ABC announces the new DWTS cast and it’s a mix of ‘wow’ and ‘who?’

Spring is in the air, and with that comes another season of Dancing with the Stars. The cast of the 24th season of the (somewhat inexplicably) popular reality competition was announced during Good Morning America on Wednesday morning, and as always, it’s a mix of faded celebs looking for a paycheck, enthusiastic newcomers, random athletes and a few whom you have to Google. Here’s who is competing for the mirror ball this season (partners in parentheses.)

Mr. T (Kym Herjavec) A-Team star, also known for Rocky III, his 80s kids cartoon and Pee-Wee Herman’s favorite cereal. The 64-year-old, whose mama calls him Laurence Tureaud, took to Twitter on Wednesday to promote his appearance. He may have been fleet footed during his days as a professional wrestler, but he confessed, “Between me and you, I really can’t dance!” But don’t get him wrong, Mr. T. pities the fool who doesn’t think he’s going to give it his all, tweeting, “Make no mistake about it Fool! I will train and will practice real hard. Even when I am tired and sore, I’ll keep rehearsing! Grrr!” (If you didn’t read that last tweet with a Mr. T voice, you are not living life to its fullest.)

But what if Mr. T wins? Well, T., a supporter of Shriners Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has vowed to shave off his signature mohawk if he emerges victorious. I’m rooting for Mr. T. already.

Charo (Keo Motsepe) Cuchi-cuchi enthusiast, Love Boat alum, almost constant fixture on every variety show of the 1970s (for you young whippersnappers, she was on The Surreal Life and Celebrity Wife Swap – with her muy guapo son) and, surprisingly, an amazing classical guitar player. The 65-year-old entertainer is a ball of energy and should be an audience favorite, as she seemingly has been a part of all of our lives.

Nancy Kerrigan (Artem Chigvintsev) The 47-year-old figure skater, and part of one of the most infamous scandals in Winter Olympic history, could add a mirrorball to her many medals. She does have a pretty good chance, as figure skaters have done quite well in this competition (see Evan Lysacek and Kristi Yamaguchi). Ironically enough, they’re filming I, Tonya with Margot Robbie as Nancy’s Olympic nemesis here in Atlanta right now. Nancy also shared the news of her DWTS gig on social media, tweeting:

Chris Kattan (Witney Carson) 46, a comedian and Saturday Night Live alum who brought his Haddaway-loving, head bobbing nightclubber character Doug Butabi to the big screen in A Night at the Roxbury and also starred in Corky Romano. If his Twitter is any indication, he looks to lend a little comic relief to the proceedings – and I hope he does at least one dance as Mango!

Heather Morris (Maksim Chmerkovskiy) When you’re a Glee alumni who isn’t friends with Ryan Murphy, I guess this is what happens to you. This 30-year-old actress blew us away with her dancing on the show (she was a professional dancer before joining the cast and toured with Beyoncé), so I expect her to stick around for awhile.

Simone Biles (Sasha Farber) The 19-year-old gymnast, widely regarded as the sweetheart of the 2016 summer Olympics, is not only making her reality show debut, she’s also dancing with a boy for the first time.

And here’s where I had to Google…

Nick Viall (Peta Murgatroyd) Filling the role of “former reality TV star, male,” Nick is using up his last 15 minutes of fame after having some thirsty ladies vie for his affection on the current season of ABC’s The Bachelor.

Erika Jayne, a/k/a Erika Giradri (Gleb Savchenko) Nick’s female counterpart in the world of reality show celebrity, this 45-year-old appears on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and, like may of the Bravo ladies, is trying to use the show to launch a singing career. She might want to try something else.

Normani Kordei (Valentin Chmerkovskiy) Another performer with some dance experience on her CV, this 20-year-old singer is a member of what’s left of Fifth Harmony. I don’t know Normani as a singer but you can catch me lip synching to “Worth It” in my car.

Bonner Bolton (Sharna Burgess) It’s a miracle this 29-year-old professional bull rider-turned-model has made it to the DWTS stage. A riding accident last year, where he broke his neck, left him paralyzed with a less than one percent chance to walk again. After a successful spinal fusion, Bonner recovered fully. Great backstory, better name and abs to die for. I’m already kind of a fan, especially after reading these fun facts.

David Ross (Lindsay Arnold) David is a 39-year-old baseball player. He is a former Red Sox and Cubs catcher, who retired a champion last year after Chicago won the 2016 World Series.

Rashad Jennings (Emma Slater) Rashad, 31, is an NFL running back who has played for the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants.

The stars will strap on their dancing shoes and take to the stage when the 24th season of DWTS debuts on Monday, March 20. I think I’m going to have to put my money on Charo.

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55 Responses to “ABC announces the new DWTS cast and it’s a mix of ‘wow’ and ‘who?’”

