Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Cast Revealed: Did 5 Random People Even Know the Celebs?

Carole Baskin, Nelly, Kaitlyn Bristowe and nine others have been revealed as part of the ABC reality hit's new lineup.

By Tierney Bricker Sep 02, 2020 9:00 PMTags
Watch: AJ McLean Joins "Dancing With the Stars" Season 29

Hey all you cool cats and kittens, are you ready to return to the ballroom?

Dancing With the Stars revealed its line-up of celebrity competitors for its upcoming 29th season this week and, per usual, the roster is a wild, mixed bag of stars, including Carole Baskin, AJ McLean, Nelly and Chrishell Stause. Like every season before it, this batch has your usual mix: An athlete or two. Reality stars from current pop culture phenomenons. A former child star. Your boy bander. You know the routine by now.

While the ABC reality hit's latest lineup may be its most varied and unexpected in quite some time, that doesn't mean the cast announcement didn't inspire a chorus of "Who?!" to ring out across the country as fans wondered just who some of these celebrities were. 

In our annual (slightly shady) experiment, we turned to our esteemed panel of five random people—a DWTS super-fan, a lawyer, a Gen-Z college student, a former entertainment reporter and a clueless Brooklynite doing his best—to see if they had heard of each star.

These Dancing With the Stars Relationships Happened Off the Show

So just how famous is DWTS' latest crop of celeb contestants? Let's find out...

Monica Aldama

DWTS Super-Fan: I have no clue.
Lawyer: I have no idea...it doesn't even sound like someone. [Upon being told who she is, "Oh, the coach from Cheer! Monica! Alright, I'm into that. Will she wear her little boots?]
Gen-Z College Student: Was she one of the dance moms?
Former Entertainment Reporter: Cheer coach! I hope she makes mat.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: It's dancing with the STARS. Who is this?
Who She Really Is: The tough-as-nails but beloved head coach of the Navarro College cheerleading team and star of Netflix's Cheer.

Carole Baskin

DWTS Super-Fan: Carole Baskin?! She's on the show?! Oh my god, that's that tiger person from that show. I am probably the only person that hasn't seen it.
Lawyer: No! You're kidding. Carole Baskin?! Are you serious? She's going to be on the show? Jesus Christ.
Gen-Z College Student: Neither a cool cat NOR kitten. Definitely fed her husband to a tiger.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Uh, didn't she kill her husband? (Editor's note: For the record, all jokes about her husband's rumored demise are based on pure Tiger King-related speculation.)
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Lions, tigers, and bears oh my! But no stars to be found?
Who She Really Is: Just watch Tiger King on Netflix, y'all.

Kaitlyn Bristowe

DWTS Super-Fan: Hm...that name sounds familiar to me. I have no clue.
Lawyer: Kaitlyn Bristowe? I have no idea. Kaitlyn Bristowe? Is it someone I would know if you told me?
Gen-Z College Student: I think she was on General Hospital?
Former Entertainment Reporter: Former Bachelorette.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: This smoker is taking it all home, book it.
Who She Really Is: She was the Bachelorette in 2015 and the Bachelor Nation fan fave now hosts her own podcast, Off the Vine.

Vernon Davis

DWTS Super-Fan: Oh jeez. I'm going to say an actor.
Lawyer: [Shakes head no, confused]
Gen-Z College Student: Sounds like a hockey player.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Former 49ers player.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Was in a movie...that was not well received.
Who He Really Is: A Super Bowl-winning tight end who retired from the NFL in 2019.

Anne Heche

DWTS Super-Fan: Oh! She was in the relationship with Ellen DeGeneres years ago, that's her? She's an actress.
Lawyer: Anne Heche?! She lives? Oh my god. What does she look like now? The actress, right? That was with Ellen? Yeah. Damn. That's a blast from the past. Anne Heche. She should've just disappeared into obscurity. This is sad. Anne Heche, my god. What's Portia going to think about that? No, f--k Ellen. I hope it's uncomfortable.
Gen-Z College Student: I have no idea. Maybe she was on General Hospital too?
Former Entertainment Reporter: Star of the 1997 disaster movie classic, Volcano.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: She'll last exactly SIX DAYS, AND SEVEN NIGHTS!
Who She Really Is: An actress who starred in Six Days, Seven Nights and Donnie Brasco, and currently recurs on Chicago P.D. She made headlines for her highly publicized three-year relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, which ended in 2000.

Skai Jackson

DWTS Super-Fan: I don't know. Belongs to the Jackson family?
Lawyer: Is that a girl or a boy?
Gen-Z College Student: OMG my woke queen. Love her. From Jessie!
Former Entertainment Reporter: I assume this is a TikTok person. there has to be one of those.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: YouTuber?! Boo.
Who She Really Is: The 18-year-old is best known for the Disney Channel hit series Jessie and its spinoff Bunk'd.

