Dwts cast season 26

‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 26: All-athletes cast includes Tonya Harding, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“Dancing with the Stars” returns on April 30 with a celebrity cast of 10 athletes, all of whom will team with professional dancers from the ABC reality series.

The lineup includes three Olympic figure skaters, a former Los Angeles Lakers superstar, an Olympic gold medal-winning softball player, a Notre Dame women’s basketball hero, an American luger, a gold medal-winning Olympic snowboarder, a former World Series-winning baseball player and an NFL cornerback.

Here’s a full list of the Season 26 teams, along with biographical excerpts on the athletes from the show’s publicist.

ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten

“Ice skater Mirai Nagasu has never backed down from a challenge. She was one of the youngest competitors to win a national title in 2008 and has remained one of the top competitors in the world today. Nagasu earned a spot to represent the U.S. in the 2018 Olympics at the age of 24, where she made history by becoming the first American woman to land a triple Axel in an Olympic Winter Games. She performed the difficult three-and-a-half revolution jump, helping Team USA win a bronze medal in the Olympic team event.

“An only child, Nagasu was born to parents Kiyoto and Ikuko Nagasu and raised in Arcadia, Calif., where her parents own a sushi restaurant. As the daughter of Japanese immigrants, she holds dual citizenship in the United States and Japan.

“She began skating at the age of 5 and won the U.S. junior national title at the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash. The following year, in St. Paul, Minn., she won the U.S. senior title. In 2010, with the Olympics on the line, Nagasu placed second at the 2010 U.S. Championships. She placed fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.

“In the ensuing years, Nagasu battled injuries and coaching changes, but her passion for skating never wavered. In January 2018, Nagasu was praised by many for her dedication to the sport. She also proved she is still one of the toughest competitors as she won the silver medal.

“Nagasu graduated from Capistrano Connections Academy in 2011. She is enrolled at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and has been taking business classes. She has three dogs — Lexi, Lincoln and Liberty — and she is an athlete Ambassador for the charity Right to Play.”

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ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber

“Tonya Harding’s love of ice-skating began at an early age. She won her first competition at the age of 5. By age 8, she completed her first triple jump, and by age 12, she began experimenting with her trademark jump, the triple axel, and had already won several medals in numerous competitions.

“In 1988, she became the first American woman to win a Russian award as a figure skater. In 1991 at Senior Nationals, Harding skated two perfect programs and won her first national title. She received a 6.0 for technical merit, the first perfect score any woman had received in this competition in nearly two decades. During her title-winning program, Harding attempted and landed the difficult triple axel. By doing so, she became the first American woman to even attempt this jump, let alone successfully perform it in a competition.

“Harding then went on to Worlds. She earned the silver medal in that competition. Soon after, at Skate America, she performed the jump once again, breaking two world records and winning the championship.

“In 1991, Harding began touring with Tom Collins Champions on Ice. In 1992, she competed in her First Olympics at Albertville, France, placing fourth. In 1994, she once again won the Nationals title and went on to compete at her second Olympics. However, a scandal involving Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly Stone, and some of his friends changed her skating career and dreams of Olympic gold forever.

“In 1999, Harding made a comeback in the skating world. She was invited to compete in her first competition in five years at the ESPN professional competition in Huntington, W.V., where she placed second.

“In 2003, she appeared on the Fox reality show ‘Celebrity Boxing,’ and not long afterward, she was contacted by several people in the professional boxing world. She hired trainers and became a professional boxer. She had a total of six boxing matches. Her current pro standing is 3-3. She has boxed in 10-12 exhibition matches.

“A feature film about Harding’s life, ‘I, Tonya,’ was released in 2017. She is married and has a son.”

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ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lindsay Arnold

“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a six-time NBA champion and the league’s only six-time MVP.

“He is one of a handful of influential and respected black men in America who has a national platform as a regular contributing columnist for newspapers and magazines around the world, such as The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter, where he shares his thoughts on some of the most socially relevant and politically controversial topics facing our nation today. After 50 years as an athlete and activist, he offers his perspectives as a nationally recognized speaker who regularly appears on the lecture circuit.

