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ABC announces new ‘Dancing With the Stars’ cast

Although ABC has been leaking the celebrities competing in season 21 of Dancing With the Stars in anticipation for the show, they have finally revealed the full list. They made it official on Good Morning America Wednesday.

And if you’re a DWTS fan, you’ve got to be wondering who you’ll see attempt to master the Cha Cha, jive and more. But if you aren’t a DWTS fan, then you’re probably anxious to see if you even recognize the celebrities competing.

This year, controversial chef Paula Deen, wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin and an American responsible for stopping a potential terrorist attack made the 13-member list this season. Singers Nick Carter, Andy Grammar and Chaka Khan were among the celebrities announced prior to Wednesday.

Wednesday’s biggest reveal was probably 22-year-old Army National Guard Spc. Alek Skarlatos. Last month, Skarlatos was all over the media when he helped prevent a possible terrorist attack on a train in EuropeHe was on vacation after being deployed in Afghanistan with student Anthony Sadler and Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone when the three Americans, a British National and a Frenchman restrained a man with a rifle, according to CNN.

Of course, Paula Deen is likely the most controversial. The woman has definitely had a tough couple of years. When asked what she wanted to gain from the experience, Deen said she’d like to get “a bunch of new friends and maybe lose some weight,” Washington Post reports.

Here is the full list of contestants:

Alek Skarlatos: National Army Guard Specialist (paired with Lindsey Arnold)
Alexa PenaVega: Actress; PenaVega plays Kiley on ABC’s Nashville and starred in the Sky Kids movies as a kid (paired with Mark Ballas)
Andy Grammer: Singer; Grammer is responsible for two songs that are so annoying you can’t stop singing them, Honey, I’m Good and Keep Your Head Up (partnered with Allison Holker)
Bindi Irwin: animal conservationist; the 17-year-old is the daughter of the late Steve Irwin and is carrying on his legacy (partnered with Derek Hough)
Carlos PenaVega: Singer and Actor; PenaVega is married to Alexa PenaVega and appears on Nickalodean’s Big Time Rush (partnered with Witney Carson)
Chaka Khan: Singer; if you don’t know who this is, I’m sorry, look her up (partnered with Keo Motsepe)
Gary Busey: Actor; he is known for his unique acting performances in The Buddy Holly StoryLethal Weapon and more (partnered with Anna Trebunskaya
Hayes Grier: Vine star; those who love Vine love Grier (partnered with Emma Slater)
Paula Deen: TV chef; she is a chef who uses way too much butter and made a racist comment that led to a serious scandal
Tamar Braxton: Singer and reality star; she stars on two WE TV reality shows and used to sing backup for Toni Braxton (partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy)
Nick Carter: Singer; Carter is a member of the Backstreet Boys (partnered with Sharna Burgess)
Kim Zolciak Biermann: Reality star; Biermann is one of the many interesting women on Real Housewives of Atlanta (partnered with Tony Dovolani)
Victor Espinoza: Jockey; He won the Triple Crown this year with his horse American Pharaoh (partnered with Karina Smirnoff)

This is also the first season that the show will be without their strictest judge Len Goodman. Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and the lovely Julianne Hough will be returning along with hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews.

The new season of Dancing With the Stars starts September 14.

About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer
Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as, and Contact Meredith: