'Dancing With the Stars' Celebrity Cast Revealed -- Carole Baskin, Chrishell Stause, Nelly and More
By Desiree Murphy
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If you weren't already excited for Dancing With the Stars, the official list of celebrities competing for the season 29 mirrorball trophy is finally here!
After months of anticipation, ABC revealed the exciting lineup on Wednesday's Good Morning America, and needless to say, it's pretty epic. From a former Bachelorette to multiple athletes and entertainers, the ballroom is sure to be fire when the dance competition show returns on Sept. 14.
So, without further ado, here are all the stars you'll be seeing on your TV screens this season:
Age: 35 Star power: After competing for Chris Soules' heart on season 19 of The Bachelor, Bristowe went on to become The Bachelorette for season 11. Since then, she's been busy with her podcast, Off the Vine, and her wine line, Spade & Sparrows. "My mom has been sending me plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to ballroom dance," Bristowe told ET in June, following her casting reveal. "I have hired a trainer. I am trying to get into the best shape of my life ... I just want to go in feeling my best and my strongest."
Age: 42 Star power: Following in the footsteps of his bandmate, Nick Carter, McLean will now be the second member from Backstreet Boys to compete for the coveted mirrorball trophy. "When I told Nick that I was going to be doing the show, he was like, 'Dude, you are gonna win this thing, you got this! I'm like, 'Dude, no pressure, bro,'" McLean told ET last month. "He's been so beyond supportive and it's nice that somebody that I know so dearly has done the show because he can give me some insight, get me a little bit more mentally prepared."
Age: 59 Star power: Yep, it's true. The big-cat rights activist and CEO of Big Cat Rescue (who was heavily featured in Netflix's Tiger King docuseries) is trading in her tiger-print attire for sequins and spray tans! Hopefully all her "cool cats and kittens" will tune in to vote. In the meantime, we'll all be over here jamming out to the "Carole Baskin"-inspired TikTok dance. Savage move, ABC!
Age: 45 Star power: The rapper (real name: Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) is best known for hits like "Ride Wit Me," "Hot in Here," "Country Grammar" and "Just a Dream." Seeing as he and BSB's McLean rose to fame around the same time, we're already anticipating some friendly competition between these two... and their fan bases! While speaking with ET in October 2017, the rapper opened up about how he keeps his performances fresh after all these years in the spotlight. "I just go out there, do what I do, and I appreciate the fans still coming to see me," he said. "When you look at it that way, it's like, 'Yo, I'm going to give you everything I've got, right here.' When you understand that, you appreciate it."
Age: 39 Star power: 2020 has been a difficult year for the actress turned real estate agent. In addition to having to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic like us all, Stause's headline-making split from This Is Us star Justin Hartley played out on season 3 of Selling Sunset. In July, the brunette beauty also revealed that her mother died after a battle with lung cancer, after losing her father to the same cancer last April. Expect to see Stause channeling all those emotions -- and more -- in the ballroom.
Age: 41 Star power: The actor is best known for his portrayal of John Rowland on Desperate Housewives (aka the hot gardener who has an affair with Eva Longoria's character, Gabrielle Solis), and the lead role in John Tucker Must Die. Metcalfe has also starred in series like Chesapeake Shores, Dallas, Chase and Passions. Judging from his recent Instagram posts, it looks like Metcalfe has been using his time in quarantine to work on his fitness... just in time for his new DWTS gig!
Age: 47 Star power: All hail the queen of Netflix's Cheer docuseries! Aldama is the coach of Navarro College's elite co-ed cheerleading team in Corsicana, Texas, and if her dancing skills are anything like her coaching, she's sure to come out on top. Now, all she needs is a little motivational "mat talk" from Jerry Harris. Bring. It. On!
Age: 56 Star power:DWTS has added another former NBA star to its roster! While the show is known for casting football players almost every season, we haven't seen as many professional basketball stars in the ballroom until recently. Lamar Odom's casting last season marked only the fifth time a NBA player competed, following Derek Fisher (season 25), Metta World Peace (season 13), Clyde Drexler (season four) and Rick Fox (season 11). Oakley played in the NBA from 1985-2004, with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets.
