‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 20: Who Is Competing?
Today's cast announcement for Season 20 of 'Dancing with the Stars' leaves many fans asking...who are these people?
There are, of course, some recogizable names on the list. For instance, actress and fitness guru Suzanne Somers, who I knew best for her stint on TV sitcom 'Three's Company." There's singer Patti LaBelle, RedFoo from LMFAO, and if you don't recognize the name Rumer Willis, you surely know her celebrity parents -- Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.
Who are the others, you might ask? Here's the complete list, courtesy of abc.com:
NOAH GALLOWAY -- Sergeant Noah Galloway was assigned to the 1st of the 502nd Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Just three months into his second tour of duty, he experienced a life-changing injury. On December 19, 2005, Galloway lost his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee in an Improvised Explosive Device attack. He was transported to Germany to receive medical treatment, remaining unconscious for five days. Galloway woke up late in the evening on Christmas Eve to learn he lost two of his limbs and sustained severe injuries to his right leg and his jaw.
Sgt. Galloway will surely be a favorite among veterans and patriotic viewers, and will tug on the heartstrings with his post-injury struggle. He's is partnered with Sharna Burgess.
ROBERT HERJAVEC -- Robert Herjavec is recognized as the “nice” Shark on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning hit show Shark Tank. Born in Croatia, Robert and his family fled communism in the former Yugoslavia with just one suitcase and $20 to their name. Today he helps launch the entrepreneurial dreams of millions of Americans and is recognized as one of the world’s leading cybersecurity experts. Robert is partnered with Kym Johnson.
PATTI LABELLE -- A solo artist since the 1970s, Patti has created timeless songs that have helped cement her place as a music icon and garnered her numerous honors, including GRAMMY Awards, American Music Awards, NAACP Image Awards, New York Times bestsellers and more. Patti is partnered with Artem Chigvintsev.
NASTIA LIUKIN -- Grace and beauty in the sport of gymnastics led Nastia Liukin to her crowning achievement as Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, but winning five medals was only the beginning for this golden girl. After returning home, she graced the pages of countless magazines and appeared on various TV shows, while even being chosen as one of 2009’s most influential people. Liukin’s commitment to helping young girls with big dreams landed her a clothing line, SuperGirl by Nastia along with her very own gymnastics competition, The Nastia Liukin Cup. Nastia is partnered with Derek Hough.
RIKER LYNCH -- Riker Lynch is an actor / musician / songwriter. He has been singing and performing since the age of 3 and was originally cast in Hollywood as Jeff Sterling, one of the members of the Warblers, the acappella group featured in 'Glee.' He appeared in seasons 2, 3 and 4 of Glee, and also appeared as a Warbler in the 2011 edition of the Glee Live! Riker will be partnered with Allison Holker.
CHARLOTTE MCKINNEY -- 21-year-old model and actress, Charlotte McKinney, is the centerpiece of the highly buzzed about Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl ad, the fast-food chain’s most successful to date with a staggering 2.5-billion media impressions in less than two weeks. She previously fronted a campaign for the iconic brand, GUESS. Charlotte began modeling full-time at the age of 17. In addition to modeling, she continues to build her acting career across television and film. This summer, she can be seen in Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, co-starring with Christopher Walken and David Spade. She will be partnered with Keo Motsepe.
REDFOO -- The man beneath the famous fro is more than just a charismatic character on the airwaves, RedFoo is a formidable entertainment force; performer, producer, actor, host, judge, innovator and fashionista. Bursting onto the world stage as one half of LMFAO, and scoring a swag of #1’s in more than 30 countries, his sound reflected a new movement in music, catapulting him into high demand amongst his musical alumni, collaborating with the likes of Kanye West, Pitbull, Will.i.am, fellow DJ’s David Guetta and Steve Aoki and performing along side Madonna in the 2012 Super Bowl half time show. RedFoo is the first-ever DWTS guest judge to appear as a contestant on the show. He's partnered with Emma Slater.
MICHAEL SAM -- Michael made history last year when the star college football player came out as gay ahead of the NFL draft, making him the first openly LGBT player to be drafted in any major American sport. As a college player at the University of Missouri, Sam was named a first-team All-American and Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He recently became engaged to his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano. Michael is partnered with Peta Murgatroyd.
WILLOW SHIELDS -- Willow Shields is most notably recognized for her role as Primrose Everdeen in the 'The Hunger Games' franchise. The New Mexico native began acting at the age of seven when she followed her brother to an audition and booked a role in USA Network’s 'In Plain Sight.' She was in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie 'Beyond the Blackboard,' as well as R.L. Stine’s 'The Haunting Hour.' However, it was her break-out role as Prim, the sensitive but strong younger sister to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in the worldwide phenomenon 'The Hunger Games,' which bought her instantaneous international fame. Willow is partnered with Mark Ballas.
I'm hearing Willow is also the youngest contestant ever to compete on DWTS, at age 14.
SUZANNE SOMERS -- A trusted health advocate, very successful entrepreneur, and star of two hit TV series, Suzanne Somers has written 25 books, including 13 New York Times bestsellers, five of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. Her last book, 'I’m Too Young for This!: The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Menopause' was an instant New York Times bestseller. Her new book, 'TOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not Sick,' will be published by Harmony in April 2015. Suzanne is partnered with Tony Dovolani.
RUMER WILLIS -- Rumer Willis began her acting career as a child starring with her mother Demi Moore in the major motion pictures 'Striptease' and 'Now and Then.' She is thrilled to be continuing her 'For the Record' journey, playing the Basket Case in 'Dear John Hughes.' Most recently she wowed LA audiences as Fran in the Baz Luhrmann production at DBA, having portrayed Juliet in its prior incarnation at Rockwell Table and Stage. She is partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
You may not pay attention to the pro dancers who appear on the show each season, but I did notice some key names missing: Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy aren't on this season, but Kym Johnson is back after a brief hiatus.
Now you're wondering...who are my picks for Season 20? I can only go with the names I recognize...Suzanne, Patti, Rumer -- but I've been surprised in the past. Very likely, I will be again. Chances are, RedFoo will be the comic relief of the group.
I'm looking forward to an exciting 10th Anniversary season, which premieres at 7 p.m. Central Time on March 16 on ABC. And in case you were curious -- yes, Julianne Hough will be back as Judge Number 4.