So exciting! This season of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ is going to be absolutely stacked with amazing celebrity dancers. A source tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY that former Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher will take the stage, plus a soap opera star and more! Here’s the scoop.
The official cast for season 23 of Dancing With The Stars should be revealed any day now, but word on the street is that the dancers this year are going to be out of this world! There have been rumors that former Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher would be strapping on her dancing shoes, along with Disney and The Fosters star Jake T. Austin and General Hospital star Emma Samms. And guess what?! HollywoodLife.com found out EXCLUSIVELY that they’re all a done deal!
E Online is reporting Simone Biles (which we knew about), Jo Jo Fletcher (which we knew about), and…..get ready, this is a new one….. Disney star Jake T. Austin are going to dance in the new season of Dancing With The Stars. What do you think if true? I saw bring him on.
Simone Biles might have to make room on her trophy shelf for another award, because E! News has learned that the Olympic champion is poised to sign on for the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars. Also likely on the roster this fall? Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher and former Disney star Jake T. Austin.
A source tells E! News that all three are in the running to compete for the Mirrorball Trophy on season 23 of DWTS. Biles, 19, won four gold medals and a bronze in the Rio Olympics, in case you lost track of her insanely amazing medal count. (They’re not calling her the greatest gymnast of all time for nothing, okay?)
Fletcher, who originally competed on Ben Higgins’ season of The Bachelor, gave former football player Jordan Rodgers the final rose in the most recent Bachelorette finale. Austin starred on Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place alongside Selena Gomez before landing a role on Freeform’s The Fosters from 2013-2015.
Forgive me, friends, because I’m kinda flying by the seat of my pants at the moment – was about to settle down and head to bed when someone tweeted to tell me that U.S. women’s gymnastics team member Laurie Hernandez allegedly let it slip on Facebook Live that she is doing DWTS this season. Bear with me, currently trying to find this interview…would certainly welcome any help, if anyone’s lurking! 🙂
But if this is true…what do you guys think? Laurie was my second choice after Simone Biles, so I’m totally cool with this! The fact that Mark was tweeting the other day about Laurie does kinda make one wonder if she’s his partner though, doesn’t it? 😉
ETA: Got it! Thanks @DancingABCStats. The”smoking gun” in question starts around the 8:20 mark, when the girls answer a question from Twitter about which one of them is gonna “dance with the stars”. They all mutter “it’s a secret”, but Gabby gestures at Laurie and Laurie shoots her a look and shakes her head, like “dude, not now!” I think if none of them were dancing this season, they probably would have said “nobody!”, so I do tend to think at least one of them is…and I think Gabby may have let the cat outta the bag. I hope the poor girl doesn’t get more social media hate for it.
Also worth mentioning? Mark was tweeting the other day about how much he loves Laurie and asks if she “needs a dance teacher”. She also is pretty good friends with the Ribeiros, which makes me wonder if they maybe had a hand in convincing her to do it:
A photo posted by Angela Ribeiro (@mrsangelaribeiro1) on
I think the only thing that bugs me about Mark possibly being her partner is that she would be his THIRD Olympic gymnast. THIRD. Sorry, but I need a little more variety than that – I would ideally like to see her with Sasha, but part of me worries that they may give her to Val…I have to wonder if they already sorted out the contractual stuff before she even left for Rio, which might explain why Val claimed to have already talked to his partner on the phone. On one hand, this would be a true test for him: can his choreo and teaching skills hold up when he’s got so much talent to work with? On the other hand, I don’t want to see her talent wasted on craptastic choreography and gimmicks. Thoughts? Anyone?
ETA2: Good job, Court. Also, if you go to this link, note how Laurie is not taking part in the Kelloggs Tour. ~Vogue
After New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. burst onto the scene with a tremendous rookie season in 2014 and followed it up with a second Pro Bowl campaign in 2015, a lot of off-the-field opportunities came his way including the chance to compete on Dancing with the Stars.
“Dancing with the Stars was an opportunity to do and I would love to do it. But I don’t want to do that and have [media, fans, critics] ready for the excuse that if anything were to happen this season, it’s like ‘oh he’s too focused on what he’s doing in the outside world and his fame.’ Whatever fame means. I had ‘fame’ tatted on me my freshman year in college– forgive all my enemies, or forget all my enemies.”
More here. We’ll have to put him on a watch out for future seasons (in an off season or after he retires?).
Team USA’s Ryan Lochte, the 2nd most decorated male Olympic swimmer of all time, has announced his intention to move to California following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Lochte, who won his 12th career Olympic medal as a part of the USA’s 4×200 free relay, has spoken in the past about wanting to live on the West Coast.
“On my bucket list it’s always been to go to the west coast, so, California here I come,” said Lochte in an interview with NBC.
ETA: Who know is this is true or not, but, Hollywood Life is reporting producers have taken the offer to Ryan off the table. Note how they mention the show is considering making an offer to Katie Ledecky(this is a new one) or Simone Biles (which we reported on).
“Dancing with the Stars producers have asked Ryan [Lochte] before in years past and always got a ‘No,’” a show insider told HollywoodLife.com exclusively — but this year it was different and it actually looked “like it was going to happen this season.” However, after the drama around his robbery going down in Rio, that all chanced. “The controversy happened in Rio and they have taken the offer off the table,” our source added.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we won’t see any Olympians on the dance floor. The ABC show is actually “looking to offer both Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles the chance to be on the show,” our source says, adding they’d love both, but of course would be happy with either.
It’s crunch time for Casting Director Deena Katz. She’s trying to score an Olympian for the new season of Dancing With The Stars. She comments on it and more below in a new ABC article….
These days, she’s busy trying to score names she hopes the country will want to watch for 10 weeks, and she told ABC News that means current Olympians.
But it’s too early to tell who will make the final cut, if any of them.
“You know it worked with Shawn Johnson, it worked with Misty May, it worked with Evan Lysacek, and that is our show, that’s America,” she said. “I’ve talked to a lot of Olympians but, unfortunately for them, I can’t really lock someone in so it’s kind of like putting that call out and then they’re all just waiting. And yet, they’re a little busy right now, too. So it’s this thing of, ‘OK, I’ve talked to you, you guys are great, now let’s wait and see what happens.’”
Model-actor Nyle DiMarco took home the Mirror Ball Trophy this year in the season 22 finale, beating out UFC fighter Paige VanZant, who placed second, and “Good Morning America” meteorologist Ginger Zee, who came in third. Katz said she places a premium on making the ABC reality show “really topical,” while at the same time mixing up “a little bit of current with a little bit of nostalgia.”
With the Olympics currently underway, I’ve been seeing a lot of speculation about which athletes we might see on season 23 – with particular attention paid to the US women’s gymnastics team, since we’ve had 3 former Olympic gymnasts on DWTS (Shawn Johnson, Aly Raisman, & Nastia Liukin). Well it looks like we may have gotten our first semi-solid piece of intel that the show is sniffing around for another gymnast – check out this feature that US Weekly did on Simone Biles:
Teammate Aly Raisman was on 2013’s Dancing with the Stars and is urging Biles to follow suit: “I can’t dance, but that’s the whole point.”
I’ve always had a hard time getting a read on Aly (some of you might have seen me tweeting about it the other night), but I doubt she’d be encouraging Simone to do DWTS if the show hadn’t at least reached out to Simone already. And the fact that Simone thought to bring it up in an interview, no less, probably means that there is already a legit offer on the table.
I’m crossing my fingers AND toes that this one comes to fruition, because MY GOD, this girl is PHENOMENAL at what she does. It’s hard to really leave me speechless these days – but watching her do her floor routine the other night was a revelation. I think she could really wow us, even if she claims she can’t dance, because her work ethic just seems tireless. Also worth mentioning? Simone stands an itty-bitty 4’9″ – even tinier than Shawn Johnson and only a mere inch taller than Snooki…who was partnered by the diminutive Sasha, who also happens to boast the strongest gymnastic skills of any pro on the show. If Simone gets cast, I can’t see any way that they couldn’t bring Sasha back – unless they run into another mismatch situation to ensure Val gets a spot, in which case I may roll my eyes so hard they get stuck and I’m unable to watch the rest of the season 😛 I think Sasha would be PERFECT for Simone.
So what do you guys think? Could Simone be contemplating a run for the mirrorball after the Olympics wrap up? Could she be Sasha’s best shot at an MBT? Or would you rather see another member of the US women’s gymnastics team on the dancefloor?
Special thanks to the @thetv_addicted for tweeting me this little nugget.
One of the perks of being a lifelong resident of Indianapolis is that you usually have a pretty good ear to the ground when it comes to the goings-on down at the racetrack – I have at least 5 friends whose jobs are directly related to racing, and anything even remotely interesting that happens at the track usually makes it to the local news (even a dog getting loose on the track and delaying practice for 15 minutes…true story).
