Newly minted "Dancing with the Stars" season 19 contestant Alfonso Ribeiro is ready to cha cha, samba, and foxtrot for the coveted mirror ball trophy, and it seems that the former Carlton Banks has several celebrity supporters in his corner. Shortly after the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" star was formally named to the show's lineup during the Sept. 4 edition of "Good Morning America," a string of famous folks hit Twitter to send him both congratulations and the promise of votes.
Former Major League Baseball player Mark Mulder, who pitched for both Oakland and St. Louis prior to his retirement and competed alongside Ribeiro in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in July, predicted good things in the affable actor's "DWTS" future. He tweeted "I have never watched @DancingABC but I guess I will now. @alfonso_ribeiro didn't win @ACChampionship so go win this. Good Luck bud." After promising Ribeiro that he'd attend a live show, Mulder added a bolder statement, writing "he's going to win this thing."
Mulder wasn't the only athlete to speak out. Also throwing her support behind Ribeiro was Olympic swimming champion Summer Sanders, who offered up her own best wishes with a tweet that read "Go get your #CarltonDance on @Alfonso_Ribeiro Well deserved! We will be watching this season of @DancingABC 2cheer you on! #DWTS." Actress Beverley Mitchell, who starred in both "7th Heaven" and "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," echoed the sentiment.
Even without the aid of celebrity endorsements, Ribeiro enters season 19 with a few distinctive competition advantages. As the former star of a popular sitcom, he has a ready-made fan base in play. Additionally, his resume boasts significant dance experience, including a starring role in Broadway's "The Tap Dance Kid" and a role in a 1983 Pepsi commercial with the legendary Michael Jackson.
For his part, Ribeiro plans to take his stint on the hit reality dance competition seriously. In a post to his Facebook page, he promised to "work my butt off to do great dances every week" on the arm of pro partner Witney Carson. Scoring such a gifted partner is something of a lucky break for Carson, who is entering just her second season as a pro coach. Her debut season saw her finish ninth with pop star Cody Simpson.
To see Ribeiro and Carson's debut offering, tune in to the Sept. 15 season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" on ABC. To follow the couple's journey, check out the actor's Twitter feed at @alfonso_ribeiro.