‘Dancing With The Stars’ Spinoff Will Feature Only Athletes This Spring

Dancing With the Stars is changing things up for the upcoming Spring 2018 season. The lineup of stars for the next season will be comprised entirely of athletes, according to a report from E! News. While most seasons of Dancing With the stars include a mix of celebrities from many genres, including music, television, and reality TV, that won’t be the case for the next edition of DWTS.

The all-athletes edition of Dancing With the Stars will include participants from “all corners of the sports world.” In addition, the upcoming “mini” season of the ABC ballroom competition will only feature 10 celebs and will air over four weeks. That’s a cut from recent seasons of the show that have featured 13 celebrities over a 10-week run. The news of the Dancing With the Stars all-athletes edition comes as another ABC Monday night staple, The Bachelor, makes plans for a Winter Games-themed season just in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

While ABC’s rose-toting lovebirds aren’t usually known for their athletic prowess, athletes have been regularly featured on Dancing With the Stars. Back in 2005, the very first season of DWTS included pro boxer Evander Holyfield. While he was knocked out second in the six-person cast, athletes have traditionally done well in the competition. By season three, NFL star Emmitt Smith was crowned the Dancing With the Stars mirrorball champ.

Rashad Jennings of Dancing With the Stars
[Image by Lou Rocco/ABC]

Other athletes who have take home the coveted Dancing With the Stars trophy include Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi (Season 6), Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson (Season 8), NFL pros Hines Ward and Donald Driver (Seasons 12 and 14, respectively), and Olympians Meryl Davis and Laurie Hernandez in seasons 18 and 23. The most recent athlete to win Dancing with the Stars came earlier this year when football pro Rashad Jennings took home the trophy.

News of the Dancing With the Stars all-athletes season comes after a proposed“junior” edition of the show was announced in May. According to TV Guide, a kid-centric spinoff titled Dancing With the Stars Junior was set to feature both child celebrities as well as celebrities’ children, pairing its famous contestants with professional junior ballroom dancers.

So, does this mean the junior edition of the show will feature young athletes or is that whole idea now scrapped? Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron’s recent tweets attempted to clear up the confusion. The longtime host revealed that a “4-week mini-season in the Spring is a bite-size, spray tanned spin-off” that will air instead of the previously announced “junior” edition.

As for who will appear on the DWTS spinoff, since the all-athletes edition won’t be limited to child athletes, producers may want to give Kobe a call. Basketball star Derek Fisher, who just competed on Season 25 of the show, told TooFab that Kobe Bryant is a huge fan of Dancing With the Stars and that his name “keeps coming up.”

“He loves the show. He and the family watch it,” Fisher said. “[Producers] should at least try and call him!”

You can see the most recent athlete to win Dancing With the Stars in the video below.

[Featured Image by Adam Rose/ABC]