The New Celebs on Dancing With the Stars! Snooki, Bill Nye, Jack Osborne, and more

Dancing WIth the Stars

Brant Daugherty, Peta Murgatroyd, and Bill Nye the Science Guy celebrate the new cast announcement.

A TV legend battling cancer, a science guy, a Glee graduate, and a Jersey Shore girl are among the contestants on the brand new season of Dancing With the Stars.

It’s hard to believe it’ll be the 17th go-round for this popular ABC series, which challenges a dozen celebrities from acting, music, comedy, and sports to pair up with professional dancers and then dance really, really well. Before I watched it for the first time, I was skeptical. I love to dance, but I’m no competitor in the form, that’s for sure, and I wrote it off as another slightly corny reality show that just wasn’t for me.

Then my mom made me watch it with her one night when I was over at the house. Whoops. Hooked. I even made a standing date with it on the DVR, and you know that’s true love.

My favorite DWTS viewing experience was watching Jennifer Grey come back from her bout with cancer to participate, inspired by Patrick Swayze’s death. I’ve suspended my cynicism, because it really is fun to see people — famous or not — grasp a new skill or improve significantly on an old one. While some performers — like this season’s Corbin Bleu and Amber Riley — have true musical performing experience, most do not, and it’s fun to watch them develop it.

I’ll be tuning in to the two-hour premiere on Monday, September 16, at 8 p.m. Eastern to check out this fun new cast. This year will be great for fans of immediate gratification, because the performance and results will be combined into a two-hour episode each Monday.

Will you be watching? Who do you think will take home the mirrorball trophy this year?

  • Nicole "Snooki" Pollizi 1 of 12
    snooki

    New mom Snooki is excited to be on DWTS

    Jack Osbourne is a genius. So happy to have a fellow reality star on the show! Cheryl [Burke] is too sweet and sexy.

    Burke continued the Twitter lovefest: "You are so sweet. Welcome to the DWTS family!" 

    Snooki will dance with Sasha Farber, a DWTS troupe member for four years, who will be a professional partner for the first time. 

    Image credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Elizabeth Berkley 2 of 12
    elizabeth-berkley

    Berkley's latest dancing role was in Showgirls, long after her Saved By the Bell character Jessie Spano got a little bit excited about a lot of things. In recent years, she's appeared on stage, and run an organization called Ask Elizabeth, that supports young girls with life advice. Her son with husband Greg Lauren, Sky Cole, is one year old.

    Elizabeth will dance with Valentin Chmerkovskiy

    Image credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Jack Osbourne 3 of 12
    jack-osbourne

    It's been a long time since Jack Osbourne came into American homes on television as part of his family's reality series The Osbournes. These days he runs his own production company, Schweet Entertainment, is an anchor for a daily live music news show on Fuse (the national music television network of The Madison Square Garden Company), and a husband and father, expecting a second baby soon with wife Lisa.

    Diagnosed with MS last year, Jack says he wants to give the disease a new platform by appearing on the show, he told ABC News at the "DWTS" cast reveal:

    "Physically right now, I'm good. There's not that many young people that have the disease that are in entertainment and do speak up about it... It's a hell of a disease and it doesn't really end pretty, so it's something that I want to keep people wanting to donate time and money to finding a solution."

    Jack's partner is DWTS veteran Cheryl Burke. 

    Image credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Christina Milian 4 of 12
    christina-milian

    A television, film, and music triple threat — she co-wrote Justin Bieber's "Baby" as well as charting with her own hit, "Dip it Low" — Milian can now add "dancer" to her entertainment resume. A former social media correspondent for The Voice, she's currently in the studio recording her fourth album. 

    Milian's partner is Mark Ballas

    Image credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Amber Riley 5 of 12
    amber-riley

    Well-known as show-stopping Glee vocalist (and total diva) Mercedes Jones, Amber Riley is dropping by DWTS after "graduating" from Lima High School. A veteran of many stage productions, Amber, like her television alter ego, is recording her first solo album.

    Her dance partner is Derek Hough

    Image credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Corbin Bleu 6 of 12
    corbin-bleu

    Best known as Chad in the Disney Channel films High School Musical and High School Musical 2, as well as feature film High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Corbin Bleu currently appears on One Life to Live

    His High School Musical experience likely left him with some dancing chops, so we'll see how he fares in the lineup. His Twitter bio says "Performing is my LIFE," so this will give him a new outlet.

    Corbin's dance partner is Karina Smirnoff

    Image Credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Valerie Harper 7 of 12
    Valerie_Harper

    Diagnosed with brain cancer in January, and told she only had 3-6 months to live, Valerie Harper, 74, decided to dance anyway

    "Listen, getting up off your bum at any time is good. It's better than sitting. I don't mean you go out like a crazy rat, maniacally, I just mean you're moving through your life and dance is great. I missed it. It's a great way to be in the moment, and with this kind of dancing, it's a new kind of challenge for me, and that's exciting. I just feel so in the moment, so in this moment, so present. Anybody who's not living their life — I hope to inspire them. You've heard cancer people say it before — that they were lucky to get it because they were living more fully than ever before."

     Harper will dance with Tristan MacManus.

    Image Credit: Wikimedia, Public Domain

  • Bill Engvall 8 of 12
    bill-engvall

    Last year's DWTS champ Kellie Pickler represented the country music industry, and Engvall is this year's ambassador. A longtime professional comedian who has toured with the likes of Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy, he is currently a voice on CMT's animated comedy series Bounty Hunters. Bill is dancing with Emma Slater, and from what he told Good Morning America, seems confident about their chances: "I'm not throwing down the gauntlet, but Em and I are already dancing on week three. We've got week one and week two down. Two words: Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.'"

    Image Credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Leah Remini 9 of 12
    leah-remini

    Recently in the news for leaving the Church of Scientology after many years, and reportedly set to write a memoir about her experiences, Remini is taking a break to dance. A star on sitcom The King of Queens for nine seasons, Remini has also hosted a talk show (aptly named The Talk) and dabbled in web series as well. 

    Leah will dance with Tony Dovolani

     

    Image credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Keyshawn Johnson 10 of 12
    keyshawn-johnson

    Super Bowl champion Keyshawn Johnson has been an ESPN host and commentator since retiring from the NFL in 2007. Johnson looks to join former NFL stars Hines Ward, Emmitt Smith, and Donald Driver in the DWTS champion ranks.

    He will dance with Sharna Burgess

    Image credit: Pacific Coast News

  • Brant Daugherty 11 of 12
    brant-daugherty

    Brant comes to DWTS from his roles as Noel on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars, on Days of Our Lives, and, currently, Lifetime's Army Wives. Daugherty told Access Hollywood that he's a little concerned about shaking his hips, for one thing: "I gotta work on my hips. I grew up on a farm in Ohio and the hips don't move there."

    Brant will dance with Peta Murgatroyd

    Image credit: Instagram

  • Bill Nye the Science Guy 12 of 12
    Bill_Nye

    Winning a Steve Martin lookalike contest took Bill Nye from life as a mechanical engineer working on jets to a life in children's science programming and stand-up comedy.  Many Emmys later, he still mixes science and show biz, with a job as the CEO of the Planetary Society, a busy speaking schedule, and now, learning to cha-cha (if he doesn't already.)

    Bill's DWTS partner is first-timer Tyne Stecklein

    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, photo by Ed Schipul

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