Age: 18 Star power: The rising star made her breakthrough as an actress by portraying Zuri Ross on Disney's Jessie and on the spinoff Bunk'd. Fans may have also seen her make appearances on other Disney series like K.C. Undercover with Zendaya (who appeared on season 16 of DWTS), Austin & Ally and Good Luck Charlie. Additionally, Jackson made Time’s list of Most Influential Teens in 2016, and released her first book, Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback, in 2019. As the youngest celebrity vying for the mirrorball this season, we think it's safe to say she's definitely one to watch out for!
Age: 36 Star power: In his 13 years with the NFL, this former tight end has played with the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and Washington Football Team. His career highlights include catching the game-winning touchdown pass from Alex Smith against the New Orleans Saints in the 2011–12 NFL playoffs with the 49ers, which fans and the media refer to as "The Catch III." He then helped the Denver Broncos win Super Bowl 50 in 2015. As we say almost every season, definitely watch out for the football star in the group -- their discipline on the field almost always gives them an advantage in the ballroom!
Age: 51 Star power: We gotta admit, this is one casting we never would have guessed, but we're here for it! This actress has starred in a number of films and TV series over the years, likeSix Days Seven Nights, Psycho, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Ally McBeal. Her most recent TV appearances include Chicago P.D., Quantico, The Brave and Aftermath. Back in the late '90s and early '00s, Heche also made headlines for her high-profile romance with Ellen DeGeneres. Reflecting back on their time together, Heche told Mr. Warburton magazine in August, "Our time was a beautiful part of my life and one that I wear with honor."
Age: 36 Star power: This next contestant already has a number of prestigious accolades under his belt. For starters, the retired competitive figure skater is a two-time Olympian, the 2008 World bronze medalist, a two-time Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, the 2001 World Junior Champion and a three-time U.S. National champion. Could a shiny mirrorball trophy be next?
Age: 41 Star power: Looks like there will be two professional TV hosts in the ballroom this season! While Tyra Banks will be fulfilling the show's actual hosting duties (taking over from longtime hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews), Mai will be showing off her dance skills. The host and fashion expert is best known for her work on How Do I Look? and The Real, but has been featured on numerous TV programs, including Entertainment Tonight. In addition to DWTS, Mai is also celebrating her recent engagement to Jeezy this year. The couple got engaged on March 27 at the the rapper's home in Los Angeles.
Age: 35 Star power: If you were a fan of the documentary film Catfish and the follow-up TV series Catfish: The TV Show, then you're likely going to be rooting for Schulman, who hosted and executive produced the MTV projects. Schulman is also the author of In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age, a book he published to give fans insight into the observations he took away from his work on Catfish. Did you know that it's because of Schulman, and his older brother Rel, that the phrase "catfish" is so widely used today?
Age: 47 Star power: It seems Heche, Stause and Jackson aren't the only actresses we'll be seeing in the ballroom this season! Fans may recognize Machado from playing Penelope Alvarez on One Day at a Time and Darci Factor on Jane the Virgin. The Latina actress has also starred on shows like Six Feet Under, Queen of the South, Welcome to the Family and Superstore. Let the friendly competition begin!
Which dancers the celebrities will be paired with won't be revealed until premiere night, which airs Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
ET previously reported that Artem Chigvintsev and Sharna Burgess will be making their highly anticipated return to the ballroom, after being cut from the pro lineup last season. Other veteran pros returning are Keo Motsepe, Emma Slater, Sasha Farber, Brandon Armstrong, Jenna Johnson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Pasha Pashkov, Peta Murgatroyd, Gleb Savchenko, Cheryl Burke and reigning mirrorball champion Alan Bersten.
Daniella Karagach, who was a featured dancer last season, and former troupe member Britt Stewart have also been added as pros this season.
As we patiently wait for the all-new season to begin, watch the video below for more exclusive DWTS news!