There’s nothing like a sensible fox-trot to make us feel new again.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the Dancing With the Stars season 29 cast, and this morning they weren’t disappointed. A full list of stars was revealed on Good Morning America, and it includes a variety of film, TV, music, and sports celebrities.
Two-time Olympian figure skater Johnny Weir, who came out publicly as gay in his 2011 autobiography Welcome to My World, tops the list alongside bisexual actress Anne Heche, Tiger King star Carole Baskin, rapper Nelly, Netflix’s Cheer star Monica Aldama, Disney Channel star Skai Jackson, and One Day at a Time’s Justina Machado.
Other stars include The Real’s Jeannie May, Catfish’s Nev Schulman, Super Bowl champion Vernon Davis, Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean, The Bachelor’s Kaitlyn Bristowe, Selling Sunset’s Chrisell Stause, and NBA legend Charles Oakley.
The professional dancers include Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Cheryl Burke, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Daniella Karagach, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater, and Britt Stewart (who is the first Black female pro in the show’s history).
As previously announced, Tyra Banks will be making her hosting debut on the show. The supermodel and mogul is replacing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews this season. Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli will be returning as judges.
According to producers, the stars and professionals will adhering to strict COVID-19 safety protocols. According to GMA, one of the new rules is that pros must be quarantine from each other to prevent the elimination of two pros and their celebrity partners should one test positive for the virus.
"Let's just say it's going to be loud and big and sparkly and everything you'd expect from me," Weir told GMA about what to expect from his outfits, which he's been known to design and create himself.
Weir, who is also a staunch LGBTQ+ activist, told The Advocate in a 2014 interview that even though he didn't come out while he was competing in the sport, he's used his platform to shine a light on queer visibility in his own way.
"I never for once in my competitive career was skating in the middle of a performance thinking about my boyfriend or the fact that I was gay or Pride parades. I was thinking about landing my jumps and winning medals," said Weir.
Weir added, “I worked for my whole life for six minutes in front of the world at the Olympics, and being gay had absolutely nothing to do with it.”
Dancing With the Stars season 29 opens Monday on ABC.