Paula Deen! Tamar Braxton! Kim Zolciak! Meet the Dancing With the Stars Cast
The newest crop of celebrities competing for the Mirrorball Trophy includes Bindi Irwin, Nick Carter and Andy Grammar
Break out your dancing shoes – Dancing with the Stars has unveiled the full roster of season 21 competitors on Wednesday’s Good Morning America.
Paula Deen, Kim Zolciak, Tamar Braxton, and train hero Alek Skarlatos will join previously announced stars Gary Busey, Bindi Irwin, Chaka Khan, Andy Grammer, Nick Carter, Internet sensation Hayes Grier, jockey Victor Espinoza, and the series’ first married contestants: Alexa and Carlos PenaVega.
(For a full list of the contestants and their pro dancer partners, see below.)
“This is going to be more terrifying than jumping on top of a crocodile,” Irwin told PEOPLE, who exclusively broke the news of her casting. Still, the 17-year-old revealed that she will use this “new and exciting adventure” as a way to pay tribute to her late father, Steve Irwin.
“My dad will always be with me in spirit,” Irwin said. “Embarking on this journey, I really want to make him as proud as possible.”
Helping her along that journey will be her partner, Derek Hough, who described the teenage wildlife conservationist as “a breath of fresh air.”
“I’m in this space right now where I’m super pumped on life right now. I feel connected. I feel great. And then she walks in my life. You don’t understand what positive energy she is,” Hough, 30, told PEOPLE at Sunday’s Television Academy Cocktail Reception for Outstanding Choreography at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
As new stars come in, one favorite pro has sadly had to pull out of the competition: Peta Murgatroyd will not be joining the new cast on the dance floor this year, as a surgery required to fix four torn ligaments will leave her on the sidelines for most of this season.
“It was devastating news for me,” the pro told PEOPLE exclusively on Monday. However, Murgatroyd did reveal that despite having to find partner Andy Grammer a new pro, she plans to be in the rehearsal room as much as possible to support the singer.
“I’m just looking forward to being back on my feet as soon as possible and being a part of the show again,” says Murgatroyd, 29. “I’m so in love with the show, and I’m a very competitive person. It’s really sad. It’s super frustrating, but I’m going to fine and I’m going to be back in week eight or nine of the show.”
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Here’s a full list of the stars and their pro partners, who will hit the dance floor together when Dancing with the Stars premieres Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC:
- Alexa PenaVega partnered with Mark Ballas
- Andy Grammer partnered with Allison Holker
- Bindi Irwin partnered with Derek Hough
- Carlos PenaVega partnered with Witney Carson
- Chaka Khan partnered with Keo Motsepe
- Gary Busey partnered with Anna Trebunskaya
- Hayes Grier partnered with Emma Slater
- Kim Zolciak Biermann partnered with Tony Dovolani
- Nick Carter partnered with Sharna Burgess
- Paula Deen partnered with Louis van Amstel
- Tamar Braxton partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Victor Espinoza partnered with Karina Smirnoff
- Alek Skarlatos partnered with Lindsay Arnold