As the dancing competition show heads into its twentieth season, dancing pro Derek Hough shocked fans by revealing that he would be taking part in the anniversary season. Hough had previously stated that he would not be competing due to accepting a role in the New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, but producers of both shows were able to strategically schedule to allow Hough to perform in both shows.
"His desire was to be on the show, but he couldn't very well pass up that opportunity to do the show at Radio City and we all understood that," DWTS host Tom Bergeron told ET. "Everything kind of aligned for him to be able to do both. I'm sure the other pros are hoping the jet lag gets to him!"
Hough will be paired with Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin to compete for the special 10th anniversary gold mirrorball trophy. The pair will be competing against some talented competition, including Hough’s cousin Riker Lynch, Rumer Willis, Hunger Games star Willow Shields, and combat veteran and double amputee Noah Galloway, who hopes to inspire viewers by competing on the show.
"I'm going to take this very seriously," Galloway told ET. "Basically what I lack in limbs, I'm going to make up for in determination and hard work."
DWTS fans have already seen many sides of Charlotte McKinney, the model who went nearly nude for Carl's Jr.'s Super Bowl ad, but McKinney hopes competing on the show will reveal more of her talent.
"I think it will be a good outlet for everyone to see more of me not just 'the burger girl,'" she told ET.
This season’s star athlete is Michael Sam, who became the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft in 2014, before being cut during last year’s season. While Sam is still pursuing his dream of playing pro football, he hopes his stint on DWTS can be inspirational as well as beneficial to his football career.
"Hopefully they can see me and be inspired everyday to be comfortable in their own skin," Sam told ET, when asked about being an ambassador for gay athletes. "I will continue on chasing my dream in the NFL. This is going to try and help me get on the field faster."