“Dancing with the Stars” fans could have their work cut out for them as they decide who should take the mirror ball trophy home in season 15. That’s because this round of competition will be like no other, with ABC bringing back champions from seasons past as well as celebrities whose fancy footwork and smooth moves endeared them to the fans week after week.
“We wanted to be able to pick the best of the best and make something that celebrates the range of the dancing and the humor [of the show],” executive producer Conrad Green said as he addressed participants in the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on Friday.
Dubbed the “All-Star” edition of the popular show, season 15 will feature 13 alumni, six of whom have danced their way into the championship spotlight and won it all. They are daytime soap star Kelly Monaco (season one), former 98 Degrees band member Drew Lachey (season two), former Dallas Cowboy star Emmitt Smith (season three), Olympic gold-medal speed skater Apolo Ohno (season four), Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves (season five) and Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson (season eight).
Other celebrities who have signed up for another spin around the dance floor placed in the Top Three for their season: actor and former ‘NSync singer Joey Fatone (runner-up, season four), actor Giles Marini (runner-up) and TV personality Melissa Rycroft (third place) from season eight, Bristol Palin, daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (third place, season 11); and actress Kirstie Alley (runner-up, season 12). Former “Baywatch” babe Pamela Anderson (season 10) will also be returning.
That leaves one open spot on the new season’s roster, which fans are being called upon to fill. Cast your votes for singer Sabrina Bryan (season five), Disney Channel star Kyle Massey (season 11) or fashion commentator Carson Kressley (season 13). Fans can vote now through August 24 at 3 p.m. ET by visiting ABC’s website and may cast five votes each day until the deadline. The “Viewers’ Choice All-Star” will be announced live on “Good Morning America” on Monday, August 27.
“I think half of the people involved in this cast have never been eliminated from the show,” Green said. “Most of the people here have done most of the dances if not all of the dances before.
“We’re going to probably have to recalibrate the judges slightly, otherwise we’ll be starting out with 9s and 10s right out of the box.”
No word yet on which professional dancers will be paired with the All-Stars. That announcement will be made on “Good Morning America” Monday, August 13.
Season 15 of “Dancing with the Stars” begins Monday, September 24 at 8 p.m. ET.