It’s that time again! Break out the sparkles, cue the orchestra, and bring on the hip grinding because the cast for the 17th season (holy cow, seventeen seasons) of Dancing with the Stars has been announced.
The 17th season will only air once a week to make room in the ABC line-up for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The biggest change to the format will be in the voting. Each week, viewers will still vote for their favorite performance but a couple will be eliminated at the end of the episode by combining the judges’ scores of that night and the public’s votes from the previous week. The celebraquarium will move next to the judges table so that Brooke Burke will interview the couples before their performance, rather than after. There will still be musical guests and performances, just towards the end of the season when there is more time available in the show.
This has to be one of the best line-ups to date. Several cast members were picked because of their connection to a millennial audience and I’m totally falling for it. I can’t wait to watch! Also, majority of these performers have a background in choreographed dancing so expect the competition to be stiff. Let’s size up the cast:
Bill Nye the Science Guy, with new dancer Tyne Stecklein
Aw, I’m sure he’ll be sweet but probably a little awkward on the floor. As a kid of the 90s, I’m insanely excited for this. I hope he wears a lab coat.
Brant Daugherty (Pretty Little Liars, Army Wives), with Peta Murgatroyd
Hello gorgeous! Maybe I should start watching Pretty Little Liars. He doesn’t seem to have much of a dancing background but I’m sure that strong jawline will get him through at least a few weeks.
Jack Osbourne, reality TV star, with Cheryl Burke
I’m sure Jack won’t have the same natural ability as his sister Kelly, but you never know, he may surprise us. Either way, I expect his performances to be heartfelt and touching. Also, it will be great to see Ozzy and Sharon back in the audience!
Bill Engvall (The Bill Engvall Show) with former troupe member Emma Slater
Perfect contestant for the TV audience, votes will get him far but I doubt he’ll be a strong dancer.
Keyshawn Johnson, former NFL wide receiver, with Sharna Burgess
NFL players ALWAYS do well. We know he’ll have great feet, can he move them?
Corbin Bleu (High School Musical), with Karina Smirnoff
A High School Musical alum? He’ll be impressive, for sure. And this guy is already familiar with the ballroom. I can’t wait to see what Karina does with his natural talent.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (Jersey Shore), with former troupe member Sasha Farber
Something you have to remember about Snooki is that cheerleading background, she knows how to use her body and follow choreography. Don’t count her out.
Christina Milian, singer/actor, with Mark Ballas
She knows how to follow choreography from her days as a pop star, Mark Ballas is sure to bring that out.
Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls), with Val Chmerkovskiy
Jessie Spano! Before her days on Saved by the Bell Berkley was a classically trained dancer, and we can’t forget about Showgirl. She knows how to move and with Val as her partner, it’s guaranteed to be steamy.
Amber Riley (Glee), with Derek Hough
And the award for most adorable couple goes to…
Remember all that ridiculous choreography Riley had to master as a Troubletone on Glee? She knows how to follow choreography and seems to have a lot of enthusiasm; we all know that’s enough for Derek.
Leah Remini (King of Queens), with Tony Dovolani
She’ll be sassy but I don’t expect much dancing talent.
Valerie Harper (Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda) Tristan MacManus
She was a dancer on Broadway before moving to the small screen and she’s CURRENTLY battling terminal cancer. She’s got a lot of fight and is passionate about life. I think she’ll be good.
Team Rock Paper Watch, place your bets!
Elizabeth’s Pick to Win—Corbin Blue
Elizabeth’s First to Get the Boot—Bill Nye
Jenn’s Pick to Win – Elizabeth Berkley (It’s gotta be a sign that my favorite star on the cast is with my favorite dancer again. And third times a charm right?)
Jenn’s First to Get the Boot – Bill Nye
Ashley’s Pick to Win – Keyshawn Johnson & Sharna Burgess. I don’t like that they’ve brought in so many people with dancing backgrounds this season. My vote is for the underdog!
Ashley’s First to Get the Boot – Bill Engvall….I mean, who is this guy? At least Bill Nye has legions of fans…young fans, which is what they are trying to attract this season right?
Who are you pulling for? How do you think the new format affect ratings? Is the voting fair?