SAN DIEGO, February 24, 2015 – It is hard to believe, but “Dancing With The Stars” will celebrate 10 years on the air this spring. Back when America’s veteran popular reality TV started, it ran only six weeks and seemed like a one-time novelty.
Now in season 20, those who might have laughed back at the beginning can only marvel at its success and staying power. It still creates excitement and social media chatter like no other show for ABC. When you win “Dancing With The Stars,” no matter what else you have accomplished, you are introduced as “Olympic medalist and Dancing With The Stars champion,” or “platinum recording star and DWTS champion.” You get the idea.
The pairings were officially announced Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” but the gossip and speculation begin weeks before the official word. Season 20 brings a mix of singers, athletes, another vintage TV personality and the youngest ever competitor on the show. Several rumored names were no-shows: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Lalah Hathaway and Savannah Chrisley.
DWTS’s producers have hit on a lineup formula that never fails to produce surprises and entertainment. The celebrities competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy this season are (in alphabetical order):
Noah Galloway, 32: Army veteran and amputee athlete, Galloway beat addiction and depression to complete marathons, Spartan Races and Tough Mudders, and the 58-hour “Death Race.” He will dance with pro Sharna Burgess.
Robert Herjavec, 51: The Croatian immigrant Canadian businessman and founder of the Herjavec Group is best known as one of the Sharks on the ABC series “Shark Tank.” Herjavec has been a frequent visitor to the DWTS ballroom set over the years, and last night on Twitter he posted this message: “In life U you have 2 keep pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone 2 truly find out what you can be – I am about to really push that boundary.” He will dance with returning pro Kym Johnson.
Patti LaBelle, 70: R&B and soul singer known for a big voice and even bigger outfits and hairdos, she has been entertaining for 50 years. LaBelle will dance with pro Artem Chigvintsev.
Nastia Luiken, 25: Luiken becomes the latest Olympian on the show. The Russian-American artistic gymnast is the 2008 Olympic individual all-around gold medalist. She will dance with pro Derek Hough. Yes, he’s back despite rumors he would be absent this season.
Riker Lynch, 23: Lynch is a singer, musician and actor best known for his role on the TV series “Glee.” He is in the band R5 with three of his siblings and a family friend. If he looks a little familiar, he also happens to be the cousin of Derek and Julianne Hough. He will dance with pro Allison Holker.
Charlotte McKinney, 23: Model/actress who made her biggest impression in a racy Carl’s Jr. TV ad. She will dance with pro Keo Motsepe.
Redfoo, 39: He’s no stranger to the ballroom. Redfoo already appeared on DWTS as a judge during Season 18’s “Party Rock” week. Stefan Kendal Gordy, better known by his stage name Redfoo, is an American singer/rapper, dancer, DJ and part of the musical duo LMFAO. Let’s see if his wiggle translates on the ballroom floor. Redfoo will dance with pro Emma Slater.
Michael Sam, 25: The college football defensive star from Michigan became the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL. TMZ Sports leaked this one early and he confirmed it. Sam will be partnered with pro Peta Murgatroyd, who’s had success with several NFL players, including her Mirror Ball Trophy win with Donald Driver.
Willow Shields, 14: The petite actress is the youngest ever star to compete on DWTS, already raising a few eyebrows. She is best known for for her role as Primrose Everdeen, younger sister of Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games.” She will dance with pro Mark Ballas.
Suzanne Somers, 68: No matter how many roles this actress plays, she will forever be known as the ditsy blonde Chrissy Snow from “Three’s Company.” She will dance with pro Tony Dovoloni.
Chris Soules, 33: The latest of several competitors from “The Bachelor” joins the cast. None has made the finals yet. Soules will dance with pro and reigning Mirror Ball Trophy champion Witney Carson.
Rumer Willis, 27: American actress Rumer Glenn Willis is better known for her parents. She is the oldest daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Photos of Rumer rehearsing with her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, have leaked all over the web already. Who would rather see Mom or Dad on the show? Raise your hand.
Whom do you like this season? Who do you think will win the Mirror Ball Trophy? Tell us in the Comments section.
“Dancing With The Stars: Season 20” debuts on Monday, March 16, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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