“Currently, Abdul-Jabbar serves as the chairman of his Skyhook Foundation, whose mission is to ‘Give Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked’ by bringing educational opportunities to underserved communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning.

“A New York Times best-selling author, he has written 14 books, including two memoirs. Before leaving office, President Barack Obama awarded Abdul-Jabbar The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.”

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ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson

“One of the most dramatic figure skaters on the planet, Adam Rippon won the hearts of America and the world at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Known for his refreshing candor and wit, his rise to fame on the global stage has provided him with a platform to speak out in support of LGBTQ rights and the freedom to be oneself.

“In addition to his recent team bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Rippon has garnered nine medals on the international circuit over the last four years, including the 2016 U.S. men’s championship title.

“The oldest of six children from Scranton, Pa., Rippon got a relatively late start as a skater at the age of 10. But once he started skating, he never looked back. He rose through the skating ranks, claiming the world junior title twice before winning the U.S. men’s title in 2016. He was named to his first Olympic team in 2018 at the age of 28.

“Rippon also made the bold decision to come out publicly in October 2015 in an interview with Skating magazine, which led him to become the first openly gay athlete to represent the United States in Olympic competition.”

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ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess

“Josh Norman became the highest-paid NFL cornerback in 2016 upon signing with the Washington Redskins, after spending his previous four seasons with the Carolina Panthers. As he enters the seventh season of his NFL career, he remains an elite athletes at his position.

“He is a weekly analyst for FOX NFL Kickoff during the NFL season. Norman has been featured on the covers of ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated Kids and Haute Living publications. He has also appeared on sports and entertainment TV shows.

“The Greenwood, S.C. native is passionate about giving back to his hometown community as well as providing academic enrichment opportunities for youth through his foundation, Starz24.”

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ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson

“Born in Massachusetts, Chris Mazdzer was just a few years old when his family moved to the Adirondack region of upstate New York, not far from Lake Placid, site of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games and home to one of only two luge tracks in the U.S. That’s where Mazdzer got his start at just 8 years old.

“Given the choice to try bobsled or luge, he picked luge simply because the line of other kids was shorter, so he got more turns to go racing down the icy track in a single afternoon. Twenty years later, on February 12, 2018, on the other side of the world in PyeongChang, South Korea, Mazdzer made history becoming the first-ever American athlete to win a medal in the Men’s Single Luge event.

“Mazdzer has a degree in business administration and finance, and when he’s done with his athletic career, he plans to be a financial consultant. Mazdzer is continuing his training and intends to compete for Team USA one last time in 2022, in what will be his fourth Olympic Games.”

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ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Jamie Anderson and Artem Chigvintsev

“Jamie Anderson is one of the top female snowboarders in the world and has won a record 15 X Games medals since she was 15 years old. Known for her snowboarding style, amplitude and strength, Anderson led the U.S. medal sweep with a gold medal at the first-ever Olympic Slopestyle competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and successfully defended her gold medal in Slopestyle at the 2018 Winter Olympics Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“She also took the silver medal in the Olympic debut of Big Air Snowboarding, earning her second medal of the Games and making Olympic history as the first female snowboarder to earn two gold medals and the first female snowboarder to win two medals at a single Olympics.

“Anderson was born in South Lake Tahoe, California, into a family of eight children. Her passion for the outdoors began early, since her parents homeschooled Anderson and her sisters, and urged them to spend their days outside exploring nature. She began snowboarding at the age of 9 and went on to become the most decorated rider in X Games Slopestyle history.

“Anderson strives to use her platform as an opportunity to make the world a happier and more healthy place. She has actively supported environmental causes and started a foundation geared towards creating snowboarding scholarships and support for kids who can’t afford to ride.”

