Season 17 of “Dancing With The Stars” (DWTS) is only a few weeks away. There has been plenty of speculation over who would make up the celebrity cast, but now all has been revealed.
This season's cast includes everyone from a sitcom legend to a reality star, a football champion, and a pop singer. They'll all be strapping on their dancing shoes and taking to the ballroom on Monday, September 16 to go toe-to-toe for the coveted mirror ball trophy.
The 17th season of DWTS not only has new celebrities — and a few new professionals — it also has a new format. The show will now be a two hour long show, one night a week that will include competitive dancing, group numbers, musical acts, and an elimination.
So who are the new stars ready to compete? Take a look!
Amber Riley, best known for her role of Mercedes Jones on FOX's Golden Globe, Peabody and SAG Award winning musical comedy Glee, got her first big break when Ryan Murphy cast her in the pilot St. Sass. Although the pilot was not picked up to series, she was able to use that experience to land a role on the television series Cedric the Entertainer Presents. Amber has performed in numerous theater productions, including Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Into the Woods and Mystery on the Docks with the Los Angeles Opera. In November 2012, she made her New York stage debut to rave reviews in New York City Center's Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Parade. Amber has received two individual NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy series for her work on Glee. In 2011, she was nominated for a second Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Female Scene Stealer and in 2010 received the Most Popular Geek Award at AOL's 11st Annual Geek Awards. Amber previously served as an Ambassador for VH-1's Save the Music Foundation and as a member of Seventeen Magazine's Body Peace Council. She is currently in the studio working on her debut solo album.
Bill Engvall is a Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist and one of the top comedians in the country. Currently, Engvall can be heard on the animated comedy series Bounty Hunters, airing on CMT. He previously starred in, and executive produced, the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show.
Engvall was part of the enormously successful Blue Collar Comedy concert films, which sold over 9 million units and received a Grammy nomination. He also starred on the WB's hit sketch comedy show Blue Collar TVand in several solo specials for Comedy Central. In 2012 he reunited with Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy on the Them Idiots Whirled Tour, which aired as a special on CMT. Engvall's first album, Here's Your Sign, is certified platinum and held the #1 position on the Billboard Comedy Chart for 15 straight weeks. His second album, Dorkfish,also debuted at #1 on Billboard's Comedy Chart, as did his subsequent comedy albums.Engvall has written several books, including his 2007 autobiography Bill Engvall –Just A Guy.
A native of Galveston, Texas, Engvall moved to Dallas and worked as a disc jockey with plans of becoming a teacher. While in a nightclub one evening, he tried his hand at stand-up comedy and found that making people laugh was truly his forte. Soon after, he moved to Los Angeles and went on to star in the Showtime special, A Pair of Jokers, hosted A&E's Evening at the Improv and appeared on The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman. In 1992, Engvall won the American Comedy Award for Best Male Stand-up Comedian. He appeared in several episodes of Designing Women and co-starred in Delta and The Jeff Foxworthy Show.
Engvall resides in Southern California with his family.
Bill Nye is a mechanical engineer who wants the world to know and appreciate the passion, beauty, and joy (the P, B, & J) of science. While working on 747's at Boeing, he entered and won a Steve Martin Look-Alike Contest in Seattle, which led to his performing as a standup comic. He met a few other comedians and started submitting jokes to Almost Live, Seattle's own comedy show. There, Nye came up with the Science Guy® character and quickly realized that he wanted to create a kids' show about science. Eleven years later, Bill Nye the Science Guy had won 18 Emmys. Nye won seven of them as host and head writer. These days, Nye travels around the globe exhorting his audiences to change the world. He also has a day job as the CEO of The Planetary Society, the world's largest non-governmental space interest organization. The Society was started by Nye's astronomy professor at Cornell, Carl Sagan, a man who had a tremendous influence on him, deepening his respect for science and what he likes to call “our place in space.” Nye has written six children's books and is working on a seventh about space exploration. He's also writing a general interest book about energy. Understand energy, Nye says, and you can change the world. He was awarded the Ralph Coats Roe Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and holds honorary doctorates from Johns Hopkins, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Goucher, Quinnipiac, Willamette, and Lehigh Universities.
Brant Daugherty is best known for his role as “Noel” on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars and can currently be seen as Lt. Patrick Clarke, on Lifetime's Army Wives. He was also on the daytime serial, Days of Our Lives. Daugherty has an upcoming lead role in Hallmark Channel's TV movie, The Michaels. In November, Daugherty will make his film debut in the comedy spoof, The Starving Games, from filmmaking team Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Daugherty went to Columbia College Chicago and earned a bachelor's degree in film and video production.
