Season 27 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday night on ABC — and Bobby Bones will be making his debut alongside partner Sharna Burgess. Bones may not be a familiar name to the general DWTS audience, but all signs point toward this contestant being someone who will have viewers buzzing.
Wide Open Country details that Bobby’s real name is Bobby Estell, and that he grew up with a single mom in Arkansas. They were quite poor when he was a child, and his mother struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. His father was reportedly in his life to some degree for his first few years, and then his maternal grandmother took up a significant role in raising him.
Bobby opened up a few years ago about losing his mother in 2011. As the Tennessean reports, he said that the “hillbilly meth” is what ultimately got her and that she struggled with depression. The new Dancing with the Stars contestant has struggled with guilt over not pushing her harder to get clean — and he’s wondered if having him when she was just 15-years-old is what propelled her down such a bad road.
This DWTS contestant was drawn to radio early on in his life, and he worked at the campus station as he attended Henderson State University. After college, he worked in radio in Little Rock, Arkansas, and soon moved to Austin, Texas for a different radio gig. Austin is where he developed his show and his name, but at that time his focus was on pop, not country.
A few years ago, Bones went nationwide after Clear Channel shook things up. They moved him from Austin to Nashville, Tennessee and shifted him to a country music format — and now the Bobby Bones Show is said to be the biggest morning country music show in the nation.
While Bones has caused some chaos from time to time, he’s also very dedicated to charity and he’s always stayed away from drinking and drugs. Bobby has also tackled a lot of gigs outside of radio — having done some television appearances, writing, and even comedy.
This will be Sharna Burgess’ 12th season as a pro on Dancing with the Stars. She has placed second three times, with partners Nick Carter, James Hinchcliffe, and Josh Norman, but she’s never taken first place to win the mirror-ball trophy. Could Season 27 be her chance?
Dancing with the Stars has a cast packed with talent this fall, and it seems a stretch to think that Sharna and Bobby have an easy path to the finale. However, they appear to be having a blast together — and it looks like Bones could be quite the charmer. DWTS fans will get their first glimpse at “Team Beauty and the Geek” during Monday’s premiere, and it’ll be interesting to see how long they last.