Occasionally, this connection pays off – as it did a couple weeks ago, when a friend who works very closely with the racing industry (I won’t give any more detail than that, lest I inadvertently get this friend in trouble) mentioned to me in passing that DWTS had been shopping around to cast another racing driver for season 23. Said friend mentioned that they were looking at Indycar, and the name that he/she kept hearing was James Hinchcliffe’s. Given that Hinch was spotted in the audience this past season (see below), I don’t think it’s entirely unbelievable that the show might be angling to cast him. Interestingly, James also favorited/responded to some interesting tweets asking if he would do the show – including one of mine:
For those who aren’t familiar with Indycar or are asking “So why would DWTS cast him?”, let me give you a crash course (no pun intended…ok, maybe a little) in Hinch: he’s Canadian, he’s basically the face of Indycar right now, he has a podcast, he has his own beer, he was on Family Feud recently, and the dude’s hilarious. Charisma for DAYS. Oh, he also almost died in a crash last year and has made a recovery that is nothing short of miraculous. And with Indycar experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the past year, while NASCAR continues to decline in viewership, and the with the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 making the news? He’s got relevance. So to recap: big personality? Check. Relevance? Check. Amazing backstory? Check. Even if this is the extent of his dance ability heading into the show, who the hell even cares? I’d probably laugh my ass off just listening to him read the phone book. 😛
Schedule-wise, it might be a bit of a challenge at first – the Indycar season doesn’t end until September 18 (in Sears Point, California…not too much of a trek from L.A.), so his partner might have to do some traveling with him prior to the start of the season and for the first week of the season; interestingly enough, the penultimate race of the Indycar season is on September 4 in Watkins Glen, New York…last year’s fall cast announcement was on September 2 on GMA, in NYC. See what I’m getting at here? 😉 For what it’s worth, the 2007 Indycar season didn’t end until September 9, and the season 5 cast announcement was on August 29…so Helio was in a similar position and had to rehearse with Julianne concurrently with the Indycar season. Ditto for the All-Star season – cast was announced on July 27, Indycar season didn’t end until September 15, season 15 premiered on September 24. So a bit of overlap between the seasons doesn’t necessarily negate the possibility of him doing the show. It’s also worth mentioning that Michael Waltrip had quite a bit of overlap with the NASCAR season when he did season 19.
If, for whatever reason, they opt not to cast Hinch (or he declines), there’s still some other casting possibilities within Indycar – you might remember that Tony Kanaan was a rumor a few years back, and nothing really came of it; he’s still very much an Indycar fan favorite, and recently appeared on both American Ninja Warrior and Family Feud. Also noteworthy? Alexander Rossi, the winner of the 100th running of the Indy 500 and the first rookie to win the Indy 500 since Helio won it back in 2001 – I could see the show running with that buzzworthy fact. Granted, I personally just don’t find either to be as interesting a casting as Hinch (though TK comes close), but they’re options nonetheless.
So what do you guys think? Do you think Hinch or another Indycar driver would be a good get for this season? Who would you like to see him paired with, if he is cast?
The executive producer of “Dancing With the Stars”, Deena Katz, wants Rob Gronkowski “The Gronk” to dance in the new season of Dancing With The Stars. However, she’s having trouble getting him to commit.
“I think for many reasons he’d be great,” Katz told our Left Coast correspondent during the Television Critics Association press tour. “He’s great on camera. I think he gets it. I do think he can dance. And I think that the fan base that that team has is great for someone like him to be on it.”
Gronk has admitted that ABC’s mega-popular dance competition has wooed him in the past, but he just won’t commit. Katz hinted that the reason might be that either the twinkle-toed tight end or the Pats’ brass are afraid their oft-injured star might trip while tripping the light fantastic and hurt himself.
“I know people are concerned about him being injured. We had the best running back and the Super Bowl MVP on our show last season and we take very good care of them,” she said.
To read more and to read how she’d like to partner him with Cheryl Burke, see the Boston Herald.
Now for some “Wannabe’s”:
Jonathan Coachman – According to the Miami Herald, ESPN reporter and WWE star mentioned he wanted to do Dancing With The Stars.
During the Sunday afternoon (July 17) radio show “The Coach & Bretos” on ESPN Radio and the ESPN App, co-host The Coach Jonathan Coachman said he wanted to participate on one of his favorite televisions shows, “Dancing with the Stars,” on ESPN’s sister network ABC.
I have to admit…. I think I’d like to see this.
Slugger the Sea Dog – Who, you ask? Well, according to WMTW, Slugger is campaigning to become the first-ever mascot to participate on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Be sure to see the video at this link. Dancing With The Stars Season 1’s John O’Hurley is campaigning for this to happen as well.
Slugger is known for his outrageous dancing during Portland Sea Dogs games. He now wants to show his talents to a national audience.
In a video, Maine-native John O’Hurley, who appeared on season 1 of “Dancing with the Stars,” appears with Slugger to introduce the idea.
“Nobody is a bigger fan of the Sea Dogs than I am, and nobody is a bigger fan of ballroom dancing that I am,” O’Hurley said.
DWTS Gossip found a few wannabe’s too:
Roy Nelson – The UFC fighter says he’d like to dance on Dancing With The Stars at the Review Journal.
Claressa Shields – This Olympian Boxer wants to be a household name. From SB Nation…
Outside of the boxing rings, the talented middleweight is getting more used to being an attraction. T-Rex, a documentary about her route to the London Olympics, just premiered on PBS. Shields wants to be on TV more often, and not just to play herself.
“My agent has a lot of things going back at home,” she said. “Right now, I guess some things are in the works. I wanna be an actress. That’s what I wanna do. I also want to be a dominant boxer. Who knows if I come back for 2020.
“But, also, I will be in acting. Hopefully I can do things like Dancing with the Stars. I mean, I’m down for all that stuff. I think I can dance a little bit [laughs]. I’m just taking this journey as far as I can take it. I believe that I’m going to be a household name after this Games.”
The casting rumors are really starting to ramp up now, aren’t they? The Pro Watch post is going up soon as well. Stay tuned!