Who’s ready to rumble…er, rumba!?
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The 11 new cast members on the hunt for mirror ball glory include two Olympians, two comedians, two country singers, one “Real Housewives” star, an NFL Super Bowl superstar and one “American Idol” alum — the first time “DWTS” has ever cast anyone from its reality-show rival.
During the “GMA” dancing extravaganza, they also announced the celeb-pro partner pairings for this season and introduced three new pro dancers who will be making their “DWTS” debuts. As hinted at in the press last week, controversial dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy has not been asked back to “DWTS” this season.
Here’s the Season 16 cast of “Dancing with the Stars”:
~ Country singer Wynonna Judd, paired with Tony Dovolani
~ Comedian D.L. Hughley, paired with Cheryl Burke
~ Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, paired with Karina Smirnoff
~ “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump, paired with hunky new “DWTS” pro dancer Gleb Savchenko
~ Comedian Andy Dick, paired with new “DWTS” pro dancer Sharna Burgess
~ Professional boxer Victor “Vicious” Ortiz, paired with new “DWTS” pro dancer Lindsay Arnold
~ Disney star Zendaya Coleman (“Shake It Up!“), paired with Val Chmerkovskiy
~ Olympic gold-medal winning gymnast Aly Raisman, paired with Mark Ballas
~ Soap star Ingo Rademacher (“General Hospital“), paired with Kym Johnson
~ Former “American Idol” finalist, country singer Kellie Pickler, paired with Derek Hough
~ Olympic figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill, paired with Tristan McManus
If we were to make any early predictions based on the pairings alone, we’d say viewers could expect these three “Stars” to be the biggest threats right out of the gate: Olympic gymnast and “Fab Five” member Aly Raisman, who’s paired with former champ Mark Ballas; “Idol’s” Kellie Pickler, who scored choreographer extraordinaire Derek Hough as her partner; and NFL star Jacoby Jones, who’ll be trained by the tough-n-tiny Ukrainian Karina Smirnoff, and who has history on his side with three pro football players previously winning “DWTS” — Emmitt Smith (Season 3); Hines Ward (Season 12) and Donald Driver (Season 14).
The new season of “DWTS” premieres Monday, March 18 at 8/7c on ABC.