Cha cha, samba, oh la la! The official “Dancing with the Stars” season 17 cast reveal, which is set for Sept. 4 on “GMA,” is just days away. In honor of the big event, let’s get our glittering mirror ball ducks in a row and examine the rumors — including the good, the bad and the very, very ugly.
Let’s start with the pro lineup. A trio of lovely –and historically popular– ladies are out, so don’t expect to see Chelsie Hightower, Anna Trebunskaya or newly minted “DWTS” Australia judge (you go girl!) Kym Johnson tripping the light fantastic. And it’s all rain clouds for fans of Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Louis Van Amstel, who also won’t return for the fall season.
But it’s not all bad news, so dry those eyes. According to tweeter DWTSGossip, a host of talented pros –including at least one first-time coach– will be back. Who, you ask? Well, since you asked nicely…
- Derek Hough
- Mark Ballas
- Val Chmerkovskiy
- Tony Dovolani
- Gleb Savchenko
- Tristan MacManus
- Cheryl Burke
- Karina Smirnoff
- Sharna Burgess
- Peta Murgatroyd
- Lindsay Arnold
- Emma Slater
It’s also possible that a 13th pro –the very talented Sasha Farber– may be promoted from the troupe, but it’s just a rumor to date.
Prior to the week of Aug. 26, the “DWTS” rumor mill moved like molasses in a very cold month. Names floated over the summer included disgraced celebrity chef Paula Deen, TV personality Geraldo Rivera and former MLB star Jason Varitek. All three have since said they won’t appear. ‘N Sync star JC Chasez was recently rumored to be part of the cast, but he quickly nipped the rumor in the bud by explaining that enough members of his band –in the forms of Lance Bass and Joey Fatone– had already left their respective marks in the ballroom. Finally, Indy champ Tony Kanaan and country music singer Jo Dee Messina both met with producers to chat about competing but as of press time, neither had heard back. So we can probably assume they’re both camp no-go.
So who’s left? Well, allegedly…
- “Saved by the Bell” actress Elizabeth Berkley
- “Glee” star Amber Riley
- “Rhoda” actress Valerie Harper
- “The Voice” social media correspondent Christina Milian
- “King of Queens” actress Leah Remini
- “Jersey Shore” alum Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
- “Teen Mom” star Farrah Abraham
- Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson
- “The Osbournes” star Jack Osbourne
- “High School Musical” alum Corbin Bleu
- “Necessary Roughness” star John Stamos (who will, probably much to his disappointment, always be Uncle Jesse)
- Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas
- “Survivor” alum Eddie Fox
So Let’s Be Real.
By taking a quick gander at the list, one thing is obvious: there are way, way too many ladies listed. Elizabeth is definitely in (see below). Christina is also in, per a now-deleted Instagram message by her sis that spilled the beans. (Oopsie.) And it’s probably safe to assume that Valerie’s dancing (per the below). Derek and Cheryl’s shared publicist started following Amber and Jack the week of the 26th, so it’s probably safe to assume that they’re both in. So that leaves two spots for women and five for men. (And it tells me that the men this season are way, way, way better at keeping secrets.)
It’s hard to believe that both Farrah and Snooki would appear on the same season; that’s a little too much reality TV represented, especially with Jack already essentially confirmed. In the name of ABC calling “DWTS” a family show, I hope it’s Snooki and not Farrah (man alive, did I just say I preferred Snooki to someone else?!) if either of them are in. Leah feels like a wildcard to me (though I’d love to see her take part in a Scientology throwdown with alum Kirstie Alley). Gabby seems unlikely; if not for the whole Snooki/Sasha rumor, I’d guess that if Gabby dances, she’ll be part of a surprise 13th couple with Sasha. Eddie? No idea. I found a tweet that referenced “DWTS” a month or so ago. And we need more potential male contestants to gab about. John? Uncle Jesse? Have mercy, I hope so.
TMZ –and you can take it or leave it– reported that the six gals are Christina, Valerie, Snooki, Amber, Elizabeth and Leah.
I’m not a betting woman, but if I were I’d bet the chicken coop that Val’s paired up with Jessi Spano… er, Elizabeth. Anyone who grew up watching “SBTB” can identify her voice in the teaser video posted to the show’s official Instagram account. Duh!
I’m also pretty confident that Karina’s with Corbin, though she did throw a wrench into my perfectly good theory by claiming her partner’s first name is Ryan. I think she was fibbing when she said that. So there.
There have also been reports that Valerie is paired up with the Irish hunkiness that is Tristan. (Will that guy ever get a real mirror ball contender?)
And of course, per the above, Cheryl must be with Jack and Derek, with Amber.
So to sum it all up, we’ve tentatively identified five of the 12 couples:
- Elizabeth and Val
- Corbin and Karina
- Valerie and Tristan
- Jack and Cheryl
- Amber and Derek
I could go ahead and name a sixth couple, since WetPaint Entertainment claimed that Snooki will be dancing with Sasha, but something about it feels off.
So that’s the “Dancing with the Stars” season 17 rumor round-up for now. Who do you want to see in the ballroom? Feel free to sound off below!
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