‘Dancing with the Stars’ 2016: Cast Gains A Football Player And Tragedy Strikes Host Tom Bergeron

Dancing with the Stars cast and crew have had mixed news this weekend. On Friday, host Tom Bergeron tweeted about the impending death of his mother, Catherine, just four months after the passing of his father, Raymond.

The Dancing with the Stars host followed that with this tweet yesterday.

Sixty-year-old Bergeron will be absent from Dancing with the Stars until March 21 in order to tend to matters associated with his mother’s death. He missed an episode back in October so he could be with his father. At the time, he tweeted, “He’s given me a lifetime of support. Time to return the favor.” Erin Andrews and Alfonso Ribiero took over hosting in his absence then. Upon his return, Tom dedicated a show to his father, who he said had never missed an episode of Dancing with the Stars. It’s not known at this time who will step into that role in the upcoming opening episodes of Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars.

Went back to my mom's favorite beach to say goodbye (and yes, that's me in the corner of the older pic)

A photo posted by Tom Bergeron (@tombergeron) on

Dancing with the Stars also had some good news this weekend, though. AOL News is reporting that there has been confirmation that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is joining the cast. Brown is the second NFL player who will be part of Season 22. Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller was previously confirmed to be participating in this year’s competition. Brown is known for his dance moves in the end zone. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the Dancing with the Stars dance floor.

Several NFL players have performed on Dancing with the Stars. Some have been quite successful. Three of them have won the coveted mirrored ball. Emmitt Smith won Season 3, Hines Ward won Season 12, and Donald Driver won Season 14 of Dancing with the Stars. Check out Emmitt Smith’s moves here as he does the Samba with professional dancer Cheryl Burke.

Dancing with the Stars has had numerous other athletes win previous seasons. Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno won Season 4, Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi won Season 6, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson won Season 8, and Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis won Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars.

#DWTS strikes gold this season!

A photo posted by Dancing with the Stars (@dancingabc) on

The addition of Antonio Brown to the Dancing with the Stars Season 22 cast brings the number of known competitors to nine. They are: Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera, Fuller House actress Jodie Sweetin, Good Morning America meteorologist Ginger Zee, Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kim Fields, actress and ex-wife of Donald Trump Marla Maples, OC’s Mischa Barton, America’s Next Top Model‘s Nyle DiMarco, and NFL players Von Miller and Antonio Brown.

Dancing with the Stars has been on the air since 2005. It’s based on a British televised dance competition titled Strictly Come Dancing. Tom Bergeron has been the host of DWTS for all 21 seasons. He has had several co-hosts, including Lisa Canning, Samantha Harris, Brooke Burke-Charvet, and current Dancing with the Stars co-host Erin Andrews. Bergeron has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program seven times and won the award in 2012. The series is currently renewed through Season 23.

The Dancing with the Stars judging panel consists of three judges. Carrie Ann Inalba and Bruno Tonioli have served as judges since 2005. Lead judge Len Goodman has appeared in all seasons but one. He had to miss last season due to a prior commitment. Professional dancer Julianne Hough filled his spot but will not return this year, as Goodman will return to his Dancing with the Stars judging chair.

The full list of celebrity competitors for Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars will be announced on Good Morning America on March 8.

[Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images]