NC ‘Idol’ contestant Kellie Pickler to compete on ‘DWTS’
(CNN) — “Dancing with the Stars” took a bit of a stumble last fall with its “All-Stars” season. Ratings for the November finale fell 27 percent from the fall 2011 season closer, and ABC even admitted that the gimmick may have driven viewers away.
For its 16th season, the show is going back to its roots. Eleven new contestants, whose names were revealed Tuesday on “Good Morning America,” will take to the dance floor when the new round of “DWTS” premieres March 18.
So who will be hoofing it up next month?
Wynonna Judd: The country music star said on “GMA” that “DWTS” has tried to recruit her for the last six years.
D.L. Hughley: The comic and former CNN host is a member of “The Original Kings of Comedy.”
Jacoby Jones: You might recall that the Baltimore Ravens receiver returned the opening kickoff of the second half of Super Bowl 47 for a 108-yard touchdown, tying an NFL record that he set last October.
Lisa Vanderpump: The London-born restaurateur is already a reality star thanks to Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and the spinoff, “Vanderpump Rules.”
Andy Dick: The comedian and actor is looking to bounce back.
Victor Ortiz: Considered one of the top welterweight boxers in the world, Ortiz is a former WBC welterweight champion. He lost that title to former “DWTS” contestant Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2012.
Zendaya Coleman: The 16-year-old star of Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up” looks to follow in the footsteps of co-star Roshon Fegan, who finished sixth in the 14th season of “DWTS.”
Aly Raisman: The gold-medal gymnast looks to match the success of Shawn Johnson, who won the eighth season of “DWTS” and finished second in “All-Stars.”
Ingo Rademacher: The German-born actor has played Jasper “Jax” Jacks on ABC’s “General Hospital” since 1996.
Kellie Pickler: The former roller-skating waitress is the first “American Idol” contestant to compete on “DWTS.” The country crooner finished sixth on the fifth season of “Idol.”
Dorothy Hamill: The figure skating legend won Olympic gold in 1976 and continues to be a mentor to younger skaters.
The show also revealed some changes to its dance pro lineup, as popular pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Anna Trebunskaya and Chelsie Hightower won’t be competing this season. Among the new pros unveiled was former “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant Lindsay Arnold.
Maks hinted that he wasn’t going to return to “DWTS” last fall, and he issued a statement on Tuesday confirming his departure and thanking the show and his fans.
“I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” he said. “I’ve been a Pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities … I’m going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations.”
This article was written by CNN’s James Dinan. CNN’s Carolyn Sung contributed to this report. TM & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.