“Dancing With the Stars” has a new cast for its 19th season, according to an ABC release on Thursday morning. The new cast was introduced to the show’s adoring fans on “Good Morning America.” The new season will begin on Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. ET. This season’s dancing competitors will include older actors and actresses who are hoping to get their comeback moment, sports celebrities, reality-television celebrities, a political commentator, a YouTube star, and young actors you don’t know - yet.
The celebrity dancers include Sadie Robertson who is the 17-year-old granddaughter of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson. Tavis Smiley, the 49-year-old political commentator and PBS talk-show host will also be dancing. Tommy Chong, who is the 76-year-old musician and comedian, will be dancing this season. Also on the list of dancers are: MMA pro Randy Couture, NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, actress Janel Parrish, actor Antonio Sabato Jr., actor Alfonso Ribeiro, actor Jonathan Bennett, actress Lea Thompson, Olympic track star Lolo Jones, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, and YouTube star Bethany Mota.
Rob Wade, the show’s executive producer, said that they have been around for ten years and still have managed to find areas of stars that they have never had before. Wade, incidentally, was with the show at the start but left in 2005. He is back, taking the place of longtime producer Conrad Green. He joked that he had to come back because he missed the smell of fake tan so much.
According to USA Today, some of the changes for DWTS’s 19th season include Maks Chmerkovskly being gone. Also, Julianne Hough will be back as the fourth judge – along with the other judges Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, and Carrie Ann Inaba. Keo Motsepe joins the show as DWTS’s first black pro dancer.
There will also be more fan interactivity. Wade says there will be a chance for America to have more influence over the show. He says there will be more social media via Twitter votes as well as other ways which he hopes will keep fans engaged throughout the week, leading up to the following show.
Erin Andrews and Tom Bergeron will be back as hosts. Andrews will do her interview in the skybox. The switch-up, in which celebrity dancers switch partners for a week midway through the competition, will also be part of the show again.
According to the report, the stars have already been preparing for the dance competition in secret. After all, the first elimination is on Sept. 17. The first two weeks of the new season will have a performance show on Monday and a results show on Tuesday. After that, there will be nine more episodes on Monday only in which the performance and the elimination will be on the same night.