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  1. Loopy says:

    Haha I soooo read it in Mr T’s voice, some voices you jst cant keep out of your head,now every time I read something Trump said I hear it in myhead also. ugghh

  2. PunkyMomma says:

    My money’s on Charo.

    • Alix says:

      There’s no way she’s only 65!!!! Is there???

      • PunkyMomma says:

        She’s older than that – I recall when she went to court and had ten years taken off her birth certificate. She’s at least 65 years old.

      • Zuzus Girl says:

        I’m 61 and I remember her as adult and married when I was a kid.
        She was born in 1941.She 76.

      • Konspiracytheory says:

        Thank you – I lol’d when I read she was 65 years old!

      • Christin says:

        Based on seeing her on TV during the 1970s, I always assumed she was my parents’ age (which would be mid-70s now).

        Recently I read that she supposedly married Z. Cugat as a teen in the mid-1960s. I watched a clip of them right after the wedding, and if she was as young as claimed, she’s CourtneyStodden1.0.

      • JudyK says:

        I’m in my 60s too and remember seeing her performing as an adult when I was in high school. All of a sudden, she’s younger than me. B.S. And…she looks 76. I would believe that.

    • Erinn says:

      My husband asked me who Charo was the other day haha. We were watching Jane the Virgin and Rogelio kept name checking Charo. He had absolutely no idea who she was or what she did. We’re both under 30 – but I watched the Surreal Life at what was probably an innappropriate age (definitely) and I was like “Charo – cuchi-cuchi” and he just stared at me.

  3. RussianBlueCat says:

    Tough call on who I want to win. Mr T and his promise to shave off his Mohawk to stand in solderity with children dealing with cancer
    Simone Biles: I think she is so sweet and her smile lights up a room
    Charo: CHARO!!!

  4. Kasia says:

    I feel like Heather Morris being on the show is super unfair? Not only was she a professional dancer before an actress she was found on So You Think You Can Dance aka the same place like half of the professionals on DWTS came from. Ryan Murphy hired her for Glee originally as a chorographer.. so…she’s on the same exact level as the rest of the pros.

    I know the show has never been 100% fair because for every 60 some old TV star you have a 28 year old former gymnast or boy bander who is obviously at a pretty major advantage but this season seems really stacked against the other contestants.

    • Bex says:

      I was wondering whether it was usual for DWTS to have so many trained dancers? Like, Heather’s better than at least half the pros. Over here on the UK version there are literally front page headlines dedicated to whether any of the contestants had ballet lessons as a kid.

    • Loopy says:

      Who is the blonde lady at end? She looks like the girl that was on she one of the pros or a celebrity?

    • detritus says:

      I always wonder, but I think they don’t consider her a professional because she lacks ballroom? They had a male ballroom dance competitor on earlier too.

    • Bridget says:

      She was hired on Glee because she was there to teach them the Single Ladies Dance as she was one of Beyonce’s backup dancers. This lady has been dancing her entire life. Yeah, I think it’s a little unfair.

    • kimbers says:

      Love her, but calling bs on her casting. She was a TRAINED performer that worked professionally.

      Her tax return at some point had said professional dancer and that should disqualify her if you want to be ethical.

      If you want to play with words the title doesn’t say, “intro to dancing for semi famous people and once icons 101” so i guess they can put anyone on there that would clearly bring in an age demo

    • Mgsota says:

      @Kasia 100% agree. Totally unfair!

    • Snowflake says:

      Yeah, that is unfair.

  5. detritus says:

    If it was only based on dancing, I’d say Heather. That Britney Spears episode on Glee, with John Stamos? She’s good.

    Everyone loves Simone Biles though, and she is super fit with excellent coordination, muscle control and flexibility. I imagine she’s actually going to win because of the popularity vote plus her natural talent.

  6. Abby says:

    I feel like Heather is a shoo in. How is that even fair??? She’s an incredible dancer and choreographer. If she doesn’t win this thing is rigged. Followed by Simone, then Nancy.

    How is Charo only 65????

    Bonner is so hot! I’m excited he’s on the show. I’m a freelance journalist in the horse world. Have not interviewed him yet, but I follow him on IG. Hot stuff!

    • Loopy says:

      Oh yes now I remember that episode, that is incredibly unfair if she is a dancer, I wonder if any of the celebs will complain, it will be embarrassing if she doesn’t do well though lol,don’t they say ballroom dancing is a different ball game.

      • Abby says:

        She is though! She was a backup dancer for Beyonce. She was hired for Glee to teach the cast how to do Single Ladies, and Murphy liked her so much he brought her on as a cast member.

        I feel like it would be similar to Jenna Dewan Tatum being on the show. Background as a pro dancer. Not fair!