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ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Jennie Finch Daigle and Keo Motsepe

“Softball star Jennie Finch Daigle was born on September 3, 1980, in La Mirada, Calif., and grew up in a close-knit family. She was excited when just after her fifth birthday, her parents signed her up for her first T-ball league. She couldn’t wait to play just like her brothers, but this was even cooler because girls were doing it.

“Her love for the game and competitive nature were evident from the start, as was her natural athletic ability. She had great hand-eye coordination, and she was bigger and faster than most of her teammates. She also had a cannon for an arm.

“She started pitching at age 8, with her father as her personal coach. By the time she was 9, she was playing for a 10-and-under traveling all-star team. At age 12, she led the California Cruisers to the 12-and-under American Softball Association national title in Chattanooga, Tenn. In 1995, Daigle’s ASA team captured the 14-and-under crown.

“In 2004 at the Olympics in Athens, the team dominated their competitors and won the gold. Sports Illustrated hailed them as the greatest team of all time. Daigle returned home from Athens, and her popularity soared. Endorsement deals from major brands followed and allowed Daigle to continue to play.

“In early 2005, Daigle and her boyfriend, former Major League Baseball pitcher Casey Daigle, were married. She continued to play softball for the USA National Team and for the Chicago Bandits, a National Pro Fastpitch team. The following year, in May 2006, Jennie and Casey had their first baby, a little boy named Ace. Through it all, she kept training and pitching.

“In 2008, in the lead-up to the Olympics in Beijing, the U.S. embarked on the Bound 4 Beijing Tour, with 46 stops over several months. It was a bittersweet time for teammates who had played together so long, knowing that a decision was pending with the International Olympic Committee about whether or not the sport they loved would continue as part of the Olympics past Beijing. The long road ultimately ended up with a heartbreaking loss, first in the Olympics to Japan in the final game, and then with the vote to eliminate softball from future Olympics.

“Following the Olympics, Daigle Jennie quickly regrouped and looked toward the future. She continues to act as an ambassador for both the game of softball and for female athletes in general. She conducts camps across the country and has her very own softball academy in Flemington, N.J., giving girls opportunities to learn and grow.”

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ABC photo/Craig Sjodin

Johnny Damon and Emma Slater

“A Major League Baseball star for 18 seasons, Johnny Damon is one of the most respected and durable players in MLB. After winning the 2004 World Series with the Boston Red Sox and achieving star status in New England, Damon signed with the New York Yankees in 2006. In 2009, he won a World Series with the Yankees, joining Babe Ruth as the only full-time, everyday players to achieve World Series rings with both the Red Sox and Yankees.

“A leader by example, Damon spends a lot of time doing charity work through his Johnny Damon Foundation. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and eight children in Central Florida, where he has lived since he was 6.”

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ABC photos

Arike Ogunbowale and Gleb Savchenko

“Arike Ogunbowale, a 2018 All American and Final Four Most Outstanding Player, is a junior at Notre Dame. She’s a member of the women’s basketball team, which recently won the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. She was also named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player this year.

“During her college career, Ogunbowale has earned multiple honors, including Naismith Trophy Top-30, NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Performer, NCAA All-Regional Team, WBCA All-Region Team, ACC All-Tournament First-Team, EspnW National Player of the Week (11/21/16), Preseason WNIT Tournament MVP and ACC Player of the Week (11/14/16). She is a five-time USA Basketball medalist with four gold and one silver.

“Ogunbowale graduated from Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee, Wisc., where she scored 2,240 points in her career, making her sixth on the Wisconsin all-time scoring list.

“Her first name means ‘something that you see and you cherish’ in her father’s native Nigeria.”

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ABC photo/Eric McCandless

Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will return as hosts of “Dancing with the Stars” in Season 26. The all-athletes edition of the ABC reality series debuts on April 30 at 7 p.m. CT.

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ABC photo/Eric McCandless

From left, Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli return as judges for Season 26 of “Dancing with the Stars.”

