ABC's best kept secret was revealed this morning on "Good Morning America": The cast for Fall 2013 "Dancing with the Stars." Some of the rumors proved right (Valerie Harper) but will this cast be enough to keep us interested? DWTS premieres on Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m./7 Central in a new one-night, two-hour format.
The cast list is as follows:
- Amber Riley (TV star) & Derek Hough
- Bill Engvall (comedian) & Emma Slater
- Bill Nye (scientist and TV personality) & Tyne Stecklein.
- Brant Daugherty (soap and prime time star) & Peta Murgatroyd.
- Christina Milian (music star) & Mark Ballas
- Corbin Bleu (Disney kid) & Karina Smirnoff.
- Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (TV star) & Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
- Jack Osbourne (TV personality and reality star) & Cheryl Burke
- Keyshawn Johnson (retired football player) & Sharna Burgess
- Leah Remini (TV star) & Tony Dovolani
- Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (reality star) & Sasha Farber
- Valerie Harper (oldster TV star) & Tristan MacManus
The one-night extravaganza will feature competitive dance, dynamic group performances and musical guests, all while climaxing to a dramatic elimination. Each week viewers can vote for their favorite dancing performance and beginning with the second episode on Monday, September 23, one couple will be eliminated at the end of the show by combining the judges’ scores from that night, along with the public votes from the previous week.
We would pick Disney star Bleu as a top contender because all the Disney kids can dance. Riley and Johnson should have a fan base to get them through to mid-season. Comedians haven't done well so Engvall may be the first to go. There are a lot of new professional dancers this season and we'll have to see if they understand how to train and show off their star (as well as hide their limitations). Hough, Ballas, Murgatroyd, Smirnoff and Dovolani have all won the mirrorball trophy.
Here's how the stars stack up within the DWTS formula.
In the old TV star slot: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren ""Saved by the Bell," "CSI;Miami," "The L-Word") paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
The Disney star is Corbin Bleu who played Chad in the Emmy award-winning Disney Channel Movie "High School Musical," its sequel, "High School Musical 2" and feature film "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." Bleu is paired with Karina Smirnoff.
An ABC star also fills out the cast with Brant Daugherty from ABC Family's “Pretty Little Liars” and can currently be seen as Lt. Patrick Clarke, on Lifetime's “Army Wives.” He was also on the daytime serial, “Days of Our Lives. He gets to dance with Peta Murgatroyd.
The comic relief competitor is Bill Engvall. Engvall is a Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist and one of the top comedians in the country. Currently, Engvall can be heard on the animated comedy series “Bounty Hunters,” airing on CMT. He previously starred in, and executive produced, the TBS sitcom “The Bill Engvall Show.” Engvall is paired with first timer Emma Slater.
The old star is the cancer survivor Valerie Harper who is best known to audiences for her role as the beloved Rhoda Morgenstern on the classic TV sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its subsequent spin-off “Rhoda.” The popularity of the show was enormous and the episode of Rhoda’s wedding set ratings records (52 million viewers). For playing the character of Rhoda, Harper won a total of four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. She dances with Tristan MacManus.
The football star is Keyshawn Johnson. Keyshawn Johnson is multi-talented business entrepreneur, media broadcaster, television personality, and elite athlete. He is CEO and a co-founder of First Picks Management. Keyshawn is a former NFL Super Bowl champion and All Pro wide receiver. He was drafted #1 overall by the New York Jets in 1996 and also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers. He joined ESPN in 2007 as an NFL studio analyst the same day he announced his retirement from the NFL. He appears on both "Sunday NFL Countdown" and "Monday Night Countdown" and co-hosts ESPN Radio's weekly "Football Tonight Special" on Fridays during the NFL season. He dances with Sharna Burgess.
The musical star is the Grammy nominated Christina Milian. She is a multi-talented phenomenon whose resume includes film, television, theater and music. Milian is formally known for her role as the social media correspondent for the hit NBC show “The Voice”. She was also most recently seen in the television movie "The Christmas Cupid", CBS shows “A Gifted Man” and "CSI" and recurs as the voice of Esther on "Family Guy." Milian also starred in the last installment of the popular "Bring It On" franchise in "Bring It On: Fight to the Finish." Most recently Ms. Milian signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money/Cash Money/ Universal label and is currently in the studio recording her fourth album. Milian’s musical career began when she signed to Island/Def Jam/UMG at the age of 18 and was quickly selected to sing the hook on Ja Rule's No. 1 hit single, "Between Me and You." She dances with Mark Ballas.
