Mirrorballs, Spray Tans, and Tigers…Oh My!

Good Morning America revealed the cast for the 29th season of Dancing with the Stars. There are 15 contestants competing to take the mirrorball this season, which is more than a typical season, but also understandable because of restrictions brought on by the pandemic that would include elimination of the team dances. I included the list of the contestants below.

Kaitlyn Bristowe (Bachelorette…yay…)

AJ McLean (Backstreet’s Back, all right!)


Monica Almada

Anne Heche (okay?)

Jeannie Mai

Skai Jackson

Justina Machado

Charles Oakley

Vernon Davis

Nev Schulman (okay?)

Chrishell Stause (former Mrs. Justin Hartley)

Johnny Weir

Carole Baskin (oh lord…)

Jesse Metcalfe

Dancing with the Stars doesn’t get A-List celebrities to compete on the show, which is something that is fairly obvious to those familiar with the show. However, there were several contestants that I was unfamiliar with and make me feel out of touch with pop culture completely. Monica Almada, who is the coach on the docu-series Cheer, is one of those contestants. Guess I’ll be adding Cheer to my list on Netflix. I have to give credit to the show, though. Fans, including myself, have become familiar with those that are I have never heard of or may not be super famous throughout the course of each season. Justina Machado, Chrishell Stause, Skai Jackson, and Charles Oakley also fall into this category and I’m excited to get to know them. I’m elated to see AJ McLean and Johnny Weir as contestants on the show. I was a boy band fan and think AJ McLean will make it pretty far based on his dancing ability. Johnny Weir will also make it far and will be extremely entertaining to watch.

I also have to talk about the elephant (or tiger) in the room. Carole. Baskin. When she was announced to be on this season of Dancing, it reminded a little of the reaction that Sean Spicer received last season when he was announced to be on the 28th season, particularly in how divisive his announcement was. There is a difference between these two, though. There are plenty of fans of Dancing with the Stars and Sean Spicer/Trump that kept him in the competition for a lot longer than he needed to be (I had no issues with his political affiliation by any means, but thought his dancing with atrocious). Carole Baskin is not exactly a well-liked person for those that have seen Tiger King and I’d be hard pressed to find someone that thought she was an endearing character in that documentary. I will give her a chance to redeem her image on the show, but I don’t think her image or her dancing ability will keep her in the competition for very long.

This show has been unpredictable over the last 5 seasons with the contestants that are eliminated and end up in the finals (for those that watch the show, remember Bobby Bones?). If I were going to judge on dancing ability (which, of course, is not something that everyone votes upon), I would have to choose AJ McLean, Vernon Davis, and Johnny Weir in the finals. There could be some dark horses this season, which will be great to see, especially if someone comes in with no dance training and knocks it out of the park (too bad that saying is lost since there are no baseball players competing this season).

September 14th will be here soon enough and it will be interesting to see how this season will play out amid the pandemic as well as how the contestants do. Let the glitter and spray tans (applied with a reasonable distance) commence!



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