A number of contestants had already been revealed for the upcoming 21st season of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” but now the entire lineup has been announced, and it includes Alek Skarlatos, the Army National Guard Specialist who rose to fame just weeks ago when he helped prevent a massacre on-board a train in Belgium. He will be partnered with pro dancer Lindsay Arnold.
‘Dancing with the Stars’: Alexa PenaVega & Carlos PenaVega join season 21 lineup
Among previously announced contestants are the husband and wife duo of musician Carlos PenaVega and actress Alexa PenaVega, who will compete against each other with their respective pro partners Witney Carson and Mark Ballas. Both are previous mirror ball trophy champs; relative newcomer Carson won season 19 last fall with Alfonso Ribeiro, and she also earned an Emmy nomination for her choreography this year.
17-year-old wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin drew Derek Hough as a pro partner; with five mirror ball victories, Hough is the most successful pro in “DWTS” history. Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter had also been previously confirmed as a contestant. He’s dancing with Sharna Burgess, who made the finals for the first time last season with military vet Noah Galloway.
Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza is paired with season 13 champ Karina Smirnoff, while 15-year-old social media star Hayes Grier takes to the dance floor with pro Emma Slater.
Joining them are singer and talk show host Tamar Braxton, the youngest sister of Grammy-winning artist Toni Braxton. She currently hosts and produced the talk show “The Real” and is partnered with defending “DWTS” champ Val Chmerkovskiy, who prevailed in season 20 with Rumer Willis.
Eccentric, Oscar-nominated actor Gary Busey follows reality TV appearances on “Celebrity Wife Swap” and “Celebrity Apprentice” with a turn on the “DWTS” dance floor with pro Anna Trebunskaya.
Controversial TV chef Paula Deen hopes for a comeback dancing with one-time “DWTS” finalist Louis Van Amstel.
Pop singer Andy Grammer will be joined by season 20 runner-up Allison Holker, a “So You Think You Can Dance” alum who joined the “DWTS” pro lineup only two seasons ago, though she had already earned an Emmy nomination for choreography for “DWTS” in 2013.
Singing legend Chaka Khan will dance with pro Keo Motsepe, who hopes for better luck this season; he was eliminated first in season 19 and second in season 20.
“Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kim Zolciak Biermann will dance with “DWTS” vet Tony Dovolani, who won back in season 15 for the show’s all-star season with another reality-TV alum, former “Bachelorette” Melissa Rycroft.
Who do you think will win? Discuss the season 21 cast announcement in our forums, and below make your Emmy predictions to let us know if you think “DWTS” will win its first Emmy for Best Reality-Competition Series.
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Photo: Gary Busey on “Celebrity Big Brother,” 2014. Credit: James Shaw/REX
Photo: Paula Deen at CMT Music Awards, 2010. Credit: Charles Sykes/REX