G et the ball gowns and high waisted pants ready – Dancing with the Stars Season 14 is upon us! On Tuesday morning, co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Bruke announced the stars and professional partners for the new season of the hit ABC reality competition on Good Morning America. This season’s biggest hype looks to be the surprise casting of Gladys Knight, who wasn’t on anyone’s rumor radar. During the post-announcement Q&A, Gladys smiled and quipped she joined the show because the Pips, her famous backup singers, “never let me dance.” Check out the rest of the celebrities who will compete for the mirrorball trophy:
No surprise here, since the 44-year-old actress and co-host of “The View” for months was passionately tweeting her desire to be cast. Born and raised in Chicago, Shepherd is paired with Val Chmerkovskiy (younger brother of Maks) and said, “He is one of the best frickin’ dancers in the world. He’s hot!” Sherri’s website already hawks her official “Team Sherri” T-shirt for $15.50. The self-marketing maven evidently wastes no time.
The former child star who played nasally voiced Steve Urkel on Family Matters is all grown up, and, at 35, this could be the big-time career boost he needs. He’s also known for voicing Sonic the Hedgehog in the video game series. A UCLA graduate (film/television), he’s produced a number of Web series and done voice-over work for animated films including Quest for Camelot. He also starred in Cee-Lo Green’s music video for Cry Baby. He’s partnered with DWTS season 12 champ Kym Johnson.
The Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading wide receiver, 37, also is the author of three children’s books and a Wisconsin TV sports commentator. His philanthropic work is his post-football hallmark. Former pro footballers have done quite well on DWTS: Jerry Rice finished second in season 2; Emmett Smith won season 3. Partner: Peta Murgatroyd.
The rapper/dancer/actor (Disney Channel’s Camp Rock and Shake It Up!) is this season’s official fresh face. His youth and dance experience will serve him well; Disneyites-turned-dancing fools have done well on the show (Kyle Massey finished second; Chelsea Kane finished third). The 20-year-old is partnered with Chelsie Hightower, 21.
The rest are actress and former Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert, opera singer Katherine Jenkins, entertainment reporter and Extra host Maria Menounos, tennis legend Martina Navratilova, singer Gavin DeGraw, actor and Telenovela star William Levy, and actor and former Melrose Place star Jack Wagner.