Dancing with the Stars has just revealed the cast for the ABC Television Network ballroom competition's first ever all athletes' edition.
The Winter Olympic Connection
On Friday, April 13, the show's veteran host, Tom Bergeron was at Good Morning America's New York studio to help the morning newscast reveal this season's dancers. Many of the athletes that have been selected to dance on Dancing with the Stars were heavily featured in the past Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Figure skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu gave stellar performances when they hit the ice rink in February. Rippon won a bronze medal for his accomplishments on the ice. He will be partnered with professional partner Jenna Johnson. Meanwhile, Nagasu also took home a bronze medal for her efforts, and she will join forces with Alan Bernstein.
Other Winter Olympic athletes that are expected to hit the dance floor include two-time gold medalist professional snowboarder Jamie Anderson. Anderson, who also received a silver medal, is expected to work with Artem Chigvintsev. Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer, who competed at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics Games. He will be partnered with Whitney Carson, who won Season 19 with Alfonso Ribeiro.
Tonya Harding's Inclusion
Another former Olympian that is courting controversy amongst fans is Tonya Harding. The former ice skating star, whose career was forever ruined after her ex-husband was involved in orchestrating an attack on Harding's greatest rival, Nancy Kerrigan. Harding is experiencing a renaissance in the public eye following the release of I, Tonya which starred Margot Robbie as the troubled ice skater and Allison Janney, who won the Best Supporting Actress award for her portrayal of Harding's icy mother, LaVona Golden. Harding's professional partner is Sasha Farber.
The Other Athletes
ABC News stated that NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would collaborate with Lindsay Arnold. Also, former Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox baseball player Johnny Damon is expected to work with Season 24 champion Emma Slater. Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman will make his ballroom debut with Sharna Burgess, while Olympic softball pitcher Jennie Finch will dance with professional partner Keo Motsepe. University of Notre Dame star player Arike Ogunbowale rounds out the cast and will partner with Gleb Savchenko.
The 'American Idol' Factor
Entertainment Weekly reports that this upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars is only four weeks long. The reason why for the shortened season is American Idol. ABC brought back the legendary singing competition with veteran host Ryan Seacrest and new judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.