Dancing With the Stars may be making a lot of changes for season 29, but apparently none of those changes involve making the cast list less chaotic.
Sources tell E! News exclusively that Carole Baskin, Chrishell Stause and Anne Heche are all in talks to compete for the Mirrorball trophy this season, and are close to being confirmed. Sources also say that Dr. Anthony Fauci, coronavirus expert, was asked, but declined to participate, which is really a shame. Just imagine Carole Baskin and Dr. Fauci standing on that stage together, awaiting the results of America’s vote.
The only confirmed celebs this season are Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean and former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, who was asked to join the show by Chris Harrison after her episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever! aired. On Aug. 27, McLean made a virtual appearance on Good Morning America to announce his participation in the ABC series. When GMA’s T.J. Holmes asked if he has an « advantage » due to his boy band past, McLean said this style of dancing is a bit « different » than his previous performances. « I’ve been dancing since I was about 6 years old, » the 42-year-old admitted. « But this is gonna be a little bit different. There was definitely no foxtrot in the past 27 years, I can assure you that. »
While on GMA, McLean also received a video message from his bandmate and former DWTS runner-up Nick Carter, who encouraged him to « go get that Mirrorball! »
The full cast will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 2 on Good Morning America. Until then, ABC won’t be confirming or commenting on any cast reports.
Season 29 is the start of a « new creative direction » for Dancing With the Stars. Tyra Banks has signed on as the new host and a new executive producer, while Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will no longer be a part of the show. Banks has promised that the season will be « so next level » while « still keeping the stuff that we know America loves. »
The coronavirus pandemic means there will be other changes this season as well, many of which have yet to be announced. There will likely be no in-studio audience, and all pros will have to quarantine separately from each other, even if they’re married to each other.
The list of pros includes three married couples this season: Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy; Sasha Farber and Emma Slater; and Pasha Pashkov and first-time pro Danielle Karagach.
Britt Stewart is also joining as a first-time pro, and the first Black female pro the show has ever had. The other pros are Artem Chigvintsev, Brandon Armstrong, Sharna Burgess, Cheryl Burke, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Gleb Savchenko, and reigning champ Alan Bersten.
The full cast will be announced on GMA on Sept. 2, and the season will premiere on Monday, Sept. 14. at 8 p.m. on ABC.
The 35-year-old Canadian reality star, podcast host, and entrepreneur was the first (and so far, only) cast member to be confirmed. Chris Harrison gave her the good news during an interview after her episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever! She was on season 19 of The Bachelor and starred in season 11 of The Bachelorette.
The 42-year-old Backstreet Boys star has officially joined season 29, following in the footsteps of his bandmate Nick Carter and fellow boybanders Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey and Nick Lachey. On Aug. 24, he posted a video on Instagram about his workout progress, and explained that he’s getting « prepared and ready for what’s to come in the next few weeks » though he couldn’t say exactly what it is that’s coming. « A lot of surprises from me, » he said. « I can’t tell you guys exactly what yet, but I’m doing this for two reasons. One, to get in the best shape of my life and to be healthy and to be happy, physically and mentally and emotionally, and there’s something else coming up. Can’t tell you what it is, but believe me, you’ll know why based on that. »
Baskin, 59, made headlines earlier this year when she was one of the subjects of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King. She owns her own zoo and was accused by Joe Exotic of killing her ex-husband. She’s also a YouTuber, and soon she might be a dancing star. Sources tell E! News she’s in talks to join season 29.
Stause, 39, is a real estate agent and one of the stars of Netflix’s Selling Sunset. She’s made headlines lately due to season three’s portrayal of her divorce from This Is Us star Justin Hartley, and sources tell E! News she’s likely to participate in this season of DWTS.
The 51-year-old actress is in talks to join the season, sources tell E!. She was recently known for roles on Chicago P.D., The Brave, and Quantico.
Sources tell E! News that 79-year-old Dr. Fauci, the world-renowned immunologist who has been leading the U.S. through the coronavirus pandemic, was approached about appearing in season 29 of Dancing With the Stars. He declined.
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