Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars might end up being one of the most unpredictable seasons of ABC’s reality dance competition. In addition to being jam-packed with famous faces from popular TV shows, this season is loaded with celebrity contestants who are used to being extremely competitive—four athletes are facing off on Dancing with the Stars.
Having so many athletes on Dancing with the Stars is a great thing for fans who want to see competitors with strong work ethics really pushing themselves week after week, and athletes usually go far on the show. However, DWTS pro Witney Carson recently told Entertainment Tonight that she “cringed” when she learned that her celebrity partner would be one of three NFL stars competing on Season 22.
“I’m super excited but it is kind of scary because there’s two other athletes,” Carson said.
“I cringed when I heard there were two other football players, but we’ve just got to make him stand out!”
At least Witney Carson’s partner comes with a big, built-in base of football fans who have a lot of love and respect for the player—he’s 2016 Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. The 26-year-old Denver Broncos linebacker might not have professional dance experience like UFC fighter Paige VanZant — another athlete that’s competing on this season of Dancing with the Stars — but Miller really enjoys coming up with his own choreography. When The Late Late Show host James Corden asked Von Miller if he had his eye on the MVP prize at the Super Bowl, the charismatic NFL star revealed that he had something else on his mind.
“I’m thinking about what dance moves I can bust out a little bit later,” Miller quipped.
According to Witney Carson, her first Dancing with the Stars dance with Von Miller will be the fox trot. Instead of skipping across the DWTS ballroom to a “traditional” fox trot tune, they’ll be performing to an upbeat pop song.
“It’s going to be good! It kind of shows his personality as well as his dance moves,” Witney revealed.
Von is Witney’s first athlete partner on DWTS. Last season, she and actor/singer Carlos PenaVega finished in fourth place, and Witney’s only win came during season 20 when she was partnered with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro.
The other two NFL stars vying for the Mirrorball Trophy on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars are 53-year-old living legend Doug Flutie, and 27-year-old Antonio Brown. Flutie has been partnered with Karina Smirnoff, and CarterMatt points out that the former quarterback might actually have a bigger fanbase that the two younger football stars that he’ll be competing against. Flutie played for multiple teams in the NFL and CFL during his lengthy career, and he’s developed a bit of a cult following — not many other football stars can boast having a breakfast cereal named after them (hopefully Karina will manage to work a box of Flutie Flakes into one of their routines).
However, Antonio Brown also has a few things going for him — his one-of-a-kind hairstyle definitely makes him stand out from the competition, and he already performs a famous touchdown dance known as the “Bennie Biggle Wiggle.” The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is partnered up with Sharna Burgess, a DWTS pro who is definitely hungry for a win after finishing in second place last season and third place the season before. Sharna is the only dancer partnered with an NFL star who has not taken home a Mirrorball Trophy yet, and longtime DWTS fans who are aware of this might throw some votes her way because they want to see her finally win.
— Antonio Brown (@AntonioBrown84) March 9, 2016
As you can see, the DWTS powers-that-be are already playing up the NFL angle by featuring Antonio Brown, Von Miller, and Doug Flutie together in promos for the show.
— Official DWTS (@DancingABC) March 13, 2016
The NFL stars’ toughest competition might not actually be each other. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Mark Ballas’ partner, UFC fighter Paige VanZant, is another athlete with a strong work ethic. The attractive 21-year-old actually has experience as a competitive dancer, and this will definitely give her an edge when it comes to technique and learning choreography.
“I’m really excited that they picked me to be on the show and it’s an honor that they reached out to me,” the strawweight fighter recently told the Los Angeles Times. “I kind of grew up in the [dance] studio because my mom owned [one] and I danced since I was little. I’m excited to see if I still have a little of that dance side left.”
According to ABC News, the rest of the Dancing with the Stars season 22 couples are as follows: Good Morning America meteorologist Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy; Fuller House star Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe; Boyz II Men member Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold; America’s Next Top Model winner Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd; The O.C. star Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev; Donald Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples and Tony Dovolani; The Facts of Life actress Kim Fields and Sasha Farber; and Fox News host Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska.
Dancing with the Stars premieres March 21 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]