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ABC photo/Lou Rocco

The Season 26 cast of “Dancing with the Stars” was announced today on “Good Morning America.” Officially, this season is known as “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,” and the run of the show has been shortened to four weeks.

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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 26 cast revealed: Tonya Harding, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and more

The 26th season of Dancing With the Stars is shaping up to be a doozy, with notable athletic personalities like figure skater Tonya Harding and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joining the fray.

READ MORE: Ontario teen Faith Dickinson receives invite to royal wedding

The cast of the all-athletes season was revealed Friday on Good Morning America. Here is the complete list of participants and their professional partners:

Adam Rippon, Olympian figure skater, paired with Jenna Johnson
Arike Ogunbowale, college basketball player, with Gleb Savchenko
Chris Mazdzer, Olympian luger, with Witney Carson
Jamie Anderson, Olympian snowboarder, with Artem Chigvintsev
Jennie Finch Daigle, former softball pitcher, with Keo Motsepe
Johnny Damon, former MLB outfielder, with Emma Slater
Josh Norman, NFL cornerback, with Sharna Burgess
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former NBA superstar, with Lindsay Arnold
Mirai Nagasu, Olympian figure skater, with Alan Bersten
Tonya Harding, former competitive skater, with Sasha Farber

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Returning to the judges’ table are some familiar faces: Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli will return, while Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews are resuming their hosting duties.

READ MORE: Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt sign on for ‘Mad About You’ reboot

This is the first time that the show will feature athletes only, but other famous folks in sport have taken home the coveted DWTS mirror ball trophy before, including footballer Emmitt Smith, speedskater Apolo Ohno and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

The all-athlete edition of DWTS premieres at 8 p.m. E.T. on April 30.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

‘Dancing with the Stars’: Everything We Know About Season 26’s All-Athletes Star Cast

Dancing with the Stars fans are gearing up for another season of the reality dance competition. Season 26 will be unlike any other because this season is the first ever all-athletes edition.

In past seasons, athletes have done particularly well on the show. Several have even won the Mirrorball trophy, so this 26th season promises to be one most competitive yet. Here, we’ve compiled a list of all the celebrity athletes joining the cast and which pro dancer they’re partnered up with.

We also have more secrets about the upcoming season, including the one athlete who people are already calling “the one to beat” (page 5). Here’s everything we know so far about Dancing with the Stars: Athletes.

The new format

The new season brings some new changes. | Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Caruso Affiliated

Season 26 will be DWTS‘ shortest season to date as it will only last four weeks. That means that the new season, which starts on April 30 and ends on May 21, 2018, will feature a double elimination every single week.

Prior seasons of the show have all lasted 10 weeks or more.

Next: This infamous figure skater has signed on.

Tonya Harding

Tonya Harding | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Banished from the sport of figure skating for her involvement in the 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan, fellow figure skater Tonya Harding is one of the 10 contestants set to compete.

In 2017, Harding embarked on what some called a redemption tour with the release of her biopic I, Tonya. Her choice to join the cast will be another chance to try and repair her image. She will be partnered up with pro Sasha Farber.

Kerrigan actually appeared on Season 24 of DWTS. However, she was sent home in Episode 7 of the competition. Other Olympic figure skaters to win the Mirrorball trophy include Kristi Yamaguchi and Meryl Davis.

Next: This popular Olympian was the first to be confirmed.

Adam Rippon

Adam Rippon | Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Leading up to and during the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Adam Rippon won the hearts of so many Americans and the figure skater was one of the first athletes confirmed to be competing on the show. Rippon’s partner will be pro Jenna Johnson.

He won a bronze medal in the team skate at the Olympics and now has his sights set on winning the coveted Mirrorball.

Next: This gold medalist will be joining the cast.

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who won the gold in Sochi, Russia, and repeated that feat four years later in Pyeongchang, will be joining the cast of athletes as well for the upcoming season. She and pro dancer Artem Chigvintsev will be partners this season.

Fellow snowboarders Louie Vito Jr. and Amy Purdy have previously competed on DWTS.

