On Tuesday’s Good Morning America, the cast of professional dancers was revealed one month after it was announced that Tyra Banks will be the show’s new host following fired Tom Bergeron’s 28 seasons as the emcee.
One of the most shocking announcements was that Sharna Burgess will return to the ballroom nearly two years after fans thought she had been let go from the competition for good. Sharna was rumored to be fired from the franchise following her winning round with Bobby Bones in 2018.
In addition to Sharna, reigning champ Alan Bersten will be back for Season 29. Bersten won his first Mirrorball trophy with Bachelorette star Hannah Brown last fall.
Married couple Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson also made the cast list, as did married couples Emma Slater and Sasha Farber, and Pasha Pashkov and his wife Daniella Karagach, who will make her debut in the competition.
Other DWTS pros include Peta Murgatroyd, Brandon Armstrong, Cheryl Burke, Keo Motsepe, Gleb Savchenko, and newcomer Britt Stewart. Britt has been a part of the show’s troupe since Season 23 and is the first Black female dancer to score a full-time role on Dancing with the Stars, according to Parade.
Due to the pandemic, the pro dancers did not appear in person at the GMA studios as per usual and, instead, appeared via video chat from their homes.
The return of Sharna to the ballroom left some excited fans in conflict after they had planned to boycott the series over Bergeron’s firing.
“Trying to kill me here. Fires Tom but brings Sharna back. Like do I watch or no,” one DWTS fan tweeted.
Others were thrilled all around.
“Thank you Tyra for making Britt a pro and bringing back Sharna,” another wrote.
“Instead of saying I hate her she took Tom, wow I can now [look] positive and say she gave us Britt and Sharna,” another tweeted of Tyra, who now also has a new executive producer credit on Dancing with the Stars.
In a drastic departure from past seasons of Dancing with the Stars, viewers will now have to wait until the premiere, on September 14, to find out which celebrities the professional dancers will be paired with, according to Hollywood Life. As part of the show’s COVID-19 protocols, all of the pros must live apart while competing this fall, including the three married couples on the cast.
The only celebrity that has been announced so far for Dancing with the Stars is former Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe.