Season 15’s cast of alumni includes:
Actress Kirstie Alley, a second-place finisher season 12; “Baywatch” babe Pamela Anderson (season 10); season five winner and Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves; actor and singer Joey Fatone, who finished second in season four; season eight winner and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson; singer and actor Drew Lachey, season two champ; season eight runner-up, French-American actor Gilles Marini; Olympic gold medalist speed skater and season four victor Apolo Anton Ohno; soap star and season one winner Kelly Monaco; Bristol Palin, who came in third in season 11; another third place finisher, Melissa Rycroft from season eight; and football star Emmitt Smith, season three winner.
In a twist of the non-dancing kind, fans will get to pick one of the returning stars. Viewers can choose between TV personality Carson Kressley, the fifth dancer to get the boot in season 13; singer Sabrina Bryan from season five and Disney Channel star Kyle Massey of season 11. Fans can vote at www.ABC.com/DancingwiththeStars through 2 p.m. Aug. 24 to determine which of the three celebrities will be named the final all-star contestant.
The all-star cast announcement was made Friday morning at a TV critics’ gathering in Los Angeles. At a time when other TV talent shows are in a constant state of flux at the judges’ table, “DWTS” is taking the if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it approach to the network’s most popular show. The familiar faces of judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba will be back as the arbiters of footwork, lifts and holds, while Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet return as hosts.
With no rookies in the ballroom this season, the competition is gearing up to be the toughest yet.
Contestants and their professional dance partners will once again square off each week performing choreographed routines in the live ballroom competition. The couple netting the lowest combined judges’ scores and viewer votes will be sent packing, live, on the following night’s results show.
One new tweak to the show: Fans will be able to vote via Facebook at facebook.com/dancingwiththestars.
“DWTS” season 15 kicks off at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 on WLS-Channel 7.