Next: This Olympian and softball player will also be appearing.

Jennie Finch Daigle

Jennie Finch | Andy Kropa/Getty Image

Softball player and two-time Olympian Jennie Finch Daigle will also be featured on the sports-themed season, and everyone should keep an eye on her as she has already been called “the one to beat.”

“They’ve actually been wanting her on the show for years,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. “Finally, it’s working out and everyone is very excited. She’s great on camera and very competitive. She will be the one to beat.”

She’ll be competing with pro Keo Motsepe.

Next: This basketball legend will test his moves in the ballroom.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be strutting his stuff on the dance floor.

He is a six-time NBA champ and the tallest athlete to appear this season at 7-foot-2. His pro partner, Lindsay Arnold, is also a champ as she won the Mirrorball trophy in Season 25. We can’t wait to see if the pair can use their height difference as an advantage when they hit the ballroom.

Next: This retired MLB player will try to win it all.

Johnny Damon

Johnny Damon | Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Former baseball outfielder Johnny Damon is going to see what he can do in the reality competition.

Damon has World Series Championships with Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees and is now hoping he can add a Mirrorball trophy to that. We’ll be watching to see how well he does with his pro partner, Emma Slater.

Next: A Luger is also entering the competition.

Chris Mazdzer

Chris Mazdzer | Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Chris Mazdar is an American Luger and silver medalist who may be able to earn some more hardware for his collection.

The three-time Olympian will be paired up with Witney Carson as they lay it all out there in their quest for a Mirrorball trophy this season.

Next: This NFL player will see if his skills translate to the ballroom.

Josh Norman

Josh Norman | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Josh Norman can cover wideouts on the football field but can he dance?

We’ll find out if the Washington Redskins cornerback can do just that as he competes for the Mirrorball trohy with pro partner and fan favorite, Sharna Burgess.

Next: This college basketball star has signed on too.

Arike Ogunbowale

Arike Ogunbowale | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Notre Dame women’s basketball star Arike Ogunbowale has also signed on this season.

Ogunbowale hit the game-winning shots in both the semifinal and national championship games in the Women’s Final Four. She’s now ready to try and be a star again when she teams up with pro partner Gleb Savchenko.

Next: Another figure skater will take the floor.

Mirai Nagasu

Mirai Nagasu | Mirai Nagasu via Instagram

Mirai Nagusu will also be trading in her skates to join the all-athletes cast.

Nagusu won a bronze medal in the team event in Pyeongchang and will now, along with pro partner Alan Bersten, look to dance her way to the finals and come out on top this season.

Next: Are all the judges returning?

Judges and hosts confirmed

An exciting panel | Dancing with the Stars via Instagram

It’s been confirmed that both Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will be back to host the competition. More good news for fans: The three judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli will all be returning to critique the sports stars’ dances.

Julianne Hough, however, will likely not be back in the judge’s chair at all this season.

Next: Just how much dough are the athletes making?

How much do the athletes get paid?

Celebrities dance their way to a pretty good hunk of pocket change. | ABC

One detail that people usually inquire about is just how much the contestants get paid to go on the show and if the winner gets a cash bonus.

In 2010, Gawker uncovered that contestants were paid on a sliding scale. So, each star received a flat of $125,000 for signing up but they make more based on how far they get. Anyone who makes it to Weeks 3 and 4 earn an additional $10,000 and that amount increases by $10,000 every week after that.

As for the winner, they get paid the same amount as the finalists who make it to the last week of competition with them, which is reportedly around $345,000 for the three finalists.

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‘Dancing With the Stars’ all-athletes cast: Tonya Harding, Adam Rippon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Tonya Harding says there’s a good chance she’s about to cry on network TV.

No, the tears won’t have anything to do with falling during a competition, or her involvement with the attack on Nancy Kerrigan ahead of the 1994 Olympics. Harding, the figure skater recently immortalized in the biopic I, Tonya, anticipates she’ll break down while competing as one of the new contestants on Dancing With the Stars.

