Season 16 of ABC-TV’s hit show “Dancing With The Stars” is going Country with powerhouse vocalist Wynonna Judd and “American Idol” alum Kellie Pickler! While Country has a long established presence on the series, this season marks the first time that two Country stars will take to the dance floor in pursuit of the Mirror Ball Trophy! It all kicks off Monday, March 18 at 8|7c on ABC.
Nine-time CMA Award winner Wynonna will dance with professional dancer Tony Dovolani, who was partnered with Country star Sara Evans in the series’ third season and who most recently won the fall 2012 All-Star edition with partner Melissa Rycroft. After rising to fame as part of mother-daughter duo The Judds, Wynonna earned solo success with a string of more than a dozen No. 1 singles.
“This is something I said I would never do,” Judd said about joining the season 16 cast. “They’ve asked me for six years. I’m trying to get back to my original weight of 8 lbs., 15 oz. Because it’s the year of doing things that you’re scared of.”
Kellie Pickler will be partnered with three-time professional champ Derek Hough, brother to Country singer, dancer and actress Julianne Hough, who got her start as a professional dancer on the ABC series. Pickler, a two-time CMA Awards nominee known for hits such as “Red High Heels,” “Best Days of Your Life” and “Tough,” becomes the first “American Idol” contestant to appear as a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars.”
Celebrities competing alongside Wy and Kellie include comedian and actor D.L. Hughley, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, “Real Housewife of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump, comedian Andy Dick, professional boxer Victor Ortiz, star of Disney Channel series “Shake It Up” Zendaya Coleman, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, “General Hospital” actor Ingo Rademacher, and Olympic figure skating great Dorothy Hamill.
History of Country ‘Dancing':
- Sara Evans competed on season 3, progressing to 6th place, before opting to depart the show. Evans returned as a musical guest in a later season.
- Billy Ray Cyrus placed 5th with partner Karina Smirnoff during Season 4. Cyrus performed his duet “Ready. Set. Don’t Go” with daughter Miley Cyrus during a later season.
- Marie Osmond, who won the CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the Year with partner Dan Seals in 1986, placed in the top 3 during season 5 of the show.
- Season 8 welcomed Country singer Chuck Wicks, who danced with then-girlfriend Julianne Hough.
- Guest musical performances are standard in the ballroom, and Country has been well represented with past guests including The Band Perry, Big & Rich, Jewel, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Rascal Flatts, Reba, LeAnn Rimes, Blake Shelton, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, five-time CMA Awards host Carrie Underwood and more.
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