Season 18 of Dancing With the Stars will kick off March 17, and thanks to a stunt on Good Morning America this morning, we now know the cast list. And while the show is usually known for its hodge-podge list of celebrity dancers, but this one might be the most eclectic yet.
Among the celebrity cast this year are several Olympians, three singers, a couple of former childhood stars, and what’s left of Drew Carey. The stars, however, join the show on a season that saw its pre-production more or less fraught with peril thanks to the dismissal of co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet and former bandleader Harold Wheeler. In fact, the cast revealed day will be the first to compete under new bandleader Ray Chew’s smaller, more electronic outfit.
The athletes, of course, are thought to have a substantial advantage over stars like Carey and fellow contestant Billy Dee Williams for obvious reasons. And, indeed, ice dancing gold medalists Charlie White and Meryl Davis could join the pantheon of fellow Olympian contestants like Shawn Johnson, Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Anton Ohno, all of whom competed on past seasons and won. But, still, it doesn’t seem like, say, NeNe Leakes would take that type of competition lightly, or Sean Avery for that matter.
Avery, in fact, is the first former NHL player to compete on DWTS, and is joined by double-amputee snowboarding champ Amy Purdy in a first on her part in the show.
Other landmarks include the return of pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovsky, who sat out last season. Chmerkovsky joins fellow pros Derek Hough, Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas, Tony Dovolani, Val Chmerkovsky, Karina Smirnoff, and more.
The full list of celebrity contestants is below:
- Candace Cameron Bure (Full House)
- Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years)
- Diana Nyad (swimmer)
- NeNe Leakes (Real Housewives of Atlanta)
- Cody Simpson (pop star)
- Drew Carey (The Price Is Right)
- Meryl Davis (Olympic gold medalist, ice dancing)
- Charlie White (Olympic gold medalist, ice dancing)
- Amy Purdy (para-snowboarder)
- Sean Avery (retired NHL)
- Billy Dee Williams (actor/singer)
- James Maslow (Big Time Rush)