“It’s been a very, very long time since I had people respect me in any way, so that’s where the emotion comes in,” she says. “If I get a standing ovation or have a huge crowd that does like me, I’ll cry. Since I’ve become a mommy, I have more emotions.”

Harding, 47, teamed with dance partner Sasha Farber, is one of the 10 pairings on Season 26’s all-athlete edition of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, premiering April 30 (8 ET/PT).

Joining her is fellow Olympic skater Adam Rippon, who will be paired with ballroom pro Jenna Johnson.

“I have a few cousins, that when they found out, they literally had to hang up the phone and scream,” says the 28-year-old breakout figure-skating star of the Pyeongchang Winter Games. “They were more excited (about this show) than the Olympics.”

Also competing are several other fellow Olympians: figure skater Mirai Nagasu, 24 (paired with partner Alan Bersten); luger Chris Mazdzer, 29 (with Witney Carson); snowboarder Jamie Anderson, 27 (with Artem Chigvintsev); and softball player Jennie Finch Daigle, 37 (with Keo Motsepe).

The rest of the 10 athletes have other sports backgrounds: retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 70 (with Lindsay Arnold); retired baseball player Johnny Damon, 44 (with Emma Slater); Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, 30 (with Sharna Burgess); and Notre Dame women’s basketball star Arike Ogunbowale, 21 (with Gleb Savchenko).

“I’m excited that it’s all athletes and I know that everybody’s gonna be bringing it,” says Rippon, who admits he’s been envisioning himself on the show while watching it the past five years. “When the stakes are high, I always like that.”

Figure skaters do well on DWTS: Kristi Yamaguchi and Meryl Davis took home their own mirrorball trophies in 2008 and 2014, respectively. But transitioning from the ice to the ballroom floor takes work.

“Everyone knows I wasn’t very dainty (when I skated), but I want to do the beautiful dances. Sasha has his work cut out for him,” Harding says. Earlier in her career, she spent six months pairs skating, and learned to land a throw triple salchow.

“I’ve never danced with anyone before, (but) I’m going to push myself as far as I can go,” Rippon says. “It’s going to be hard to not look like I have biscuits at the end of my legs.”

Both began rehearsing for the competition only this week, but they already know that outrageous outfits are in their future.

“Oh my God, I haven’t been in anything skimpy in a really long time. I can’t wait to lose 10 pounds,” says Harding, who famously made her own skating outfits growing up. “I am open to (wearing) everything as long as the hoo-hoo is covered and my boobies don’t pop out.”

Rippon, who made a bold fashion statement at this year’s Oscars in a harness-tuxedo ensemble, promises “something that feels very me, but also pushes the limit” on the dance floor.

“On the ice, I always push myself fashion-wise,” he says. “Why would I stop here?”

‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 26 Cast Revealed

“Dancing With the Stars” revealed the contestants for its special 26th season, which features a cast full of athletes competing to take home the mirror-ball trophy.

The dancers-in-training were revealed on “Good Morning America” Friday morning. Previously announced cast members were Olympians Adam Rippon, Jamie Anderson, Jennie Finch, and Tonya Harding.

Rounding out the list of 10 athletes are Josh Norman, Arike Ogunbowale, Chris Mazdzer, Johnny Damon, Mirai Nagasu, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Lindsay Arnold is returning to defend her title after winning last season with musician Jordan Fisher. The professional dancers joining her are Sharna Burgess, Witney Carson, Emma Slater, Jenna Johnson, Gleb Savchenko, Artem Chigvintsev, Keo Motsepe, Alan Bersten, and Sasha Farber.

Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli will be back at the judges’ table, and Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will return as hosts.

It’s not surprising the ABC competition series is focusing on athletes this season given the continued success of athletes on the show such as past winners Emmitt Smith, Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, and Laurie Hernandez.

The new season of “” premieres April 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. This season will be the shortest to date for the series, lasting only four weeks with double eliminations every week.

