Do you guys still watch Dancing With The Stars? I watched the first few seasons because it was a new thing and there were far less stereotypical castings than they have now. Let’s see who fits what role this season. It turns out the rumors were true about Kim Biermann being on the show. She is paired with the beleaguered Tony Dovoloni who has partnered with Kate Gosselin, Wendy Williams and Nene Leakes in the past. Clearly, the casting folks don’t expect Kim to do any better than I do. I think Tony should get paid the most out of any of the pro dancers because he works the hardest. I love seeing Kim and her tribe being silly on TV, but I don’t think she will last three weeks on this show. She will be dying to be voted out after week one. She doesn’t have the work ethic of Nene Leakes and she will miss her babies. She will probably have to hang in a couple of weeks while Gary Busey and Paula Deen get voted out. I’d love to see some interaction between Kim and Paula though.
The big surprise was the casting of Alek Skarlatos, one of the American heroes who recently thwarted a terrorist attack on a rapid train in France. He’s 22 and just your average military guy who suddenly found himself famous worldwide for his bravery.
This cast seems to be aiming for a very young demographic with several the addition of Hayes Grier, Bindi Irwin and Nick Carter.
The ringers seem to be Tamar Braxton who is paired with Val Chmerkovskiy, and American Pharaoh Jockey Victor Espinoza who is paired with Karina Smirnoff. Nick Carter and his partner Sharna Burgess should also go a long way. Derek Hough might be able to carry Bindi Irwin a long way; however, I read that Bindi was learning how to WALK in heels for the show. That will be a disadvantage. Married couple Alexa and Carlos Penevega both seem to have a dance background and either could be a dark horse winner.
Click through for the complete press release on all the participants…
TAMAR BRAXTON is a Grammy-nominated singer, talk show host, and reality television personality. A veteran performer who began singing backup vocals for her older sister Toni at age 12, Tamar Braxton was also a founding member of R&B group The Braxtons with Toni and their siblings Traci, Towanda and Trina. Tamar’s third solo album, Calling All Lovers, releases September 11, 2015. Tamar executive produces and stars with her sisters in the WE tv reality hit Braxton Family Values, as well as the spinoff Tamar & Vince, with her music manager husband Vince Herbert. Elsewhere on the TV front, Braxton co-hosts and produces the daytime talk show, The Real. PRO DANCE PARTNER: VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY
GARY BUSEY Gary Busey celebrates his 45th Anniversary in show business during 2015. Busey rose to fame in Hollywood when he became an Academy Award nominee for Best Actor for his performance in the title role of Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story. His other feature film credits include memorable roles in The Firm, Under Siege, Point Break, and Lethal Weapon. He’s also appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap and Celebrity Apprentice, and became the first American to win Celebrity Big Brother U.K. in 2014. PRO DANCE PARTNER: ANNA TREBUNSKAYA
NICK CARTER The singer, songwriter and actor sparked his career at the tender age of 12 as the youngest member of the iconic boy band Backstreet Boys, which has sold over 130 million records worldwide and earned five Grammy nominations. Carter was named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World,” has released two solo albums, and starred with his fiancé in the VH1 reality series, I Heart Nick Carter. PRO DANCE PARTNER: SHARNA BURGESS
PAULA DEEN One of the best-known personalities in the world of cooking, Paula Deen is the author of 14 cookbooks that have sold more than 8 million copies. In addition to her many television successes, Paula launched Paula Deen Live! in 2014, a nationwide tour of 90 minute shows featuring Paula making her favorite seasonal dishes. On her digital lifestyle network, the Paula Deen Network, Paula provides viewers with cooking tips, new recipes and step-by-step instruction on how to cook her signature Southern dishes in an unscripted format. PRO DANCE PARTNER: LOUIS VAN AMSTEL
VICTOR ESPINOZA After coming close twice, jockey Victor Espinoza earned the famous Triple Crown earlier this year, winning the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes aboard speedy American Pharoah. It was the first time in 37 years the feat had been accomplished. The first Hispanic jockey to ever win the Triple Crown, Espinoza has won over 3000 races in his career and donates 10% of his weekly winnings to The City of Hope for childhood cancer research. PRO DANCE PARTNER: KARINA SMIRNOFF
