Welcome back, Mark Ballas! The season 25 “Dancing with the Stars” pros were announced on Thursday, August 24, on “Good Morning America,” and the fan-favorite is returning to the show for the first time in more than a year. He last competed in season 22 in spring 2016, and in the interim he has gotten married to singer-songwriter BC Jean and joined the cast of the Tony winning musical “Jersey Boys” on Broadway. Ballas previously competed in 18 seasons of the show going back to season five, and he has won the Mirror Ball Trophy twice, with Kristi Yamaguchi (season six) and Shawn Johnson (season eight). But he didn’t spill the beans about who his celebrity partner will be. Will he become only the second “DWTS” pro to win the Mirror Ball three or more times? He has a lot of catching up to do if he wants to match his friend Derek Hough, who has won the show a record six times.
Joining that veteran is a first-time pro, Alan Bersten, who was a “DWTS” troupe member and substituted for Ballas in season 22 as a pro dancer when Ballas was injured. Then Bersten stepped in for pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy in season 24 when he was temporarily sidelined by injury. Bersten impressed the other pros — and apparently the producers — so much that he has gotten a promotion. “It feels amazing to finally get my shot,” he said when he appeared on “GMA” with Chmerkovskiy to celebrate his rise to the professional ranks.
“GMA” announced all 12 pro dancers who will compete on “DWTS” when it returns on Monday night, September 18. They are as follows:
That list includes the defending Mirror Ball champ, Emma Slater, who pulled off a surprise victory in season 24 with football player Rashad Jennings. Missing from that list are two of last season’s pros: Kym Johnson-Herjavek and Sasha Farber. It’s also interesting to note that the list includes an uneven number of men and women, with seven male pros joining five female pros. That’s a surprise given the show’s usually even split between male and female celeb competitors.
We don’t yet know the names of all the stars who will enter the ballroom this season, though two names have already been leaked: “Property Brothers” star Drew Scott and WWE wrestler Nikki Bella. So what do you think of the latest “DWTS” cast announcement? Vote below to let us know your favorite, and discuss in the comments who you’re happy to see among the cast and who you’re disappointed to see missing.