The full pairings are below:

  • with Jenna Johnson
  • Arike Ogunbowale with Gleb Savchenko
  • Chris Mazdzer with Witney Carson
  • Jamie Anderson with Artem Chigvintsev
  • Jennie Finch Daigle with Keo Motsepe
  • Johnny Damon with Emma Slater
  • Josh Norman with Sharna Burgess
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Lindsay Arnold
  • Mirai Nagasu with Alan Bersten
  • with Sasha Farber


The wait is (almost) over, after ABC announced its official roster for its all-athletes edition of Dancing With the Stars on Good Morning America Friday.

Season 26 will see 10 athletes participate in the four-week live event. This is shorter than the competition’s normal 10-to-11-week stint. The change could likely be attributed to the network’s American Idol reboot, Entertainment Weekly reported.

The selected athletes may have a shorter time to compete for the top prize, but ABC welcomed them to “sparkle up their uniforms and lace up their dancing shoes as they ready themselves for their first dance on the ballroom floor,” in a press release issued to Newsweek.

Season 26’s lineup includes some of the best. To make this athletes edition extra special, the show invited three Olympic figure skaters, a former Los Angeles Lakers and a gold-medal-winning Olympic snowboarder, among others.

Olympic figure skaters Adam Rippon and Tonya Harding are confirmed to compete in Season 26. Both had long been rumored to be featured in the show’s all-athletes edition.

Deena Katz, the show’s casting director and co-executive producer, said she watched every sport shown in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games to round out this season’s cast of athletes.

“You want, as a fan, to be excited to watch because whoever the ice skater, snowboarder, whatever it is that stole your heart, and that you love or that talked or everyone’s talking about, you want to see them on the show,” Katz told WXIA-TV, Atlanta’s NBC-affiliated station in February. “So I really try to watch as a fan and change my cast as I see how they’re doing.”

This isn’t the first time Dancing With the Stars has cast athletes. Emmitt Smith, Kristi Yamaguchi, Apolo Ohno, Meryl Davis and Shawn Johnson are among a growing list of athletes who have competed in the series (and won their respective seasons, too).

Dancing With the Stars: Athletes is scheduled to kick off April 30 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Here’s a full roster of the casted athletes with their professional dance partner:

  • Adam Rippon with Jenna Johnson
  • Arike Ogunbowale with Gleb Savchenko
  • Chris Mazdzer with Witney Carson
  • Jamie Anderson with Artem Chigvintsev
  • Jennie Finch Daigle with Keo Motsepe
  • Johnny Damon with Emma Slater
  • Josh Norman with Sharna Burgess
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Lindsay Arnold
  • Mirai Nagasu with Alan Bersten
  • Tonya Harding with Sasha Farber

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon was cast in Season 26 of “Dancing With the Stars.” Here, Rippon attends the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on April 12. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Dancing with the Stars: Athletes
Presented By: Tom Bergeron
Erin Andrews
Judges: Len Goodman
Carrie Ann Inaba
Bruno Tonioli
Original Channel: ABC
Original Run: 30 April – 21 May 2018
Season Champions
Celebrity Winner: Adam Rippon
Professional Winner: Jenna Johnson
Series Chronology
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Season 25
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Season 27

Dancing with the Stars: Athletes is an interim, special of Dancing with the Stars. It premiered 30 April 2018.

The special lasted four weeks and only featured athletes.

Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews returned as hosts. Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba all returned as judges.

On 21 May 2018, Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson were announced as the winners; NFL player Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess placed second; and former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber placed third.



The professional dancers were revealed 12 April 2018. The eight professionals returning from last season are Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, Keo Motsepe, Gleb Savchenko, and Emma Slater.

The two remaining professional dancers were both in the troupe last season, and have previously been professional dancers on the show: Sasha Farber (last competed in season 24) and Jenna Johnson (last competed in season 23).

The five professionals from last season that did not return are Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, and Valentin Chmerkovskiy.

The celebrity cast was revealed 13 April on Good Morning America.


