It’s only been two months since wide-receiver-turned-hoofer Donald Driver claimed the coveted mirror ball trophy on “Dancing With the Stars,” bringing a glittering end to the last season of the ballroom bash. But even though it hasn’t been a big wait, the anticipation for the upcoming season has been huge.
That’s because season 15 isn’t just another round of the same old show. It’s “Dancing’s” long-awaited all-star season -- the one fans have hoping for and speculating about for ages.
Now that speculation is over. On Friday the returning competitors were revealed.
The ballroom alums soon set to take the dance floor again are:
- Shawn Johnson
- Bristol Palin
- Pamela Anderson
- Apolo Anton Ohno
- Joey Fatone
- Kelly Monaco
- Gilles Marini
- Emmitt Smith
- Drew Lachey
- Kirstie Alley
- Helio Castroneves
- Melissa Rycroft
But that’s not all! While those 12 celebs make up most of the official all-star cast, there’s one more returning soft shoe set to join them. Who’ll take spot No. 13? That’s up to ballroom fans. In a first-of-its-type twist for the show, “Dancing” viewers are being asked to vote for the past participate of their choosing to fill the final spot. The choices include Sabrina Bryan, Carson Kressley or Kyle Massey.
Details on that twist are still to come on the official “Dancing With the Stars” website.
Though partners have not yet been announced, executive producer Conrad Green told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Friday that the pros will be revealed on Aug. 13. But don't expect that all the stars will get the same pro they had before.
"Obviously, when you look at the stars that are coming back, it's impossible for everybody to have the same partner, so we're currently working that out," Green said. "We're trying to pair people based upon what we think is going to make the most intriguing season and make a brilliant season."
Green also explained how the producers chose this particular group to do "All Stars." "We took the view we wanted to do the best of the best. We wanted to represent many different seasons," he said. "For us, this is almost our version of 'The Avengers.' These were the superheroes of their particular seasons, and they're back."
Though the cast will be familiar, don't expect the show to be exactly the same. Green teased that there will be some tweaks to the ballroom bash this season. For starters, he noted that the judges will likely have to be recalibrated a bit, "otherwise, we'll be starting with 9s and 10s right out of the box." He also hinted that the show might introduce a few new things to update the competition.
The season premieres Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC. And for those of you who can't wait to see at least one these returning hopefuls on your small screen, keep your eye out for Shawn at the Olympics, where she's acting as TODAY.com's special correspondent.
What do you think of the all-star picks? Did your favorites make the cut? Take our poll below and then go to our Facebook page and tell us who you’ll vote for to fill the last spot in the cast?
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