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Dancing With The Stars Season 26 athletes hit the TV ballroom Monday, 8 pm ET

Written By | Apr 28, 2018
DWTS Season 26, DWTS Athletes, Dancing with the Stars

Get ready, sports fans, as “Dancing With The Stars” fires up the scoreboard and welcomes 10 athletes including U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon to sparkle up their uniforms and lace up their dancing shoes. Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin ADAM RIPPON DWTS Athletes

SAN DIEGO, Calif., April 30, 2018 – The Mirror Ball Trophy gets handed over in record time during a short, four-week DWTS Season 26, starting on Monday. It also means a change in voting with ruthless, real-time eliminations decided by the viewers. Dancing with the Stars is taking a new, brash approach.

DWTS Season 26 Line Up and Voting

This season’s lineup of athletes includes Olympic competitors including figure skaters, snowboarders, and a softball star; a former Los Angeles Lakers superstar; an NFL cornerback, and a former World Series-winning Major League Baseball player.

In week one, each couple will perform a cha-cha, salsa, foxtrot or Viennese Waltz. Eliminations start in week one at the end of the live show based on votes during the broadcast plus judges’ scores, which means Eastern and Central Time Zone viewers will get their say and know the outcome before those west of the Rockies see the show. Mountain and Pacific Time Zone votes will count toward the Week 2 elimination… meaning those of us out west will also get shut out of deciding the winner in Week 4.

DWTS Season 26, DWTS Athletes, Dancing with the Stars

Can Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lindsay Arnold score enough fan votes and judges’ points to advance to Week 2? Photo: ABC

Here’s how it works:

During the live season premiere broadcast Monday night, viewers can cast their votes for their favorite athletes and pros during the competition, Voting is ONLINE ONLY via, no phone or text votes. Voting ends when the last couple dances.

Then, at the end of the episode, overnight voting will open for phone, and Facebook, just like in previous seasons. All voting after the live show will factor into the week two eliminations. Toll-free phone voting will be open nationwide from the end of the live show until 5 a.m. EDT/2 a.m. PDT on Tuesday. Online voting at  and on Facebook will open at the end of the live show and closes at 10 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. PDT on Tuesday.

During each voting window, when voting online at or Facebook, viewers can reallocate their votes until the voting window closes.

Take note, this season it’s not an advantage to dance last. If viewers wait to vote until they see everyone, the couples dancing later in the show have less time to get votes. The only advantage is in the judges’ scores, which tend to be higher for the couples dancing later in the show.

Dancers will perform alphabetically

This week, the lineup is alphabetical by thier first name. Adam Rippon dances first … and Tonya Harding dances last.

One thing will not change about DWTS Athletes. Fans will still get a heavy-duty dose of “revealing” personal interviews an profiles, tearjerking backstories, and overcoming adversity. Buckle your seat belt, athletes have all of this in mass quantities.

DWTS Season 26, DWTS Athletes, Dancing with the Stars

This year’s controversial choice, Tonya Harding dances with Sasha Farber. Photo: ABC

DWTS Athletes Assignments and Dance Order, Week 1:

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson: Cha Cha, “Sissy That Walk” by RuPaul
Arike Ogunbowale and Gleb Savchenko: Salsa, “Them Girls” by Whitney Myer
Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson: Salsa, “Mr. Put It Down” by Ricky Martin featuring Pitbull
Jamie Anderson and Artem Chigvintsev: Viennese Waltz, “Feeling Good” by Avicii
Jennie Finch Daigle and Keo Motsepe: Foxtrot, “All-American Girl” by Carrie Underwood
Johnny Damon and Emma Slater: Foxtrot, “Centerfield” by John Fogerty
Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess: Cha Cha, “Finesse” by Bruno Mars
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lindsay Arnold: Cha Cha. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” by Stevie Wonder
Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten: Salsa, “No Excuses” by Meghan Trainor
Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber: Foxtrot, “When You Believe” by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey
DWTS Season 26, DWTS Athletes, Dancing with the Stars

Considered among the favorites to win are U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten. Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews are back along with our three original judges, ballroom including head judge, Len Goodman, and dancers/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

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Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She also covers the Sweet Science of boxing for Communities. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.

Copyright © 2018 by Falcon Valley Group





Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.