We're just a few weeks away from the all-athlete season of Dancing With the Stars!
The mini, four-week edition of the dance competition show returns to ABC on Monday, April 30, and up until this point, little has been known about who's competing or how the season will work. On Wednesday, we finally learned that Tonya Harding, as well as Olympians Jamie Anderson and Adam Rippon, were the first to sign on to DWTS: Athletes.
Ahead of the announcement -- which ABC has yet to confirm, as they do not typically comment on castings -- ET also caught up with Gleb Savchenko, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, Sharna Burgess, Alan Bersten, Lindsay Arnold and Britt Stewart, where we got them to share some details on what else fans can expect to see in the ballroom.
Here's what we learned:
1. Gleb will officially be back as a pro.
The 34-year-old dancer confirmed the news to ET at the first-ever Pro Dance Camp in Palm Springs, California, late last month, saying, "Yes, I am! For sure." The confirmation came just a week after fellow pro Witney revealed via Instagram that she would also be returning to the show (though she didn't specify whether it was for the all-athlete edition, the regular fall season or both).
2. There's a good chance Alan and Artem will be back, too!
While Artem is a seasoned pro with six seasons under his belt, Alan just recently made the transition from troupe dancer to pro last September. When we asked them if they could confirm their pro status for the upcoming all-athlete edition, both guys played coy. However, from what they teased, it sounds like they are already planning their schedules around the show's timeframe.
"They really like to keep things interesting," Alan said. "Keep us in the dark."
Added Artem, "Oh my goodness. I would love to say it, am I allowed? I don't know. I'm looking forward to it… just going to say that."
"But it's going to be really exciting," he continued. "I don't think we've ever done anything like it."
3. There will be 10 couples competing for the coveted mirrorball trophy.
Gleb told ET that he does not know who he will be partnered with just yet, but luckily, we'll find out the pairings very soon. Next Friday, the full list of athletes will be revealed on Good Morning America, along with who they'll be competing with. And we're happy to report that Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli will all be back as judges!
4. Eliminations will be quicker than usual…
Even though the competition will run for four weeks, Gleb revealed that everything is going to happen really fast. "What I think is going to happen, we're going to have two dances a week," he shared. "We have three weeks of rehearsals, four weeks of the show, and each week, we have two couples go home."
"So, it'll be really intense," he added. "It’s gonna fly!"
5. ...And there will be lots of them.
"There's going to be lots of eliminations, that's what I'm going to tell you," Artem teased. "Which is not the funnest part of the show, unfortunately, but it's OK. We're used to that."
"Athletes notoriously do so well on the show, so I feel like it's going to be very competitive," he added. "I think everyone's really going to love it."
6. Alan purposely watched the PyeongChang Olympics in hopes of seeing some of the athletes on DWTS.
"I watched the Olympics this season, just because I was like, 'A lot of these people might be on the show,'" he explained. "[Snowboarder] Chloe Kim looks awesome, and she has a really good personality -- a really good energy, good spirit, so she'd be really cool. And any ice skater would be incredible. The Shibutanis [Alex and Maia] were amazing. That would be awesome."
He also admitted to ET that although he's not sure whether ABC has nailed down the final list of athletes who will be competing just yet, he has been keeping tabs on all the reports about who is rumored to be on the lineup. "I did see a lot of articles online with rumors of who might [be on it], and I like some of the rumors!" he confessed.
7. Witney, Artem and Gleb also have their sights set high on figure skaters.
Witney told ET that she'd specifically love to see Adam Rippon on the show (which we now know is happening!), and since she's originally from Utah, she also has her fingers crossed for Salt Lake City native Nathan Chen.
As for Artem and Gleb, they would be happy with any figure skater… as long as they are determined to win! "A figure skater would be awesome," Artem said, hypothetically, before news broke that Tonya Harding would be joining. "I'll tell you, whoever will get me that mirrorball trophy, how about that?"
"I would love to have as a partner someone who has done something connected to music. Probably a figure skater," Gleb added. "Someone young, someone with energy. And just someone really who wants to win. I need a mirrorball."
8. Witney and Artem would also love to see a basketball player...
During the show's 25th season, former Los Angeles Lakers star Derek Fisher was an early fan-favorite, and it's surprising that there haven't been that many professional basketball players on the show (he was only the fourth to compete). Which had us thinking, could this be the season we finally get another NBA star, or perhaps a WNBA athlete?
