Dancing with the Stars' 29th season ever kicks off Monday, Sept. 14 and when it does, it'll be its most unorthodox ever. With no studio audience, judges (who now include Derek Hough) at an extra-large table, and new host Tyra Banks hosting, DWTS might look quite a bit different than usual, even if its the same show fundamentally. Producers have been slowly leaking details about what to expect, while promising a few tricks and surprises to come as well.
There's a whole lot we still don't know about Season 29, but we are starting to get some details about what to expect. Read on to find out what we know about DWTS Season 29 so far.
Season 29 will premiere Monday, Sept. 14 at 8/7c on ABC. Episodes will appear the next day on Hulu.
The full list of celebrity competitors has been revealed. And it's a wild one. Standouts include Tiger King's infamous animal activist Carole Baskin, Disney star and meme queen Skai Jackson, rapper Nelly, former Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, and Selling Sunset's Chrishell Stause. Check out the rest of lineup here.
The professional dancer lineup includes Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Cheryl Burke, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Daniella Karagach, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater, and Britt Stewart.
Dancing with the Stars is coming back with a new vision. Valerie Bruce, a general manager on the show, said in a recent statement that ABC is taking "this iconic show in a new creative direction," which is pretty vague, but also telling. This could mean that just about everything we know about the show could be up for a refresh, from where it's shot to how it runs. A season full of outdoor performances? Socially distanced backup dancers wearing masks? Could contestants do contactless partner dances? Nobody ever promised the dancing stars had to touch!
It has a new host. You knew this, since you were no doubt knocked off your feet when it was announced in mid-July that Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews would be replaced by America's Next Top Model queen Tyra Banks. Banks will serve as both host and executive producer of the series, and while fans of the show are still trying to determine what exactly led to the surprising change, Bergeron was quick to shut down theories that Banks' hire had anything to do with a push for diversity. Responding to a comment on his Instagram that suggested Banks' hiring was due in part to the Black Lives Matter movement, Bergeron wrote, "Hadn't planned to say any more about my departure yet but, as a supporter of the @Blklivesmatter movement, I can assure you that wasn't the reason." Banks herself explained it all to TV Guide in a recent interview.
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My “career,” which only seems to have a logical progression when viewed in hindsight, is, to me, a story of friendships rather than shows. And if, in the course of making those friends, one of them happens to be someone you’ve idolized since childhood, you damn well better realize how blessed you are. To all of you friends I’ve yet to meet, thank you for your kind words this week. I’m humbled. And now, overwhelmed by your flattery, very likely impossible to live with 😉❤️
Derek Hough is filling in for Len Goodman at the judges' table. Len won't be gone entirely though: he's not appearing in studio because of Covid-related safety precautions but he is expected to appear virtually/by remote on occasion.
Some details about performances are available already. Some clear frontrunners and...not-so frontrunners are starting to emerge, including Tiger King's animal activist Carole Baskin, who told TV Guide that while she isn't the best dancer, she is dancing to "Eye of The Tiger." So, there's that.
Dancing with the Stars Season 29 premieres on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8/7c on ABC.