On Wednesday morning, September 12, “Dancing with the Stars” officially announced its season 27 cast live on “Good Morning America.” So who are the 13 celebs competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy? Check out the baker’s dozen below, along with the professional dance partners they’re paired with.
Nancy McKeon, with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy
Bobby Bones, with pro partner Sharna Burgess
Danelle Umstead, with pro partner Artem Chigvintsev
DeMarcus Ware, with pro partner Lindsay Arnold
Juan Pablo Di Pace, with pro partner Cheryl Burke
Mary Lou Retton, with pro partner Sasha Farber
Joe Amabile, with pro partner Jenna Johnson
John Schneider, with pro partner Emma Slater
Alexis Ren, with pro partner Alan Bersten
Nikki Glaser, with pro partner Gleb Savchenko
Milo Manheim, with pro partner Witney Carson
Evanna Lynch, with pro partner Keo Motsepe
Tinashe, with pro partner Brandon Armstrong
Fans who watch “DWTS” closely know that football players are always ones to watch as potential winners, so look out for DeMarcus Ware. Four Mirror Ball champions have been NFL stars: Emmitt Smith (season 3), Hines Ward (season 12), Donald Driver (season 14) and Rashad Jennings (season 24). And just this past spring, in the special four-week “Athletes” edition, football player Josh Norman was the runner-up behind winner Adam Rippon.
Gymnasts have also had a strong track record, with Shawn Johnson (season 8) and Laurie Hernandez (season 23) both winning the Mirror Ball, so don’t underestimate Mary Lou Retton. But those past champs were in their teens when they competed on the show, while Retton is now 50. That’s the same age as the oldest female “DWTS” winner in history, Jennifer Grey (season 11).
Singer and actress Tinashe may also be a formidable opponent. Other young pop stars have done well for themselves, like finalists Mya (season 9) and Normani Kordei (season 24), and winner Nicole Scherzinger (season 10). Tinashe has also been training in dance from a young age, which certainly bodes well for her judges’ scores.
But having too much experience can be both a blessing and a curse on “DWTS.” Sometimes an unusually experienced “amateur” dominates the competition, like season 25 winner Jordan Fisher, but other times the audience holds their excess experience against them, like season 24 contestant Heather Morris, who got high scores but was unexpectedly eliminated in eighth place.
What names stand out to you among this season’s cast list? Vote in our poll below to let us know who you’re rooting for.