PureDWTS DWTS Junior, Season 1 – Let’s Talk About the Cast (So Far)

Because it was pointed out to me that the comments are no longer open on the original post (which is supposed to happen after a post is over a month old – a nice little feature John added to prevent trolls from stirring up trouble on old, dead posts), and the original post was getting kinda long, I figured I’d move everything to a new post so everyone can discuss the recent developments we’ve posted 🙂 I’m not going to copy/paste everything from the original post, so for other details beyond the cast, go here.  And if you want to be completely surprised by the cast when DWTSJ airs starting in September, PROCEED NO FURTHER – SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

The DWTS Junior Pros (confirmed):

Rylee Arnold
Hailey Bills
Brightyn Brems
Kami Couch
Kamri Peterson
Elliana Walmsley

Artyon Celestine
JT Church
Tristan Ianeiro
Lev Khmelev
Jake Monreal
Sage Rosen

The DWTS Pro Mentors (confirmed):

Lindsay Arnold
Cheryl Burke
Witney Carson
Hayley Erbert
Jenna Johnson
Emma Slater

Brandon Armstrong
Alan Bersten
Artem Chigvintsev
Sasha Farber
Keo Motsepe
Gleb Savchenko

Hosts (confirmed):

Frankie Muniz
Jordan Fisher

Judges (confirmed):

Val Chmerkovskiy
Mandy Moore
Adam Rippon

*There is no head-judge; audience vote would be used in the event of a tiebreaker procedure*

Troupe (confirmed):

Makeila Lawrence
Cody Bingham
Reese Hatala
Sebastian Jozuka

Kid celebs (confirmed):

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson
Miles Brown
Hudson West
Sophia Pippen
Ariana Greenblatt
Sky Brown
Tripp Palin
Mandla Morris
Jason Maybaum
Kenzie Ziegler
Addison Osta Smith
Akash Vukoti

Confirmed teams:

Miles & Rylee, mentored by Lindsay
Tripp & Hailey, mentored by Jenna
Akash & Kamri, mentored by Witney
Mandla & Brightyn, mentored by Cheryl
Jason & Elliana, mentored by Emma
Hudson & Kami, mentored by Hayley
Sky & JT, mentored by Alan
Kenzie & Sage, mentored by Gleb
Alana & Tristan, mentored by Artem
Sophia & Jake, mentored by Sasha
Ariana & Artyon, mentored by Brandon
Addison & Lev, mentored by Keo

**(For Court’s partnership predictions, go HERE. For rules/schedule/scoring/format questions, go HERE.)**

Update #1, 7/16/18, 6:29 PM EST: Since so many were curious, I got confirmation – there is, indeed, a troupe, and it’s going to be (4) dancers – (2) girls, (2) boys; Makeila is going to be in the troupe, so she isn’t going to be completely out in the cold.  The other 3 dancers are all from a studio in the L.A. area (source wasn’t sure on their names), but it looks like Kami is from a studio in Yorba Linda, so I’m guessing she’s LIKELY one of them (but I’m leaving the question mark until I hear more).  Instagram, start looking for boy dancers from the L.A. area 😎 As for the cast announcement – there is still going to be one on GMA, it will be taped in L.A., and they are just trying to figure out a time for it. Happy Monday 🙂 -Court-

Update #2, 7/16/18, 7:35 PM EST: After reconvening with a few sources, I’m about 85% sure Kami & Makeila switched places – meaning Kami is now a pro, and Makeila is in the troupe.  This makes sense when you see pix of of both Kami and Makeila next to Kamri (the tiniest of the junior girl pros) – Makeila looks like she’s got a good 4-5″ on Kamri, while Kami looks like she only has an inch or two.  Height matters, y’all – especially with kids who are going through different growth spurts. -Court-

Update #3, 7/17/18, 9:36 AM EST: Got our first two confirmed junior pro/mentor pairings – and they are what a lot of you predicted. Thoughts? -Court-

Update #4, 7/18/18, 1:55 PM EST: So some pictures have leaked of some of the mentors and junior pros out and about – maybe you guys can convince Vogue to post them 😉 I’m trying to confirm with source, but I can’t imagine any of the mentors hanging out outside of the studio with a junior pro that wasn’t theirs. Thoughts on these pairings? Before anyone asks, I don’t have anything I can share about the male pairings – other than Lev did NOT get Gleb (which surprised me, because Lev goes to Gleb’s studio). -Court-

Update #5, 7/19/18, 8:54 PM EST: With Alana and Miles being confirmed by US Weekly, and some of the pros/junior pros/celebs not exactly being subtle, I feel ok confirming the first “trio” competing on DWTS Jr. And I also think they’re gonna take the MBT.  Thoughts? -Court-

Update #6, 7/21/18, 8:27 PM EST: I knew you guys would get crafty and figure out some of the names I couldn’t say – I just didn’t realize some of you would do it so quickly 😉 I can confirm that Hudson West (from General Hospital) is part of the cast, and he’s paired with Kami and being mentored by Hayley. He was originally paired with Makeila, but Makeila towered over him and so they had to switch her out with Kami, who’s sufficiently shorter. I wasn’t really familiar with him, but when I told Mama Spence (an avid GH watcher) the name, she got excited and said “he’s got just the right personality for DWTS!”

