The season seven Dancing with the Stars cast was officially announced Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America, and after much Internet speculation on who would be joining the show, there are plenty of surprises.
The diverse lineup includes soap star Susan Lucci, recent Beijing Olympics gold medal winner Misty May-Treanor, Kim Kardashian and former ‘N Sync star Lance Bass. The cast also boasts the oldest-ever competitor with actress Cloris Leachman, 82, and the youngest-ever competitor with Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley, 18.
Dancing producer Conrad Green tells PEOPLE that he’s anticipating this season to be one of the show’s best yet. He says, “tons of might be contenders right down to the last week. That’s what want … lots of competition and unpredictable things happening.” What’s sure to also spice up the competition is the return of pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who took last season off. Also, three new dancers will join the show, including Corky Ballas (father of season six champ Mark Ballas), Lacey Schwimmer of 2007’s So You Think You Can Dance, and U.S. Amateur 10 Dance Champion Inna Brayer.
Dancing, which is nominated for eight primetime Emmys this year, kicks off its seventh season on Monday, Sept. 22, on ABC.
“We thought we’d focus on good characters and lots of things could happen. It’s a show that makes itself in some ways,” says Green, adding this bit of advice to fans: “Sit back and get ready for the ride.” –Monica Rizzo and Liza Hamm
Here’s the rundown of celebrity contestants and their professional dance partners ready to mambo for the mirror-ball trophy:
• Toni Braxton, singer, 40, and season one DWTS champ Alec Mazo• Lance Bass, singer, 29, and Lacey Schwimmer• Ted McGinley, actor, 50, and Inna Brayer• Cloris Leachman, actress, 82, and Corky Ballas• Warren Sapp, former NFL star, 35, and Kym Johnson• Rocco DiSpirito, chef, 41, and Karina Smirnoff• Kim Kardashian, TV personality, 27, and reigning DWTS champ Mark Ballas• Maurice Green, Olympic gold medalist track and field star, 34, and two-time DWTS champ Cheryl Burke• Misty May-Treanor, Olympic gold medalist beach volleyball player, 31, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy• Susan Lucci, Emmy-award winning soap opera actress, 61, and Tony Dovolani• Jeffrey Ross, 42, comedian, and Edyta Sliwinska• Cody Linley, 18, actor, and two-time DWTS champ Julianne Hough• Brooke Burke, 36, TV personality, and Derek Hough
Jordan Strauss/WireImage; Dara Kushner/INF