DWTS Season 26 will have an all-athlete cast and three stars from the 2018 Winter Olympics are interested in competing on the show.
Us Weekly spoke with freestyle skier, Gus Kenworthy, and ice dancers, Maia and Alex Shibutani, about hitting the dance floor for the spring 2018 season of Dancing with the Stars.
Kenworthy really wants to be on the hit ABC reality show. He told the magazine that he lobbied to be on it last year, but it didn’t work out. The 26-year-old said producers were interested in casting him and is hoping that’s the case this year now that he’s appeared in the Olympics.
“I had been lobbying to try and be on it … last year and really wanted to be, and then it didn’t work out, but I was told that there was interest on their end. So I was definitely hoping that maybe after this Olympics, it’d be a possibility.”
The skier has no dance experience. and he believes that’s what makes a competitor more fun to watch on the show. It’s about the journey they take to be a good dancer.
“… Like, the Steve-Os and the people that have no previous experience. And I feel like when it’s like one of the Pussycat Dolls, I’m like, ‘But like, aren’t you already a professional dancer?'”
As for the brother-sister ice dancers, Maia and Alex Shibutani, they’d like to be part of the cast lineup for Season 26 of DWTS. They differ on who’d be better, of course.
“I think it would be fun, because we’ve been working so long on something together, where I guess we can be competitive and he thinks he’s got it, but I think I got it.”
Alex adds that the two of them have spent so much time skating together that having other partners would be intriguing. They’ve never skated with anyone else so dancing with a different partner would make for some great TV on DWTS. Moreover, the pair have their own way of communicating by shorthand.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) March 2, 2018
“I think, to work with someone else because we do have short of this shorthand communication that we’ve developed just because we know each other so well. And also, just like dancing on the floor is different from what we do on the ice, so there would be a lot to learn. I think it would be a really cool experience.”
The skaters would have a lot to learn, Alex told Us. They’re used to dancing on ice, so having to perform on a dance floor would be another learning curve. He said all of these factors would make competing on DWTS for them “cool” to do.
Olympians that have won the Mirror Ball trophy on DWTS over the course of its run are Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Meryl Davis, and Laurie Hernandez.
Dancing with the Stars casting director and co-executive producer Deena Katz spoke with 11 Alive recently about her thoughts on the Season 26 cast. She did name Maia and Alex Shibutani as two athletes she has her eyes on. She admits that she could easily cast an entire season of just figure skaters, but the show will feature athletes from “all corners” of the sports world.
The official announcement of the DWTS Season 26 cast will be revealed the week of April 9 and the show premieres on Monday, April 30 on ABC at 8 p.m., ET/PT.