Bill Nye is the geek in the mix. Nye is a mechanical engineer who wants the world to know and appreciate the passion, beauty, and joy (the P, B, & J) of science. While working on 747’s at Boeing, he entered and won a Steve Martin Look-Alike Contest in Seattle, which led to his performing as a standup comic. He met a few other comedians and started submitting jokes to “Almost Live,” Seattle’s own comedy show. There, Nye came up with the Science Guy® character and quickly realized that he wanted to create a kids’ show about science. Eleven years later, “Bill Nye the Science Guy” had won 18 Emmys. Nye won seven of them as host and head writer. These days, Nye travels around the globe exhorting his audiences to change the world. He also has a day job as the CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest non-governmental space interest organization. The Society was started by Nye’s astronomy professor at Cornell, Carl Sagan, a man who had a tremendous influence on him, deepening his respect for science and what he likes to call “our place in space.” Nye has written six children’s books and is working on a seventh about space exploration. He’s also writing a general interest book about energy. Nye joins first time professional partner Tyne Stecklein.
TV personality Jack Osbourne teams with Cheryl Burke. Osbourne is currently co-anchor and West Coast correspondent for “Fuse News”, a daily live music news show on Fuse, the national music television network of The Madison Square Garden Company. Most recently Osbourne hosted the TV series “Haunted Highway” on the SyFy channel. The show followed Osbourne and Dana Workman as they investigated claims of paranormal activity along America’s remote back roads. Earlier this year, Osbourne’s production company Schweet Entertainment produced a 16-episode TV docu-series for National Geographic called “Alpha Dogs.” The show took viewers behind the scenes with a special elite force of K-9s and trainers dedicated to serving our country. In 2011, Osbourne had ambitiously taken on producer and director roles. He produced a documentary about his father, Ozzy Osbourne, titled “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne.” The film premiered in 2011 at the Tribeca Film Festival and is the first to tell the story of Ozzy’s tortured and emotionally fraught journey to sobriety.
DWTS always needs a reality star and this time is is Snooki. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is a proud new mom as well as the New York Times best-selling author of A Shore Thing, Confessions of a Guidette and Gorilla Beach. Famous for her trend-setting pouf hairstyle, her small stature, and her acrobatic moves on the dance floor, she is the breakout star of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” the highest-rated show in the network’s history. The third season of Polizzi’s current show “Snooki & JWoww” will debut in October 2013. She has been parodied on “Saturday Night Live,” and appeared on numerous talk shows in addition to being featured in The New York Times and on the covers of Rolling Stone, People, US Weekly and In Touch. Her constantly expanding brand includes “Snooki by Nicole Polizzi,” “Snooki Couture,” “Team Snooki Boxing,” “Team Snooki Music” in addition to an upcoming clothing line for “Snooki Couture” and her fourth book Baby Bumps. Snooki joins first time professional partner Sasha Farber.
Then there's that star in need of an improved reputation and this time it's Leah Remini. For nine seasons, Leah Remini starred in the hit comedy series, “The King of Queens.” The show continues to enjoy huge success through daily syndication, airing in over 33 countries. Remini produced and starred in the one of the earliest and most successful comedic web series, “In the Motherhood”. She co-produced a series of webisodes for the Suave/Sprint brands under the “In the Motherhood” banner. The highly successful series drew over 5 million viewers to the site. In her first jump behind the camera, Remini co-produced the “Inside Out: Leah Remini” wedding and baby specials for VH1. On the big screen, Remini starred in “Old School,” alongside Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell. In 2010, Remini helped launch and was co-host of the first season of the daytime talk show, “The Talk” and recently starred in the ABC series “Family Tools.” Remini teams with Tony Dovolani.
For youth appeal, ABC has gone to Fox's troubled series "Glee." Amber Riley, best known for her role of Mercedes Jones on FOX’s Golden Globe, Peabody and SAG Award winning musical comedy “Glee,” got her first big break when Ryan Murphy cast her in the pilot "St. Sass." Although the pilot was not picked up to series, she was able to use that experience to land a role on the television series "Cedric the Entertainer Presents.” Amber has performed in numerous theater productions, including "Alice in Wonderland," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Into the Woods" and "Mystery on the Docks" with the Los Angeles Opera. In November 2012, she made her New York stage debut to rave reviews in New York City Center’s “Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Parade.” Amber has received two individual NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy series for her work on “Glee.” In 2011, she was nominated for a second Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Female Scene Stealer and in 2010 received the Most Popular Geek Award at AOL’s 1st Annual Geek Awards. Riley teams with Derek Hough.
Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday nights during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the Dancing with the Stars broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dancingwiththestars is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT and closing at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT on Tuesday evenings. For the final week, on Monday, November 25, online voting will open for 15 hours beginning from the start of the episode on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT and closing at 11:00 a.m., ET/8:00 a.m., PT the next day. A custom Facebook app lets fans vote, share who they voted for and why, as well as see who friends voted for.
Hosted by Emmy® award winning host Tom Bergeron (America’s Funniest Home Videos) and Brooke Burke-Charvet (Dancing with the Stars Season 7 Champion), Dancing with the Stars is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.