Christina Milian is a multi-talented phenomenon whose resume includes film, television, theater and music. Milian is formally known for her role as the social media correspondent for the hit NBC show The Voice. She was also most recently seen in the television movie The Christmas Cupid, CBS shows A Gifted Man and CSI and recurs as the voice of Esther on Family Guy. Milian also starred in the last installment of the popular Bring It On franchise in Bring It On: Fight to the Finish. Most recently Ms. Milian signed with Lil Wayne's Young Money/Cash Money/ Universal label and is currently in the studio recording her fourth album. Milian's musical career began when she signed to Island/Def Jam/UMG at the age of 18 and was quickly selected to sing the hook on Ja Rule's No. 1 hit single, “Between Me and You.” The enormous success of the song introduced her to the mainstream music world and gave her commercial success. Milian then co-wrote the Jennifer Lopez hit “Play” and Paula DeAnda's popular “Walk Away,” and she was one of the co-writers of Justin Bieber's smash “Baby.” Her self- titled debut, Christina Milian, produced the hit “AM to PM” which was her break out into pop culture. Several of Christina's singles charted in top 5 in the states and internationally. Milian's It's About Time, released on Island/Def Jam/UMG, featured the mega-hit “Dip It Low” which she was twice nominated for Grammy awards. Christina is an entrepreneur in her own right. She currently owns an E-Hookah line by the name of Platinum E- Hookah and is also the brand ambassador & equity owner of Viva Diva Wines. Most recently, you can find Ms. Milian on the covers of Rolling Out, Unleash'd, Denim, Hydrogen and Cielo Magazines.
Corbin Bleu is best known for his role as Chad in the Emmy award-winning Disney Channel Movie High School Musical, its sequel, High School Musical 2 and feature film High School Musical 3: Senior Year. He also starred in the hit Disney Channel Movie Jump In and will be seen again starring alongside Stephen Lang in the highly anticipated thriller The Monkey's Paw this fall. Bleu had his producing debut in 2008 for the movie Free Style, in which he also starred, and again in 2012 for Scary or Die.
Other television credits include The Good Wife, Flight 29 Down, Hannah Montana, ER, The Amanda Show, Cover Me, Malcolm & Eddie, Franklin and Bash, Blue Bloods and Psych. He can currently be seen playing the role of Jeffrey King on One Life to Live. On stage, Bleu most recently starred as Jesus in Godspell and other theater credits include In The Heights and Hairspray.
In 2007, Bleu's debut solo album, Another Side, featured the hit single “Push it to the Limit” and in 2009 he released his second studio album, Speed of Light. Bleu's first leading film role was in Catch That Kid and other film credits include Soldier, Galaxy Quest, Mystery Men, and Family Tree.
Bleu was born in Brooklyn, New York and currently resides in Los Angeles and New York City.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren has appeared in a host of successful film, television and stage roles. Her acting career began at age 15 as “Jessie” in the hit sitcom Saved by the Bell. She played Julia Winston on CSI: MIAMI and appeared in the final season of Showtime's The L-Word. Her television success led to film roles in First Wives Club, Roger Dodger, Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, Woody Allen's Curse of the Jade Scorpion, and the cult hit Showgirls. On the London stage she appeared in “Lenny” opposite Eddie Izzard. On Broadway she starred with Richard Dreyfuss in the comedy “Sly Fox” and earned rave reviews for “Hurlyburly” with Ethan Hawke. For the past several years, Berkley Lauren, due to the syndication of Saved by the Bell, has been making life-changing connections with a whole new generation of teen girls with her not-for-profit organization “Ask Elizabeth.” She facilitates self-esteem workshops and volunteers in both schools and youth organizations and her website ask-elizabeth.com provides constant resources and assistance to girls. This nationwide movement has affected the lives of over 100,000 girls and counting. Berkley Lauren was a featured contributor for Oprah.com, bridging the communication gap between mothers and daughters. She is the author of The New York Times bestselling book Ask Elizabeth. She and her artist/fashion designer husband Greg Lauren are the proud new parents to their one-year-old son Sky Cole Lauren.
