After weeks of speculations, the celebrity contestants of "Dancing with the Stars" season 19 have finally been announced. On Thursday, September 4, co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews took over "Good Morning America" to unveil the full cast and the pairings.
Antonio Sabato Jr., Janel Parrish, Lolo Jones, Randy Couture and Sadie Robertson were among those whose participation was leaked about a week ago. The "General Hospital" actor is paired with Cheryl Burke, the "Pretty Little Liars" star will dance with Val Chmerkovskiy, the Olympic hurdler and bobsledder is paired with new pro dancer Keo Motsepe, the ex-UFC fighter gets Karina Smirnoff as his dancing partner, and the "Duck Dynasty" star will dance with Mark Ballas.
Other stars to compete for the Mirrorball trophy are "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" actor Alfonso Ribeiro, YouTube beauty guru Bethany Mota, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, "Mean Girls" actor Jonathan Bennett, actress Lea Thompson, NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, political commentator and talk show host Tavis Smiley and comedian/musician Tommy Chong.
"I am so excited. I've wanted to do this for a long time," said Sadie. She, however, hasn't had any experience in dancing, saying, "I had lessons when I was 3 like every little girl does. It ended at 4. I don't remember anything of it. I'm startin' very fresh."
Tavis said of his decision to join the show, "I decided I would do one last foolish thing before I turn 50." He added that he already lost 20 pounds after he began training about seven weeks ago.
Alfonso, meanwhile, teased viewers with what they could expect from his performance. "We will absolutely give the fans what they would love to see, which is the Carlton dance," he said, referring to the dance moves he made famous on "Fresh Prince". "I've got to do the Carlton, I've got to do the 'Jump On It' and I got to do a little Michael Jackson. I gotta give the audience a reason to keep me on."
"DWTS" season 19 kicks off Monday, September 15 at 8 P.M. ET on ABC. Julianne Hough is added as a fourth judge, joining the show's vets Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. As another change in this installment, executive producer Rob Wade said there would be "a chance for America to have more influence over the show."
"Dancing with the Stars" Season 19 Pairs: