Dancing With the Stars celebrity line-up may be hurting after the ABC show let go of Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews to bring on Tyra Banks, sources told the Naughty But Nice podcast with Rob Shuter on iHeart Radio. While it's notable that the new season will be filmed in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, the sources told Shuter that Banks has been unable to attract the star power higher-ups had hoped.
"Part of the reason Tyra was hired was because it was assumed that she would be able to bring in big named stars to the competition. The show has always struggled to get top celebrities into the ballroom, with Kim Kardashian possibly being the biggest name ever to dance. Tyra implied she could call all her famous friends and get them to join the show, but so far it is not happening," the sources said.
"Where is Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum and all Tyra's fashion friends?" they continued. "Tyra thought having her name attached to the show would suddenly make it cool and hip and that all the young stars would want to be part of it. Think again, if anything, so far this season is shaping up to be less impressive talent-wise stars than the Kate Gosselin's and Bristol Palin's seasons!"
Banks, however, seemed more confident in what she would bring to the ballroom on Good Morning America shortly after she was announced as the new host last month. "It is gonna be so next level. I am having meetings with the producer that I walked in to join, Andrew Llinares, and... he's like, 'Tyra, you just don't know. It's gonna be next level. We're doing all this crazy stuff, taking to the next level, but still keeping the stuff that we know America loves. But you need to get ready, 'cause it's gonna be different," she said at the time.
As far as pros go, DWTS Season 29 has some serious fan favorites returning, including seasoned pros Sasha Farber, Pasha Pashkov, Jenna Johnson, Emma Slater, Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Val Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, Gleb Savchenko, Cheryl Burke, Keo Motsepe and Sharna Burgess. Two new pros will also be competing — Britt Stewart, who was the first Black female dancer to have a full-time role in the show after joining the troupe in Season 23, and Daniella Karagach, Pashkov's wife and former troupe member.
Fans will have to wait until the premiere to meet the stars paired with each pro, but we do know that former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe will be lacing up her dancing shoes, as it was announced during her The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons -- Ever! special. For the return of the pros and their celebrity partners to the ballroom, don't miss the Dancing With the Stars Season 29 premiere on Monday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For more on Dancing With the Stars from PopCulture.com, click here.