Celebrity Known for Professional Partner Result
Eliminated 1st
on 30 April 2018
Former MLB
Former NBA
Eliminated 2nd
on 7 May 2018
Basketball player Gleb
Former Olympic
softball pitcher
Eliminated 3rd
on 14 May 2018
Olympic Luger Witney
Figure skater Alan
Former Olympic
figure skater
Third place
NFL player Sharna
figure skater

Scoring Charts

Red numbers Indicates the lowest score for each week. Green numbers Indicates the highest score for each week.

The returning couple that was the last to be called safe.

The couple was eliminated that week.

The winning couple.

The runner-up couple.

The third place couple.

Average Scoring Chart

This table only counts dances scored on a 30-point scale (scores by guest judges and points awarded in the dance-offs are excluded).

Rank by
Place Couple Total
of dances
1 1 Adam & Jenna 166 6 27.7
2 2 Josh & Sharna 155 25.8
4 Mirai & Alan 103 4
4 3 Tonya & Sasha 151 6 25.2
5 7 Arike & Gleb 71 3 23.7
6 4 Chris & Witney 94 4 23.5
7 Jennie & Keo 88 22.0
8 7 Kareem & Lindsay 60 3 20.0
9 9 Jamie & Artem 19 1 19.0
10 Johnny & Emma 18 18.0

Highest- and Lowest-Scoring Performances

The best and worst performances in each dance according to the judges’ 30-point scale (scores by guest judges are excluded) are as follows:

Dance Highest scored dancer(s) Highest score Lowest scored dancer(s) Lowest score
Salsa Mirai Nagasu 23 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 19
Cha-Cha-Cha Adam Rippon
Josh Norman
24 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 17
Foxtrot Mirai Nagasu
Josh Norman
27 Johnny Damon 18
Viennese Waltz Tonya Harding 26 Jamie Anderson 19
Paso Doble Josh Norman 23
Quickstep Adam Rippon 28 Tonya Harding 24
Team dances Jennie Finch Daigle
Mirai Nagasu
Arike Ogunbowale
Adam Rippon
27 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Tonya Harding
Chris Mazdzer
Josh Norman
Rumba Tonya Harding 24
Contemporary Adam Rippon 29 Josh Norman 27
Jazz Adam Rippon 30
Freestyle Tonya Harding
Josh Norman
30 Adam Rippon 28

Couples’ Highest- and Lowest-Scoring Dances

Scores are based upon a potential 30-point maximum (team dances and scores by guest judges are excluded).

Weekly Scores

Individual judges’ scores in the charts below (given in parentheses) are listed in this order from left to right: Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli.

Week 1: First Dances

  • This week featured a double elimination.

Week 2

Individual judges’ scores in the charts below (given in parentheses) are listed in this order from left to right: Carrie Ann Inaba, Rashad Jennings, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli.

  • This week featured a double elimination.

Week 3: MVP Night (Semifinals)

Individual judges’ scores in the charts below (given in parentheses) are listed in this order from left to right: Carrie Ann Inaba, David Ross, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli.

  • This week featured a triple elimination.
  • The couples performed one unlearned dance dedicated to the “MVP” in their lives, and participated in “ballroom battle” Dance-Offs for extra points.
  • Former contestants were brought in to mentor the couples for the ballroom battles.
    • Nastia Liukin mentored Jennie & Keo and Tonya & Sasha.
    • Meryl Davis mentored Adam & Jenna and Mirai & Alan.
    • Von Miller mentored Chris & Witney and Josh & Sharna.


Week 4: Finale


  • This marks the first win for Jenna Johnson.
  • Adam Rippon is the first openly gay person to win Dancing with the Stars.
  • Having hosted the show for a ninth season, Erin Andrews became the longest running co-host.
    • She surpasses Samantha Harris and Brooke Burke who each co-hosted for eight seasons.
  • This is the first season that no professionals that have competed from seasons 1 through 15 were competing.


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