Update #7, 7/22/18, 10:40 PM EST: TMZ confims that Sophia Pippen is, indeed, part of the cast.  I haven’t the foggiest idea who she might be paired with, though – the male junior pro/mentor and female celeb pairings are proving to be much trickier to suss out than the female junior pro/mentor and male celeb ones…

Update #8, 7/24/18, 3:19 PM EST: Since so many were curious, I tried to get the tea on Kenzie Ziegler – I was able to confirm that she’s “somehow involved” with the show, but source couldn’t elaborate further.  So I’m putting her in the same judge/host “somehow involved” category as Jordan – we know she’s doing SOMETHING on the show, we just aren’t sure what, specifically.  I did not get the impression that she’s in the troupe or one of the celebs, though. -Court-

Update #9, 7/25/18, 7:17 PM EST: Due to Frankie Muniz’s cryptic tweet about heading to L.A. today, had a few people asking if he was maybe involved with DWTS Jr. – source was being coy on this one, and would only respond with a smirking emoji 😛 It’s not an outright denial, so I’ll go ahead and qualify Frankie as “likely involved” – and considering that tomorrow is the first camera blocking, I’m going to go ahead and guess that he’s more likely one of the hosts, as opposed to being a judge…and given that he’s a former child star himself (and doesn’t really have any dance expertise), I think that role makes a lot more sense for him, and makes me lean more towards Jordan & Kenzie being judges. Anyone else have an opinion? -Court-

Update #10, 7/29/18, 12:33 AM EST: Currently getting slammed with tweets, DM’s, and emails from people who were at the first taping…and…wow. First of all, whose bright idea was it to have Kenzie Ziegler AS A CONTESTANT??? That’s Heather Morris-level ringerdom – if anything, she should be one of the junior pros…or even a judge.  And speaking of judges – really? A Val-Mandy-Adam triumvirate is a conflict of interest in a LOT of ways…I’ll give them a chance to prove me wrong, but I’m not optimistic. Points for Jordan & Frankie as hosts, which we had kind of guessed – although I have to say, a lot of this casting feels a bit…cobbled together.  Like they just grabbed from recent seasons without much regard for anything else. And can anyone give me more info than “the spelling bee kid”? Ummm…Akash & Kamri may be the most adorable team this show has ever seen. It’s too late for this, I need sleep…-Court-

Update #11, 7/30/18, 1:37 PM EST: Was getting an unusual volume of questions concerning a potential tie-breaker – in the event that two couples end up tied at the bottom of the leaderboard, what would determine who went home? While I don’t really see this being a huge issue (bear in mind, they’ve only had use tiebreaker procedures maybe a handful of times during 26 seasons of regular DWTS), I did manage to get an answer: the in-studio audience vote would be the tiebreaker, since there isn’t a “head judge” (on regular DWTS, Len’s vote is usually the tiebreaker, by virtue of him being the head judge). As for what the judges are like, Val is “definitely the technical judge”, Mandy “is very nurturing and encouraging to the kids”, and Adam “is just hilarious” – this is coming from multiple people who attended the taping. -Court-

TO CLARIFY ON THE ?? MARKS: I’ll go ahead and confirm it now, since most of you had guessed anyway: Jordan is involved with the show in some capacity. I’m not sure if he’s judging or hosting, so I better not see any of you operating on the assumption that I confirmed exactly what he’s doing.  All I know is that you will see him on your tv screen when you’re watching DWTSJ.  Rejoice.

My thoughts so far? Solid group of kid pros, solid group of mentors. I think the ladies (both junior pros and pro mentors) probably have a bit of an edge – most of the junior girls are cross-trained in multiple styles, and the female pros seems to have more choreographic props than the male pros. It will be interesting to see how the male pros do with some of their juniors – a few of them don’t appear to be cross-trained.  Gun to my head, my two favorite kid pros are Rylee (because the Arnold dynasty is mighty) and Artyon (because that kid’s smile is INFECTIOUS 🙂 ).

What are your thoughts so far?