Fans eager for the return of reality TV's ballroom bash finally got the big news they've been waiting for on Tuesday: The 11 familiar faces set to grace the dance floor when the next season of "Dancing With the Stars" kicks off were revealed. There's just one problem. According to many of those fans, the faces weren't that familiar at all.
It's a common complaint for the show each season. The word "stars" may be in the title, but some feel the definition is stretched.
"I guess I'm really showing my age, but I have only heard of (Wynonna) Judd and (Dorothy Hamill)," reader Lin Redfield posted to our Facebook page. "I have no idea who these other people are."
The others in question happen to be Super Bowl champ Jacoby Jones, actor D.L. Hughely, Lisa Vanderpump of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," boxer Victor Ortiz, actor-comedian Andy Dick, "American Idol" alum Kellie Pickler, soap star Ingo Rademacher, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Zendaya of Disney Channel fame.
But the truth is, Lin was hardly alone in wondering about the so-called celebrity identities.
"'With the Stars'!!!???? Who the heck are 8 out of 11 of those names?" reader Julaine Schexnayder asked. "I have never heard of them so how can I care if they do well or not! I will bet you this, however, the winner will be someone with a well-known name today, not an unknown."
In fact, the complaint about unknown or little-known "stars" was echoed again and again, leaving some to suggest the successful reality TV staple was starting to lose touch with the modern boob-tube world.
"Dancing With The Stars: where The Lawrence Welk show meets The Love Boat," Kevin Doyle joked.
But it wasn't just the celebrity casting news that had fans in a tizzy. While the participating stars -- or well, close enough -- gave viewers plenty to talk about, so did the absence of one ballroom pro.
For only the second time in his 13 seasons with the show, popular pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- aka the bad boy of the ballroom -- won't be dancing alongside one of the hoofer hopefuls, and faithful fans weren't pleased about that.
"OMG! will I miss Maks? thats an understatement," Linda Benincasa Fabiano told us. "It will not be the same without him. Not sure if I will be as dedicated to the show now that he is taking a leave."
Kathi Johnson agreed, telling us, "(It's) disappointing, he was one of the highlights of the show."
According to the "Dancing" powers-that-be, Maks' absence is just routine.
"We frequently rotate the professional dancers, so it is not unusual for them to rest a cycle,” ABC said in a statement.
But on Twitter, a reader who goes by JoJo pointed out, "The funny thing is they said they frequently rotate dancers, but I seldom see them rotate Derek (Hough) and Mark (Ballas), or Kym (Johnson)."
That's an especially interesting point in the case of Derek, who announced he was leaving the ballroom last season only to return once again.
What do you think of all the casting news? And which stars would you have rather seen join the ballroom bash? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
- Derek on 'DWTS' return: 'It was a last-minute decision'
- Slideshow: Meet the new cast
- Maks won't be 'Dancing' in season 16
- Wynonna Judd, Dorothy Hamill and more to go 'Dancing'
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