ANDY GRAMMER With his 2011 self-titled debut album, pop singer Andy Grammer became the first male pop star in a decade to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me,” certified platinum and gold respectively. Andy’s second album, 2014’s critically acclaimed Magazines or Novels, continues his disarming success with his huge hit “Honey, I’m Good.” PRO DANCE PARTNER: ALLISON HOLKER
HAYES GRIER At just 15 years old, Hayes Grier is a rising star in the social media world, with more 3.5 million followers on Vine and more than 2 million Twitter follows. The North Carolina teen shot to fame with his personal videos and is currently on a live tour across the United States. PRO DANCE PARTNER: EMMA SLATER
BINDI IRWIN The 17 year-old Australian wildlife conservationist and actress has continued the legacy of her parents, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and Terri Irwin, starring in a series of wildlife shows, including “Bindi: The Jungle Girl,” “Bindi’s Bootcamp,” and “Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors.” As an actress, Bindi starred in the films Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove and Return to Nim’s Island. In 2014, Bindi was awarded the prestigious Australian Geographic Society’s Young Conservationist of the Year, an honor that she dedicated to her late father, Steve Irwin. PRO DANCE PARTNER: DEREK HOUGH
CHAKA KHAN is an international music icon who has influenced multiple generations of artists and continues to do so as an a singer, songwriter, producer, visual artist, author, actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, activist and mother. A a ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner who has the rare ability to sing in eight music genres, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs. Chaka is currently at work on a series of mixed media visual works with a planned gallery exhibition in 2016, as well as a new CD, set for release later in 2015. PRO DANCE PARTNER: KEO MOTSEPE
ALEXA PENAVEGA Alexa is known worldwide for her role as Carmen Cortez in four blockbuster Spy Kids films, as well as Machette Kills and From Prada to Nada. PenaVega made her Broadway debut in 2007 when she played Penny Pingleton in the Tony Award winning Broadway version of Hairspray. Fans of the ABC hit drama Nashville also know her for her turn as Kiley Brenner. Alexa is married to actor/singer Carlos PenaVega, who will also compete in Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars. PRO DANCE PARTNER: MARK BALLAS
CARLOS PENAVEGA Actor/singer Carlos PenaVega shot to fame and cult status after starring on the highly successful Nickelodeon musical comedy Big Time Rush, which also took to the road and toured with the ensemble cast around the globe. Having studied musical theater at the Boston Conservatory, Carlos recently released his first solo single in Spanish, Electrico, which charted in the Top 10 on the Latin iTunes songs charts. Carlos is married to actress Alex PenaVega, who will also compete in Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars. PRO DANCE PARTNER: WITNEY CARSON
ALEK SKARLATOS Army National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos has joined the Dancing with the Stars Season 21 cast! Alek became a worldwide hero in August when he helped avert a massacre aboard a Belgian train. While on vacation after a deployment in Afghanistan, the 22 year-old sprang into action when an armed attacker began shooting on the train. Alek and two of his friends, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone and student Anthony Sadler, disarmed and subdued the attacker, who was armed with guns and a box cutter. The California native is an avid painter and military history buff. In between National Guard deployments, Alek studies at a local community college and plans to enter the police force. PRO DANCE PARTNER: LINDSAY ARNOLD
KIM ZOLCIAK BIERMANN Known for her blonde wigs, catchy pop songs and her vivacious personality, Kim is also the mother of 6 children. Her socialite status amongst Atlanta’s elite snagged her the reality spot on Bravo’s hit show, Real Housewives of Atlanta. Her debut single, “Tardy for the Party,” reached the number three spot on iTunes. In 2012, Kim released her second single, “Google Me.” In April 2012, Kim’s spin off Don’t be Tardy for the Wedding debuted on Bravo. The series revolved around Kim’s extravagant wedding to NFL Falcons player Kroy Biermann. The series was a huge hit for Bravo, and is currently on air for its fourth season. PRO DANCE PARTNER: TONY DOVOLANI