‘DWTS’ Announces Season 29 Cast: Carole Baskin, Nelly & ‘The Real’ Host Jeannie Mai Among Those To Perform

The set of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
Eric McCandless / ABC

Dancing with the Stars announced the cast of Season 29 of the reality competition series on Good Morning America, surprising fans with an eclectic cast of celebrities who will vie for a mirrorball trophy. These include Tiger King star Carole Baskin, singer Nelly and The Real host Jeannie Mai, among others.

Other competitors who will take to the ballroom floor include football superstar Vernon Davis, Cheer coach Monica Aldama, Desperate Housewives heartthrob Jesse Metcalf, Catfish host Nev Schulman, The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, Selling Sunset‘s Chrishell Stause, Jesse celeb Skai Jackson, actress Anne Heche, One Day at a Time lead Justina Machado, Olympic skater Johnny Weir, and basketball legend Charles Oakley.

Prior to the competitors’ reveal, their pro dancers were announced on GMA. Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Cheryl Burke, Artem Chigvintsev, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Daniella Karagach, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Britt Stewart, and Emma Slater will be paired with the aforementioned celebrities.

Nelly said in a short GMA interview clip following the official announcement that he did not know how he would perform as a dancer on the series. He said he has “two left feet and two right ankles.”

The professional cast of Dancing with the Stars.
  Eric McCandless / ABC

Good Morning America reported that due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dancing with the Stars implemented a new rule where all pros must live apart, even if they are married. This precaution was designed to safeguard those competing and prevent the elimination of two pros and two celebrities if one was to come down with symptoms. This change was announced during the pro reveal on August 18.

Although the show has not revealed any further production details, it is unlikely there will be a studio audience during the initial weeks of live performances. In an interview with Us Weekly, Artem revealed that in the rehearsal rooms, there will be pre-set cameras so there will be no one in the enclosed area except the dancer and the celebrity.

Fans shared their reaction to the news on Twitter. Some appeared happy with the celebrity choices while others felt the opposite. Many other viewers are still clamoring for the return of Tom Bergeron. He was let go from the series in July of this year after 28 seasons as DWTS‘ host.

“I’ll pass thank you… one of the worst jump the shark moments in TV history… it’s not Dancing without Emmy-winning Tom,” said one follower.

“Not watching with Bergeron gone but seems like a good cast, oh well,” stated a second person.

“Now I really can’t wait for the season to star, Carole Baskin…come on!!!” declared a third Twitter user.

“I predict Johnny Weir will win the season and it hasn’t started,” said a fan of the ice-skating professional.