a little slower than the other finalists, Mitchell quickly found his groove and has been among the top performers week-in and week-out. It turns out that that almost wasn't the case, though.

Entertainment Tonight learned just hours before the live finale that the former All That star was almost not on the show. It turns out that Mitchell was the last one to be cast and only was chosen due to another unnamed celebrity dropping out. The decision was so last minute that producers told him after officially choosing him to come on the show, "You're gonna have to jump on a plane, like, immediately."

"I was just like, 'OK. Alright,'" he shared. "It was no talks. It was a call out of no where and I was like, 'Of course I'll do Dancing With the Stars. This is awesome."

Mitchell added that he always has had "dance fever" so the opportunity was one he couldn't pass up. During the interview, it turns out that his partner wasn't even aware he was the last one to be cast.

The 41-year-old did share that the last-minute inclusion does put a little chip on his shoulder. He's hoping to bring this journey full circle from the last entry to the last one standing.

"I feel like the underdog and we've been going up with every dance, which has been amazing," Mitchell said. "Witney has been doing amazing choreography so it's definitely been exciting."

Mitchell faces some stiff competition in the other three finalists. Hannah Brown, Lauren Alaina and Ally Brooke have all been among the top scorers this season. Among the final four, Mitchell does hold the claim that he outlasted all of the celebrity men, including James Van Der Beek who was the most surprising elimination in the semi-finals.

The Good Burger star have collected two perfect scores this season, both of which have come in each of the last two weeks.

Back on Oct. 25, Mitchell and Carson spoke in an interview with ABC's New York affiliate where Mitchell already had the growing sense that the Mirrorball Trophy is a real possibility.


"It's right there! It's right there! Everybody screaming, let's go!" he said.

Dancing With the Stars will air its live finale at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.