This morning, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars announced the full list of Season 21 contestants on Good Morning America.
Most of the Season 21 dance pros had already been announced, as had a few of the celebrities (Bindi Irwin, Paula Deen, Alexa and Carlos PenaVega and Victor Epsinoza,) but now, we know all of the star studded celebs and pros who will grace the ballroom this season.
- Alek Skarlatos partnered with Lindsay Arnold
- Alexa PenaVega partnered with Mark Ballas
- Andy Grammer partnered with Allison Holker
- Bindi Irwin partnered with Derek Hough
- Carlos PenaVega partnered with Witney Carson
- Chaka Khan partnered with Keo Motsepe
- Gary Busey partnered with Anna Trebunskaya
- Hayes Grier partnered with Emma Slater
- Kim Zolciak Biermann partnered with Tony Dovolani
- Nick Carter partnered with Sharna Burgess
- Paula Deen partnered with Louis van Amstel
- Tamar Braxton partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Victor Espinoza partnered with Karina Smirnoff
Meet the contestants:
ALEK SKARLATOS – Alek is an Army National Guard Specialist from Sacramento, CA. Alek and his two childhood friends, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, made headlines around the world on August 2015 when they heroically overpowered a man that opened fire on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. This true American hero was recently awarded France’s highest honor by President François Hollande. Alek is partnered with Lindsay Arnold.
ALEXA PENAVEGA – Alexa is known worldwide for her role as Carmen Cortez in four blockbuster Spy Kids films, as well as Machette Kills and From Prada to Nada. PenaVega made her Broadway debut in 2007 when she played Penny Pingleton in the Tony Award winning Broadway version of “Hairspray.” Fans of the ABC hit drama Nashville also know her for her turn as Kiley Brenner. Alexa is married to actor/singer Carlos PenaVega, who will also compete in Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars. Alexa is partnered with Mark Ballas.
ANDY GRAMMER – Los Angeles-born, New York-raised pop star Andy Grammer has gone from hustling street performer on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade to platinum-selling recording artist. With his 2011 self-titled debut album, Andy became the first male pop star in a decade, since John Mayer in 2002, to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me,” certified platinum and gold respectively. Andy’s second album, 2014’s critically acclaimed “Magazines or Novels,” continues his disarming success with his huge hit “Honey, I’m Good,” which he performed twice on Season 20 of DWTS.
BINDI IRWIN – The 17 year-old Australian has continued the legacy of her parents, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and Terri Irwin, starring in a series of wildlife shows, including Bindi: The Jungle Girl, Bindi’s Bootcamp, and Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors. As an actress, Bindi starred in the films Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove and Return to Nim’s Island. In 2014, Bindi was awarded the prestigious Australian Geographic Society’s Young Conservationist of the Year, an honor that she dedicated to her late father, Steve Irwin. Bindi is partnered with Derek Hough.
CARLOS PENAVEGA – Actor/singer Carlos PenaVega shot to fame and cult status after starring on the highly successful Nickelodeon musical comedy Big Time Rush as Carlos Garcia, which also took to the road and toured with the ensemble cast around the globe. Having studied musical theater at the Boston Conservatory, Carlos recently released his first solo single in Spanish, “Electrico,” which charted in the Top 10 on the Latin iTunes songs charts. Carlos is married to actress Alex PenaVega, who will also compete in Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars. Carlos is partnered with Witney Carson.
CHAKA KHAN – Chaka is an international music icon who has influenced multiple generations of artists and continues to do so as a singer, songwriter, producer, visual artist, author, actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, activist and mother. A ten-time Grammy Award winner who has the rare ability to sing in eight music genres, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs. Chaka is partnered with Keo Motsepe.
GARY BUSEY – Gary celebrates his 45th anniversary in show business during 2015. Gary rose to fame in Hollywood when he became an Academy Award nominee for ‘Best Actor’ for his performance in the title role of Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story. His other feature film credits include memorable roles in The Firm, Under Siege, Point Break and Lethal Weapon. Gary has also appeared in Celebrity Wife Swap, Celebrity Apprentice, and All Star Celebrity Apprentice. Gary is partnered with Anna Trebunskaya.
HAYES GRIER – At just 15 years old, Hayes Grier is a rising star in the social media world, with more than 3.5 million followers on Vine and more than 2 million Twitter follows. The North Carolina teen shot to fame with his personal videos and is currently on a live tour across the United States. Hayes is partnered with Emma Slater.
KIM ZOLCIAK BIERMANN – Known for her blonde wigs, catchy pop songs and her vivacious personality, Kim Zolciak is also the mother of Brielle, Ariana, KJ, Kash Kade, Kaia and Kane. Her socialite status amongst Atlanta’s elite snagged her the reality spot on Bravo’s hit show, Real Housewives of Atlanta. After meeting NFL Falcons player Kroy Biermann in 2010 at a charity event, Kim fell in love and the two began a whirlwind romance. The Zolciak-Biermann family lives in their dream home in the Alpharetta, GA. Kim is partnered with Tony Dovolani.
NICK CARTER –- The singer, songwriter and actor sparked his career at the tender age of 12 as the youngest member of the iconic boy band Backstreet Boys. Since taking the world by storm in 1995, the band has sold over 130 million records worldwide and has earned five Grammy nominations, countless awards, and an honorary star on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2002, Nick released his debut solo album “Now or Never” and released his second solo album, “I’m Taking Off,” in 2012. In 2014, Nick and longtime girlfriend Lauren Kitt made their TV debut as a couple in the VH1 reality series, I Heart Nick Carter. Nick is partnered with Sharna Burgess.
PAULA DEEN – Paula Deen is an internationally recognized cook, caterer, cookbook author, restaurateur, TV personality and celebrity chef. Paula’s genuine warmth and folksy personality made her a natural for television. In 2014, Paula launched her nationwide live tour, Paula Deen Live!, and her own digital lifestyle network, the Paula Deen Network where each day, Paula provides viewers with cooking tips, new recipes and step-by-step instruction on how to cook her signature Southern dishes in an unscripted format. Paula is partnered with Louis van Amstel.
TAMAR BRAXTON – Tamar Braxton is a Grammy nominated singer, reality TV personality, and talk show host. A veteran performer who began singing backup vocals for her older sister Toni at age 12, Tamar was also a founding member of R&B group The Braxtons with Toni and their siblings Traci, Towanda and Trina. Tamar executive produces and stars in the WE TV reality hit Braxton Family Values, currently in its 4th season. She is also co-host and producer of FOX-TV’s daytime talk show, The Real, and her third studio LP, “Calling All Lovers,” is due September 11 on Epic/Streamline Records. Tamar is partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy.
VICTOR ESPINOZA – After coming close twice, Victor earned the famous Triple Crown earlier this year, winning the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes aboard speedy American Pharoah. It was the first time in 37 years the feat had been accomplished. The first Hispanic jockey to ever win the Triple Crown, Victor has won over 3000 races in his career and donates 10% of his weekly winnings to The City of Hope for childhood cancer research. Before becoming a jockey, Victor drove a city bus in Mexico and says, “It’s a lot easier riding horses than driving in that traffic in Mexico City.” Victor is partnered with Karina Smirnoff.
Who do you think is the early favorite to win the mirrorball trophy? Who is your favorite? Whose selection surprises you the most?