      • deadnotsleeping says:

        There are always people with extensive dance training every single season. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t. Just off the top of my head there were complaints (online) about Zendaya, that cheetah girl, Mario Lopez, the bachelor girl who was a ballerina and a professional cheerleader, and every gymnast and ice skater. Being a great dancer isn’t enough to win. People also have to like you. Honestly, Maks is more popular (for this show) than Heather Morris.

  7. Adrien says:

    Charo and Mr. T ftw. Chris Kattan, maybe? Everytime I see him What is Love plays in my brain.

    When is Robert Roldan of SYTYCD going to be an official dwts dancing partner?

  8. smcollins says:

    I agree about Heather Morris. I saw her name and was, like, what?? How is that fair? She can probably dance circles around the show’s pros, let alone the other contestants. I must confess, though, that I have never fully committed to watching the show (only seen an episode here & there) but I might have to tune in for this season. I’m rooting for Mr. T!

    • Linabear says:

      She’s definitely a better dancer than her partner Maks. I haven’t watched the show in years but when I did he was one of the worst pros on there – hot, but less talented than his colleagues.

  9. Who says says:

    I stopped watching this show a long time ago. I am surprised it still is on and has not been cancelled.

  10. cleveland girl says:

    This cast looks awesome!!! My money is in Erika from Real Housewives!!

    • Bridget says:

      This must really chap Kyle’s hide. She wanted to do DWTS badly and for a long time they didn’t hire Real Housewives.

      • Suki says:

        she’ll be great! i disagree with the assessment that she is using RHOBH to launch a singing career. She definitely uses her husband’s money to prop up her career, but she seems to have found quite a niche playing gay bars around the world. The crowd at that one in Greece was huge.

      • Bridget says:

        I can’t imagine that there’s a ton of crossover between fans of Erika’s music and DWTS! It’s kind of a big deal for her (at least in Housewives terms) for her to be tapped for this. I have no ideal how she’ll do because I think it depends on how much the audience likes her, but I think she’ll have fun with it!

    • Ash says:

      I love Erika Jayne.
      I listen to get when I’m driving. It would be great if she could dance to one of her own songs

  11. Lucy says:

    Same as most people above: Heather’s got this. She’s a pro.

  12. Skins says:

    I pity the fool who doesn’t vote for Mr. T

  13. InVain says:

    I feel like Rashad might surprise some with his moves. I would love to see him take it all, but my money is on Simone. I’m sure Nancy will do well too. Athletes always seem to have the advantage. I act like I plan on watching – because I don’t. Stopped years ago.

  14. Chelsey says:

    David Ross!! He is such a sweet, beautiful man.

  15. Bridget says:

    Nancy Kerrigan on ABC? The commentating gig must really have not worked out. She was supposed to be working her way in to NBCs Olympic coverage last time, but the Lipinsk-Wier duo kind of came out of nowhere and stole the spotlight. She wasn’t even allowed do the 30 for 30, so for her to be on DWTS could very possibly mean she’s totally out at NBC. Nancy is talented and graceful (and scrappy) but she’s not the most charming on camera so this may be difficult for her to sell herself. I actually hope that they lean in a little bit to her scrappy Boston girl and not her graceful ice princess.

    • holly hobby says:

      Ugh I do not care for Nancy Kerrigan. She always seemed so stuck up. Plus reading how she treats her folks was mortifying.

  16. Gene123 says:

    Charo is the People’s Champion

  17. Nadine says:

    The Olympic athlethes always win so get ready to crown Simone.

  18. peanut says:

    Rashad also played for the Jaguars!!!!! C’mon – we get it, we suck, but he was a great guy while he was here!

  19. OTHER RENEE says:

    I love Charo! ❤️ I loved watching her on ’70s tv shows. She was always a hoot. I remember her telling Merv Griffin that while she definitely married Cougat for his money, she was now (meaning THEN) in love with him. I saw her perform live in Hawaii where she was living at the time (late ’80s). She was not only charming and funny but a phenomenal classical guitarist.

  20. swak says:

    I have never watched DWTS but would so watch this to see Charo and Mr. T battle it out.

  21. aenflex says:

    Lets don’t forget that Charo did some time on Pee Wee Herman’s something…

  22. Pandy says:

    The gymnasts and dancers irk me. I watch to see regular “stars” learn to dance. That’s relatable. Charo is a whirlwind of energy. Looking forward to seeing her. The cowboy model is hopefully clean shaven. His patchy ginger facial hair is no Bueno.

  23. JudyK says:

    FYI: Erika Jayne is not using DWTS to launch a career. She already has one (and has had for some time). I can’t stand her sleazy act, but she seems quite intelligent otherwise. She’s also married to the real-life attorney in “Erin Brockovich” and is worth millions and millions. She doesn’t need to launch anything.