Dancing With the Stars has a seriously stacked line-up this year! Ahead of the much anticipated Season 29 premiere on Sept. 14, the ABC dance competition has announced the celebs who will be taking to the ballroom floor this season, and there are some major names, including a Tiger King star, Cheer personality, and NBA All-Star.
The big reveal came during Wednesday's Good Morning America, during which DWTS announced the following celebrity competitors: former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, The Real's Jeannie Mai, Netflix's Cheer coach Monica Aldama, Grammy-winning rapper Nelly, Selling Sunset's Chrishell Stause, Disney Channel star Skai Jackson, One Day at a Time actress Justina Machado, Tiger King's controversial subject Carole Baskin, Desperate Housewives alum Jesse Metcalfe, Catfish host Nev Schulman, Volcano actress Anne Heche, NBA All-Star Charles Oakley and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir. They will join Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean and former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, who was confirmed as competitors prior to Wednesday's show.
Each of these 15 famous faces will be paired with one of the pro dancers who will take them on their journey to the Mirrorball Trophy. Competing as a pro this season are veterans Sasha Farber, Pasha Pashkov, Jenna Johnson, Emma Slater, Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Val Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, Gleb Savchenko, Cheryl Burke and Keo Motsepe. Sharna Burgess and Artem Chigvintsev will be returning this year after not being asked back for Season 28, and newcomers Britt Stewart and Daniella Karagach will make their pro debut after previously dancing in the show's troupe.
Stewart is the first Black female pro to dance on the show, telling Good Morning America of her casting, "I am extremely honored and I honestly get a little emotional talking about it every time. I think there's a lot of power in representation and seeing someone that looks like yourself in a specific position."
"It gives all little Black girls ... that feel like they don't have that representation something to look at and something to reach for," she added. "I'm so honored that DWTS celebrates diversity and this is just really a stepping stone to really express everything and bring light to the world and to television."
This will be the first season since Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were let go from their hosting duties in July, being replaced by supermodel Tyra Banks. The America's Next Top Model host told Good Morning America of her casting, "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."