The celebrity cast for Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars has been announced, because not even a global pandemic could stop D-listers (and a Backstreet Boy) from cha-cha’ing with one another.
The lineup is as follows (via Good Morning America):
- Tiger King’s Carole Baskin
- Rapper Nelly
- Desperate Housewives’ Jesse Metcalf
- Super Bowl champ Vernon Davis
- Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean
- Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe (Potentially following in the footsteps of Hannah Brown last year?)
- Cheer’s Coach Monica Aldama
- Actor Anne Heche
- Disney Channel’s Skai Jackson
- One Day at a Time’s Justina Machado
- The Real’s Jeannie Mai
- NBA legend Charles Oakley
- Catfish’s Nev Schulman
- Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause
- Ice skater Johnny Weir (not Adam Rippon)
A bunch of “contemporary” reality TV stars, Nelly, some athletes, and a couple of actors I’ve never heard of before lead the season, making 2020's lineup the most Dancing with the Stars cast to ever appear on Dancing with the Stars. Tyra Banks is even involved as host since Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were let go, which means chaos is sure to ensue.
If I had to identify the name I was most surprised to see but really shouldn’t have been, it’s Nelly. “Hot In Herre” is ripe for choreography, and I say that as someone who definitely attempted to write her own choreo for the hit when it first appeared atop the charts in 2002. However, I assume ABC wants to avoid public controversy, and hiring a musician who was recently in the national news for rape accusations is not the best move. Allegations of sexual misconduct also surround Nev Schulman.
At the very least, ABC was smart to bank on Netflix personalities: those who loved Coach Monica on Cheer will surely be excited to see her abandon stiff stunts and tumbles for fluid dance moves, and people seemed to really have a lot of thoughts about Tiger King’s Carole Baskin—why not make her salsa?
Dancing with the Stars premieres September 14.