Already a TV veteran at 27, Jack Osbourne is currently co-anchor and West Coast correspondent for Fuse News, a daily live music news show on Fuse, the national music television network of The Madison Square Garden Company. Most recently Osbourne hosted the TV series Haunted Highway on the SyFy channel. The show followed Osbourne and Dana Workman as they investigated claims of paranormal activity along America's remote back roads. Earlier this year, Osbourne's production company Schweet Entertainment produced a 16-episode TV docu-series for National Geographic called Alpha Dogs. The show took viewers behind the scenes with a special elite force of K-9s and trainers dedicated to serving our country. In 2011, Osbourne had ambitiously taken on producer and director roles. He produced a documentary about his father, Ozzy Osbourne, titled God Bless Ozzy Osbourne. The film premiered in 2011 at the Tribeca Film Festival and is the first to tell the story of Ozzy's tortured and emotionally fraught journey to sobriety. Osbourne has appeared on television shows such as Dawson's Creek and That 70's Show. In addition, Osbourne had a cameo in the motion picture Austin Powers: Goldmember and a feature role in the film New York Minute.
Keyshawn Johnson is multi-talented business entrepreneur, media broadcaster, television personality, and elite athlete. He is CEO and a co-founder of First Picks Management. Keyshawn is a former NFL Super Bowl champion and All Pro wide receiver. He was drafted #1 overall by the New York Jets in 1996 and also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers.
He joined ESPN in 2007 as an NFL studio analyst the same day he announced his retirement from the NFL. He appears on both Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown and co-hosts ESPN Radio's weekly Football Tonight Special on Fridays during the NFL season.
Keyshawn graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in History. He is the founder and chairman of the Keyshawn Johnson Education Foundation, which supported educational scholarships and programs that encourage youth to aspire towards education.
Keyshawn currently resides with his girlfriend Jennifer and their four children, Maia, Keyshawn, London and Vance.
For nine seasons, Leah Remini starred in the hit comedy series, The King of Queens. The show continues to enjoy huge success through daily syndication, airing in over 33 countries. Remini produced and starred in the one of the earliest and most successful comedic web series, In the Motherhood. She co-produced a series of webisodes for the Suave/Sprint brands under the In the Motherhood banner. The highly successful series drew over 5 million viewers to the site. In her first jump behind the camera, Remini co-produced the Inside Out: Leah Remini wedding and baby specials for VH1. On the big screen, Remini starred in Old School, alongside Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell. In 2010, Remini helped launch and was co-host of the first season of the daytime talk show, The Talk and recently starred in the ABC series Family Tools. A fixture on television since the age of 18, Remini has had memorable recurring roles on NYPD Blue, Friends, Saved by the Bell, Who's the Boss?, Fired Up, Evening Shade, and Cheers. She landed her first starring role in the Who's the Boss? spin-off series, Living Dolls opposite Halle Berry, and her first appearance on network television was on an episode of ABC's Head of the Class. Remini got her start as an actress on HBO's anthology series Vietnam War Story. Remini finds great joy in her philanthropic work with numerous and diverse military, women and children's charities. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is a proud new mom as well as the New York Times best-selling author of A Shore Thing, Confessions of a Guidette and Gorilla Beach. Famous for her trend-setting pouf hairstyle, her small stature, and her acrobatic moves on the dance floor, she is the breakout star of MTV's Jersey Shore, the highest-rated show in the network's history. The third season of Polizzi's current show Snooki & JWoww will debut in October 2013. She has been parodied on Saturday Night Live, and appeared on numerous talk shows in addition to being featured in The New York Times and on the covers of Rolling Stone, People, US Weekly and In Touch. Her constantly expanding brand includes “Snooki by Nicole Polizzi,” “Snooki Couture,” “Team Snooki Boxing,” “Team Snooki Music” in addition to an upcoming clothing line for “Snooki Couture” and her fourth book Baby Bumps.
Valerie Harper is best known to audiences for her role as the beloved Rhoda Morgenstern on the classic TV sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its subsequent spin-off Rhoda. The popularity of the show was enormous and the episode of Rhoda's wedding set ratings records (52 million viewers). For playing the character of Rhoda, Harper won a total of four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. Harper's extensive television career includes the self titled sitcom, Valerie and more recently guest roles on hit shows such as Desperate Housewives, Sex and The City, That 70's Show, Touched by an Angel and Hot in Cleveland. Notable film credits include Blame It On Rio, Freebie and The Bean, Chapter Two and The Last Married Couple In America. In 2010, Harper was seen on Broadway in Looped and received a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of legendary actress Tallulah Bankhead. In January 2013, Harper published her memoir I Rhoda.
You can catch all the dancing action when Season 17 of Dancing With The Stars kicks off on Monday, September 16 at 8pm, right here on WJBF News Channel 6. You can also follow along with commentary on Laney's Look.