"Basketball players, they're great," Artem shared, with Witney saying that LeBron James is one of the top athletes on her dream team.
9 ...while Sharna is hoping for a football player!
The red-headed beauty tells ET that she "fell in love" with so many Olympians this last winter, and would be happy to see so many of them on DWTS. "A few years ago, I worked with the Shib sibs and just adore them," she said. "I think Gus Kenworthy is great, too!"
But if she is, in fact, back as a pro this season, Sharna, who was recently paired with D. Fish, is hoping to be teamed up with another basketball player, like "Kobe Bryant, because, well... Kobe!," or an NFL star.
"I think Colin Kaepernick has an incredible story to tell," Sharna explained. "Or Julian Edelman from the Patriots, because I may or may not have a little crush on him."
10. Lindsay wouldn't mind another MLB star.
As many fans may recall, the reigning mirrorball champion placed third with former pro baseball player David Ross during the show's 24th season. When we asked her to list her dream team of athletes, Lindsay mentioned one of David's closest pals. "Anthony Rizzo would be amazing," she gushed. "When I was paired with David Ross, he came to visit us at rehearsal and I saw his moves. They are for sure something I could work with! He is such a sweet guy, and I would have so much fun. Also, I think Grandpa Rossy would be proud."
As for NFL stars, Lindsay has three athletes on the radar. "Tom Brady," she dished. "I mean, I really don't feel like this one needs an explanation #GOAT. And Rob Gronkowski is someone I have had my eyes on for a couple seasons now. He is always dancing, whether it's during a game or in a commercial. He seems like the kind of guy who would kill it out on the dance floor and I would love to be the one to make it happen for him!"
"Odell Beckham Jr. was in the best Super Bowl 2018 commercial, showcasing his Dirty Dancing moves," she continued. "It made me pretty excited he would kill it on the show!"
And like Sharna, Lindsay believes it'd be awesome to see Kobe Bryant step foot in the ballroom. "Kobe would be a dream," she exclaimed. "He is obviously one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but he also seems so kind and genuine and that is something that I feel like America would love to see more of. I also feel like he is secretly a really good dancer."
If Witney's dream of having Nathan Chen on comes true, it sounds like ABC might have a tough decision deciding who gets him, as Lindsay is also from Utah and crossing her fingers that he lands a spot on the all-athlete season. "Nathan is someone who really inspired me during the Olympics because of his fight," she explained. "He came back so strong after a rough performance and absolutely killed it out on the ice. He is also a fellow Utahn, so that gives us an automatic connection."
11. Britt has a "short-term goal” to follow in Alan's footsteps and transition from troupe to pro.
Seeing as it's a shorter season, many fans have been wondering if there will still be a troupe, so obviously, we went straight to one of the troupe dancers for info. Though she couldn't tell us much -- "stay tuned!" -- she says she is hoping there will still be a need for them.
At the same time, however, she admits it would be awesome to finally achieve pro status. "First of all, I would love to be a pro," she exclaimed to ET. "That is definitely a short-term goal of mine. You know, I don't know when it's going to happen, but I have my fingers crossed that it's going to happen very soon."
"I'm still the newest girl," she added. "But it's true, Alan made it happen. So, yeah. Hopefully soon."
Regardless, Britt said she is equally excited, and has her own list of athletes she'd love to see compete. Like Artem and Witney, she's totally down for a basketball player. "Stephen Curry," she dished. "He would be awesome. It would be so good, and then he could bring his wife and their kids. They're just the cutest family."
She said pro snowboarders Shaun White and Chloe Kim would round out the rest of her lineup, along with "a figure skater or gymnast, tennis star or soccer player."
Dancing With the Stars' all-athlete season premieres Monday, April 30 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. As we patiently wait to find out which other stars will officially be competing, watch the video below to hear what Adam Rippon had to say about joining the show when he stopped by ET's Los Angeles studio last month.
7 Things We Learned From Dancing With 'DWTS' Pros Gleb Savchenko, Artem Chigvintsev & Alan Bersten (Exclusive)
Gleb Savchenko Says He's Joining 'Dancing With the Stars' All-Athlete Season (Exclusive)
Adam Rippon, Tonya Harding and Jamie Anderson Competing on All-Athlete Season of 'Dancing With the Stars'