The entire cast of season 26 of Dancing with the Stars was announced earlier today on Good Morning America.
The pairings for the new season are as follows:
Emma Slater and Johnny Damon
Jenna Johnson and Adam Rippon
Lindsay Arnold and Kareem Abdul Jabar
Witney Carson and Chris Mazdzer
Sharna Burgess and Josh Norman
Gleb Savchenko and Arike Ogunbowale
Artem Chigvintsev and Jamie Anderson
Keo Motsepe and Jennie Finch
Alan Bersten and Mirai Nagasu
Sasha Farber and Tonya Harding
This season of Dancing with the Stars is operating a little bit different from the typical season. Instead of 10 weeks of competition, the season will only be 4 weeks long. Instead of a variety of “stars,” the cast will consist of all athletes. Now if you typically watch the show then you know how well athletes tend to do. In fact, over the course of the show’s history, athletes have won 10 out of 25 seasons and have finished in second place eight other times. The continued success of athletes on this show, season after season, makes me hopeful that this season, despite it being so short, will be one of the best yet. Now, as I typically do with each cast announcement, I add my first impressions about who is announced and the pairings themselves. Here are 10 thoughts about this season’s cast:
- Josh Norman is a member of the Washington Redskins, which is my local team. Now I’m not really a football watcher (more like never), but I will support DC sports until I die. So, for now, I’m on Team Josh.
- Kareem Abdul Jabar is an NBA LEGEND and I’m so glad to have another NBA representative on DWTS. But I have some mixed feelings about this pairing. The height difference between him and Lindsay will be really hard to overcome.
- I’m not really a big fan of Jenna’s but I think she and Adam Rippon will make a good pair. He’s tooooooo funny. His rehearsal packages are going to crack me up.
- Confession: I didn’t watch this year’s Olympics so I don’t know who Chris Mazdzer is, but he’s cute at least.
- KEO FINALLY GOT A DECENT PARTNER! I have faith Keo and Jennie won’t be eliminated first. #JusticeForKeo
- I’m so glad Alan is a pro again this year. His partner seems great (again, I didn’t watch this year’s Olympics so I don’t know who she is) and I think they’ll have good chemistry.
- I haven’t heard the name Johnny Damon in YEARS, but I’m excited nonetheless that he’s paired with Emma.
- I LOVE Arike Ogunbowale so I’m so excited she joined the cast! I’ll be curious to see how her schooling, with the pressure of a shortened season, impacts her training. She’s also a prime example of someone benefiting from the season being pushed to the end of April, because she wasn’t a household name until two weeks ago.
- I feel like Sasha and Tonya are going to be eliminated first, just because of her controversial past.
- A lot of this cast just competed in the Pyeongchang Olympics. On the one hand, they’re currently “household names” so I understand why the producers would capitalize on them, but I wish they would have mixed it up a little bit more.
Dancing With the Stars Season 26 premieres April 30 at 8/7c on ABC.