(L to R) Johnny Damon, Tonya Harding, Chris Mazdzer, Jennie Finch,
Adam Rippon, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Mirai Nagasu
and Josh Norman (Lou Rocco/ABC)
TVABC’s Dancing With the Stars is somewhat taking chances with its new upcoming season. For one, this next season will be shortened with just 10 contestants and all of the “stars” this time around are athletes, so if you’re not a sports fan you might not want to tune in. Granted, the 10 are taken from a variety of sports backgrounds.
The 10 contestants were unveiled earlier today on Good Morning America, but the network has been taking some flack for inviting disgraced former Olympic ice skater turned boxer Tonya Harding to the ballroom, something many of us saw coming after she was featured in a two hour interview on ABC earlier this year.
This season also includes Adam Rippon, another ice skating champ who competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics and was featured often for his unofficial title of “first openly gay athlete to represent the Unites States in Olympic competition” rather than for his actual skating.
And every season of Dancing With the Stars needs to have at least one older competitor and this season that honor goes to NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who towers over Lindsay Arnold, his dancing partner. (Seriously, they couldn’t find a taller and older woman to dance with the man?)
This is once again be hosted by Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews and the judges in place are Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba (who really should sit between the other two to help keep them in line.)
This season’s dancing pairs are as follows:
- Olympic Ice Skater Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson
- 2018 NCAA Division I baketball champ Arike Ogunbowale and Gleb Savchenko
- The first American to win a medal in the Men’s Single Luge event, Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson
- Olympic Snowboarder Jamie Anderson and Artem Chigvintsev
- Olympic Softball player Jennie Finch Daigle and Keo Motsepe
- Major League Baseball player Johnny Damon and Emma Slater
- NFL cornerback Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess
- Six-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lindsay Arnold
- Olympic Ice Skater Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten
- Former Olympic Ice Skater and Boxer Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber
Dancing With the Stars: Athletes premieres on Monday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.