It's Official: NeNe Leakes, Drew Carey & More Join 'Dancing With The Stars'


The reports were spot on!

It has been officially announced that Atlanta housewife NeNe Leakes is joining the cast of Dancing With The Stars this season. The big announcement was made this morning on Good Morning America.

The female contestants include NeNe Leakes, ; Candace Cameron Bure, who played D.J. Tanner on the long-running family series, “Full House”; Danica McKellar who is best-known for her role as Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years”; distance swimmer Diana Nyad and Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis, whose ice dancing partner, Charlie White, is also competing on “Dancing” this season. Para-snowboarder Amy Purdy, who lost both her legs after contracting meningitis, will also take to the ballroom floor this season.

On the male roster is comedian and host of “The Price is Right” Drew Carey; Australian pop singer Cody Simpson; actor and singer Billy Dee Williams; and James Maslow .

The 12 professional dancers competing are Derek HoughMaksim Chmerkovskiy,Valentin ChmerkovskiyHenry ByalikovMark BallasTony Dovolani,Witney CarsonCheryl BurkeKarina SmirnoffEmma SlaterSharna Burgess, and Peta Murgatroyd.

In a twist, and likely in an effort to boost declining ratings, for the first time, stars will switch partners this season. Viewer votes will determine the new partner pairings. This is part of a series of changes to come to the dance competition. Burke-Charvet, 42, was reportedly replaced by the 35-year-old Fox Sports correspondent to attract younger male viewers. And the show’s six-time Tony Award-nominated bandleader Harold Wheeler and his 28-member band were also fired last month.

Dancing with the Stars returns on March 17 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Will you be watching?

[via NJ]

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