Dancing with the Stars Season 29 is set to air this fall on ABC, but it will be doing so without professional dancer Witney Carson. The DWTS champion recently revealed that she is pregnant, and in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, she shared some insight on her decision not to participate in the next round of the dance competition.
About a week ago, Witney revealed her pregnancy in an Instagram post. She is due in February, and she and her husband, Carson McAllister, are excited to welcome their first child.
Although it would be possible for Witney to still compete this fall, she said she has decided that she will not be on the cast for Season 29. This echoes the decision that her bestie and fellow Dancing with the Stars cast member Lindsay Arnold made. Lindsay is expecting her first child, a baby girl, in November.
While Witney's pregnancy is seemingly the primary driver of this decision, she explained that it was a combination of factors that prompted her to take a break from DWTS. Safety concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic played a significant role as well.
"We had quite a few conversations about that, and I just don't think it's ultimately safe for me to participate. So I will not be joining this season," Witney explained.
The series is planning to return this fall with Tyra Banks hosting in place of Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. However, it's not known yet just how production will handle the coronavirus safety issues.
"It's just so hard with COVID-19, we don't really know what's happening there. And I'd be pretty big. I'd be about 24 weeks, which is, like, I'd have a belly," she detailed.
Both Peta Murgatroyd and Allison Holker competed through their pregnancies. Of course, those were both prior to COVID-19. In addition, Peta was so early in her pregnancy that nobody even knew about it until late in the competition.
Witney does think it'll be a drastic shift for her to not be involved this time around, given that she's participated ever since she completed high school.
"I don't know how I'm gonna do it without dancing," she told producer Deena Katz this week.
As Witney noted, there are a lot of unknowns regarding the upcoming run of the series. A formal premiere date has not been announced, nor have plans for rehearsals. She mentioned that they might have to tape without live audiences, and group numbers may be tough to make happen.
Despite the difficulties of sitting out this time, Witney said she is excited to watch it as a viewer.
"I've never done that before, so I'm really excited to cheer on all my castmates and my friends and just see how the show is. It's gonna be great," she said.
More details about how DWTS plans to move forward should begin to emerge soon, including rumors regarding the celebrities and pros involved. As for Witney, she has already shared one baby bump update, and fans will be anxious to see more throughout the months ahead.