Justina Machado

DWTS Super-Fan: No clue.
Lawyer: Sounds familiar, but I don't know
Gen-Z College Student: I could not tell you a single thing about this person.
Former Entertainment Reporter: One Day at a Time actress.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Finally, an actual star.
Who She Really Is: An actress who's starred on hit series such as Six Feet Under, One Day at a Time and Jane the Virgin.

Jeannie Mai

DWTS Super-Fan: I have no clue.
Lawyer: No idea.
Gen-Z College Student: Is that the girl that pops pimples on TLC? Dr. Pimple Popper? I would be so excited if that's her.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Maybe this is the TikTok person. or former Disney star.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: At least she will look nice dancing. No clue who this is.
Who She Really Is: The Emmy-winning TV personality is a co-host on The Real and has worked as a correspondent for E! News. She also hosts her own podcast, Listen Hunnay.

AJ McLean

DWTS Super-Fan: Oh, he's like a race car driver or something.
Lawyer: Oh, AJ! Team BSB.
Gen-Z College Student: Ahhh, I know that name. I literally know it. He's a football player or something?
Former Entertainment Reporter: BACKSTREET'S BACK - ALRIGHT.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Never mind, THIS smokeshow is taking it all home. Book that too.
Who He Really Is: Backstreet's back! Following in his band mate Nick Carter's footstep-ball-changes, the Backstreet Boy is competing for the mirrorball trophy.

Jesse Metcalfe

DWTS Super-Fan: Oh gosh, I know his name. Wasn't he on The Bachelor?!
Lawyer: No. Wait. Jesse Metcalfe? Not Broadway. What's her name? Jessie Mueller. I know that name. Any relation to Laurie?
Gen-Z College Student: Holy s-t, John Tucker?! He is going to kill it.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Actor, remember when he was one of the IT dudes of the 2000s?
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Jesse Metcalfe must die!
Who He Really Is: An actor best known for his brief and shirtless time on Desperate Housewives, the 2006 teen comedy John Tucker Must Die and Hallmark Channel's hit series Chesapeake Shores.


DWTS Super-Fan: It's a singer.
Lawyer: The singer?!
Gen-Z College Student: OMG, the love of my mom's life. I got sent home in preschool for singing "Hot in Herre" on repeat.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Rapper, has some amazing songs that still slap today, probably best known for performing alongside Britney Spears during the best Super Bowl Halftime show of all-time.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: OOOWWWW SHIT! THROW EM TO THE F--KING WOLVES! (Real Winner)
Who He Really Is: The Grammy-winning rapper who's released hits including "Hot in Herre," "Ride with Me" and "Dilemma." He also starred in his own BET reality series, Nellyville.

Charles Oakley

DWTS Super-Fan: Oh my gosh, really?! The basketball player.
Lawyer: The glasses guy? I don't know. Sounds like a sports player.
Gen-Z College Student: OMG, The YouTuber? He kind of fell off so I am not surprised he's doing this.
Former Entertainment Reporter: I'm pretty sure he played in the NBA.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: The big Oak! He gonna be beating dancers to the ball all day.
Who He Really Is: A retired NBA star who made headlines for s--t-talking former Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing in ESPN's docuseries The Last Dance.

Nev Schulman

DWTS Super-Fan: He's from Catfish.
Lawyer: Catfish. I know who he is.
Gen-Z College Student: CATFISH! That's actually hilarious.
Former Entertainment Reporter: TikTok star. I'm going to answer that for the ones I really don't know because it has to be right at least once.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: We about to get Catfish'd.
Who He Really Is: The executive producer and host of MTV's popular reality docuseries Catfish.

Chrishell Stause

DWTS Super-Fan: I don't know, from The Bachelor?
Lawyer: Oh, we watched an episode of that show! The Sunset people. She's the one who was married to the guy from This Is Us and he dumped her in a text message.
Gen-Z College Student: Seems like the name of a Swedish baker, but I know that's not her.
Former Entertainment Reporter: YESSSSS SELLING SUNSET ICON COME THRU. Also is this season sponsored by Netflix?
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: No clue who you are either, go away.
Who She Really Is: The realtor and soap actress became the breakout star of Netflix's Selling Sunset after her bombshell divorce with This Is Us star Justin Hartley became the focus on its recent third season.

Johnny Weir

DWTS Super-Fan: I know him, the ice skater! And he does the fun commentary with Tara Lipinski.
Lawyer: The ice skating guy? I know who he is. He'll be good.
Gen-Z College Student: Hm...interesting name. For some reason pro surfer is the only thing that comes to mind!
Former Entertainment Reporter: Former figure skating star.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: 2x Olympian?! Too bad it isn't skating with the stars.
Who He Really Is: A two-time Olympic figure skater who now works as a commentator.

Dancing With the Stars returns on Monday, September 14 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Latest News