President Donald Trump’s former press secretary is among the list of celebrity contestants for the upcoming season

By Jodi Guglielmi
August 21, 2019 10:44 AM
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Sean Spicer has a new job two years after resigning from the White House.

ABC revealed the Dancing with the Stars season 28 cast on Wednesday, introducing a new crop of celebrities into the world of ballroom dancing. From reality stars and athletes to country singers and supermodels, the series tapped stars from every corner of Hollywood.

But perhaps the most surprising contestant? President Donald Trump’s former press secretary.

“The nice thing is Sean will be in charge of assessing audience size,” DWTS host Tom Bergeron joked on Good Morning America.

And the humor wasn’t lost on Spicer. The journalist, who admitted to being dancing-impaired, said he plans to “work really, really, really hard every day,” in order to stay in the competition.

Spicer, 47, resigned in July 2017 after Trump appointed New York financier Anthony Scaramucci to fill the job of communications director. Spicer had been doing double duty as press secretary and acting as White House communications director since Michael Dubke resigned earlier that year.

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Sean Spicer
| Credit: White House press secretary Sean Spicer calls on a member of the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 27, 2017. Spicer discussed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Trump's tax overhaul plan and other topics.

Spicer’s time at the lectern didn’t come without controversy. He famously came under fire for lying about the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration — he drew harsh criticism for his claim that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period” — and scolding veteran White House correspondent April Ryan for shaking her head after she asked a question related to Trump’s connections to Russia.

Spicer was also popularly impersonated by Melissa McCarthy on Saturday Night Live, including a stunt where the actress — in “Spicey” costume — rolled down New York’s 58th St. on a podium on wheels.

Social media also reacted wildly when Spicer hid from reporters “among” the bushes outside the White House following news of the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Karamo Brown, The Bachelorette‘s Hannah Brown, supermodel Christie Brinkley, country star Lauren Alaina, actor James Van Der Beek, NFL legend Ray Lewis, The Office star Kate Flannery, pop star Ally Brooke, Lamar Odom, Kel Mitchell and Mary Wilson round of the contestants for season 28 of DWTS.

This season, the pro dance partner pairings won’t be unveiled until the premiere.

And on Tuesday, ABC confirmed to PEOPLE that DWTS alum and fan-favorite pro Peta Murgatroyd will return after leaving the show in 2017.

Season 28 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Sept. 16 on ABC.