Witney Carson is expecting her first child, and that means she is out of the running for Dancing With the Stars Season 29. While ABC has not revealed which professional dancers will return for the upcoming season (which does not have a premiere date yet), Carson has let fans know she will not be back. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 26-year-old So You Think You Can Dance alum says she's being cautious due to her pregnancy and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"We had quite a few conversations about that, and I just don't think it's ultimately safe for me to participate. So I will not be joining this season," Carson said. "It's just so hard with COVID-19, we don't really know what's happening there. And I'd be pretty big. I'd be about 24 weeks, which is, like, I'd have a belly."
She went on to say sitting on the sidelines would be "a really drastic change," being as she's been with the series since 2013. She said she'd have some "FOMO" (fear of missing out) but it will be fun to watch the series with her husband, Carson McAllister.
"I'm definitely going to have some serious FOMO. I told [producer] Deena Katz yesterday, I was like, 'I don't know how I'm gonna do it without dancing.' But Carson will be happy because he won't have to fly back and forth [to Los Angeles] all the time!" Carson said, later adding, "I've never done that (watch as an audience member) before, so I'm really excited to cheer on all my castmates and my friends and just see how the show is. It's gonna be great. ... I finally have someone to watch it with! I won't be in the audience by myself."
The soon-to-be mother-of-one also dished on what she knows about the upcoming season, which will be a revamp of sorts. Aside from the COVID-19 restrictions that will be put in place, producers have promised a fresh take on the series starting with new host Tyra Banks. Carson said the upcoming season's details are "kind of still up in the air" and rehearsal dates are not even set. She also weighed in on the possible ways the show could change due to the pandemic, including the nixing of group numbers and live audiences.
"I can see the show evolving into maybe no audience, which is so sad because that's where we just we get our energy from," Carson said. "Unfortunately, the [social distancing] rules still apply in California, so I don't know if they'll be able to do that. And obviously group numbers are going to be a little bit harder unless everyone quarantines together. In my opinion, I think they'll just quarantine everybody; just have everybody stick with the group there."