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After fall’s All-Stars season, Dancing With the Stars is getting back to basics with a hodgepodge of varyingly well-known dancing novices.
The ABC series announced the 11 castmembers and professional partners who’ve signed on for the 16th cycle during Tuesday’s Good Morning America. Noteworthy participants include a member of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team’s “Fierce Five,” a Super Bowl winner and the series’ first American Idol alum.
Making their debuts ahead of the series’ March 18 return date, previously announced Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones was joined by boxer Victor Ortiz, country singers Kellie Pickler and Wynonna Judd, General Hospital star Ingo Rademacher, Disney actress Zendaya Coleman (Shake It Up), actor Andy Dick, Real Housewives star Lisa Vanderpump, Olympians Aly Raisman and Dorothy Hamill and comedian D.L. Hughley.
ABC also took the opportunity to announce the castmembers’ professional partners — and several Dancing With the Stars fixtures are not among them. Anna Trebunskaya, Chelsie Hightower, Louis van Amstel and, perhaps most surprisingly, Maksim Chmerkovskiy are sitting the season out.
In their stead, three new pros — Lindsay Arnold, Gleb Savchenko and Sharna Burgess — join returning dancers Derek Hough, Kym Johnson, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas, Tristan MacManus, Cheryl Burke, Karina Smirnoff and reigning champ Tony Dovolani. (The longtime vet nabbed his first mirror-ball trophy during the All-Stars season with Melissa Rycroft.)
“We frequently rotate the professional dancers, so it is not unusual for them to rest a cycle,” a show rep told The Hollywood Reporter of the missing pros. “As we consider who will be matched up each season, there are a lot of factors that dictate which couples make the best pairings. We appreciate each of our dancers’ dedication to the show, so this is a very difficult decision. Anna, Chelsie, Louis and Maks continue to be a part of the Dancing With the Stars family.”
As has happened in the past — both Hightower and van Amstel have sat out before — the four dancers likely will perform separate from the competition throughout the season.
Read on to see which pro has been assigned to each of the new castmembers:
- Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold
- Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough
- Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovolani
- Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson
- Zendaya Coleman and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess
- Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko
- Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas
- Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus
- D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke
- Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff
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