Photo credit: ABC/Lou Rocco
On Wednesday morning, Dancing with the Stars officially unveiled its cast for Season 25. While entertainment media outlets and fans had already spoiled the cast members and pro pairings before the Good Morning America announcement, the season is shaping up to be stronger than prior seasons.
With the return of fan-favorite pros like Mark Ballas and Cheryl Burke, there is a renewed sense of energy from the cast and fans. Season 25 is a big anniversary year, and coming off the heels of a weak Season 24 and no Emmy nomination this year, DWTS really needed a push.
The show happily is stepping outside of some of its casting norms by giving us some fresh pairings with their seasoned pros. Val Chmerkovskiy, straight from a summer at So You Think You Can Dance, gets the opportunity to test those sharpened choreography skills with Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen. Artem Chigvintsev, who had a nice run with Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan last season, gets a real contender with WWE Diva, Nikki Bella.
Photo credit: ABC/Lou Rocco
Other pairings on my radar include Lindsay Arnold with her strongest contender yet, actor-singer Jordan Fisher. Lindsay always proves to be a pro to watch, so Jordan could bring her a Mirror Ball Trophy if the couple clicks on the dance floor.
Of course, no one would ever dismiss the creativity of Mark Ballas brings to DWTS, so it’s tremendous to see that he’s coming back with violinist Lindsay Stirling, who has musicality and a strong appreciation for dance.
Finally, Debbie Gibson is a great first season for pro Alan Bersten. She checks off that always-popular nostalgia button, so she should be able to stick around for much of the season as long as Alan remembers the most important DWTS rule — the journey is about Debbie. It’s a golden rule that first-season pros sometimes struggle with.
We certainly can’t dismiss any of the other contenders because there is always an unexpected dark horse in the race — that one contestant who surprises us with dance ability or a heart as big as gold. Who do you think will be that contestant this season?
Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran and Keo Motsepe
NBA player Derek Fisher and Sharna Burgess
Property Brothers star Drew Scott and Emma Slater
Actor Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson
Singer Nick Lachey and Peta Murgatroyd
Actress Vanessa Lachey and Maks Chmerkovskiy
Pretty Little Liars star Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko
NFL player Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke
The fall season begins on Monday, Sept. 18 on ABC. Strap on those Latin heels and get ready to shimmy those sequins!
Don’t miss Dance Network and Popcorn Talk’s episode of ‘To The Pointe With Kristyn Burtt’ featuring ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ All-Star Paul Karmiryan: