'Dancing With the Stars' Makes Major Change to Casting Next Season

Tuesday night's Dancing With the Stars season 25 finale not only crowned a mirrorball champion in Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold, but also dropped some shocking news about its upcoming season.

Toward the end of the live finale, hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews told viewers that they will return in 2018 for a special four-week all-athletes edition of DWTS.

Ten athletes yet to be named from a variety of sports will compete for the coveted mirrorball trophy in spring 2018. In past seasons, numerous sports stars have competed — and triumphed — in the ballroom: Former NFL stars Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, Donald Driver, and Rashad Jennings each won their seasons; Olympic gold medalists Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Meryl Davis, and Laurie Hernandez all danced away victorious; and auto racing driver Hélio Castroneves has also taken the top spot.

A shortened four-week mini competition instead of a full season could be a risky gamble (or a schedule-saving move, considering ABC will be the new home for American Idol in March 2018), but DWTS pros seemed on board with the never-before-done concept.

Longtime pro Sharna Burgess, who took Indy Car driver James Hinchcliffe to second place last fall, noted that the mini spin-off will take place after the 2018 Winter Olympics.

"I think it will be really exciting. Athletes are always wonderful on the show and great talents to have, great personalities," she told reporters. "And we'll just have had a Super Bowl [next year]. I believe there will be a [winter] Olympics by that point. I think we'll be able to get some really great names and great personalities to do the show and it could be fun."

Burgess said she would love to see Kobe Bryant do the show, or Shaquille O'Neal, but noted, "I'm going to need three foot platforms to dance with that guy!"

The pro dancer added, "We've never actually had a golfer, what about Tiger Woods? [Also] someone who was from the winning Super Bowl team [and] someone that wins gold at the Olympics."

Former NBA player Derek Fisher, who was booted out in this season's competition earlier than many fans expected, even put his own hat in the ring.

"Since I only lasted about four weeks, I should be back in the all-athletes show dancing with Sharna," he said. "Often times, athletes don't get to tell their [personal] stories. You just kind of watch them perform. You don't get to really find out who they are behind it and that will be great to watch [on 'DWTS'] whether I get invited back or not."

Pro dancer Alan Bersten, who was partnered with singer Debbie Gibson this season, told reporters he'd like "a figure skater for myself." In the past, ice skaters like Nancy Kerrigan, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Dorothy Hamill have competed.

Property Brothers star Drew Scott, who made it to fourth place with pro partner Emma Slater, told reporters, "Somebody like LeBron James would be amazing but you'd have to find someone retired who would actually come and do it. I like the idea that you don't have two from the same [sports] realm — so maybe one baseball, one hockey, one basketball, whatever, and mix it up to see who is the true athlete."

Tuesday night's finale saw Broadway star Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold crowned mirrorball champions, with violinist Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas named runners-up with actor Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson in third place.


Fisher and Muniz also announced that they'd be joining the upcoming DWTS tour.