There’s a long list of celebrities who deserve to compete on “Dancing with the Stars” when the series returns this fall for its 28th season, and ABC entertainment president Karey Burke recently said they’re “going after bigger stars than we have in a long time.” Below is a list of male celebs I think the show should consider inviting to vie for the Mirror Ball Trophy (and check our my female cast suggestions here). Do you agree with my picks? Vote in our poll at the bottom of this post to let us know which (if any) of them you’d most like to see on “DWTS.” And feel free to let us know in comments what other stars you would like to see when the show comes back in September.
After receiving Tony nominations for Broadway’s “The Color Purple” (2006) and “Shuffle Along” (2016), Dixon was introduced to a wider audience when he starred opposite John Legend and Sara Bareilles in NBC’s 2018 live production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” His performance as Judas Iscariot not only earned him rave reviews, but also an Emmy nomination for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor and a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theater Album as a principal soloist on the soundtrack.
Dixon was most recently seen in FOX’s staging of the Tony-winning musical “Rent” back in January, where he co-starred with previous “DWTS” contestants Tinashe (season 27), Mario (season 6), and Jordan Fisher (season 25 champion). Musical theater stars have a strong track record on “DWTS” in general. In addition to Fisher, stage vet Alfonso Ribeiro (season 19) also claimed the Mirror Ball Trophy.
This successful rapper began his career in 1993 with his debut studio album “Doggystyle.” In the years since he has sold over 23 million albums in the United States and 35 million worldwide. He wouldn’t be the first veteran rapper to try his luck on the dance floor — Master P (season 2), Lil Kim (season 8), Romeo (season 12), and Vanilla Ice (season 23) have competed for the Mirror Ball — but none have made it into the finals. Would Snoop Dogg be up for the challenge?
He’s best known as the lead singer of the band Huey Lewis and the News, which had a run of hit singles throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Lewis has also performed on Broadway as Billy Flynn in the long-running revival of “Chicago.” In April 2018 he revealed that he was suffering from hearing loss as a result of Ménière’s disease, but hearing-impaired performers have graced the “DWTS” stage before: season 6 contestant Marlee Matlin and season 22 champion Nyle DiMarco. Were he to compete for the Mirror Ball Trophy, he might be the sentimental favorite.
This basketball star spent 19 years in the NBA before retiring in 2011. While several athletes have done well in the ballroom before, no NBA player has ever won the Mirror Ball Trophy. Would it be worth a try for one of the tallest players ever? The height difference between the seven-foot b-baller and whoever he partners with would inevitably be a challenge, but O’Neal’s infectious personality might take him far in the competition.
Haley Joel Osment
This actor made his motion picture debut at age five in the Oscar-winning “Forrest Gump” (1994) before getting his big break (and an Oscar nomination of his own) at age 11 in the 1999 supernatural horror movie “The Sixth Sense.” Since then the actor has grown up from early-2000s films like “Pay It Forward” and “A.I.” to Netflix’s 2019 Ted Bundy biographical film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.” Former child stars have done well on “DWTS” in the past: just look at the aforementioned Ribeiro and season 25 finalist Frankie Muniz.
This actor’s biggest claim to fame is his Emmy-nominated role as Chandler Bing on NBC’s long-running sitcom “Friends” (1994-2004). More recently he starred as Oscar Madison in CBS’s reboot of “The Odd Couple” and as Ted Kennedy in the miniseries “The Kennedys: After Camelot.” None of the main “Friends” cast has put on their dancing shoes for “DWTS” yet, so I’d love to see him compete for the Mirror Ball Trophy.