AJ McLean Joins Dancing With the Stars Season 29: See Who Else Is In the Running

AJ McLean has joined Dancing With the Stars while Carole Baskin and Chrishell Stause are two possible celebrity dancers. You'll never guess who said no.

By Lauren Piester Aug 27, 2020 1:50 PMTags
Watch: Tyra Banks Hints at "Dancing with the Stars" Changes

Dancing With the Stars may be making a lot of changes for season 29, but apparently none of those changes involve making the cast list less chaotic. 

Sources tell E! News exclusively that Carole Baskin, Chrishell Stause and Anne Heche are all in talks to compete for the Mirrorball trophy this season, and are close to being confirmed. Sources also say that Dr. Anthony Fauci, coronavirus expert, was asked, but declined to participate, which is really a shame. Just imagine Carole Baskin and Dr. Fauci standing on that stage together, awaiting the results of America's vote. 

The only confirmed celebs this season are Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean and former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, who was asked to join the show by Chris Harrison after her episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever! aired. On Aug. 27, McLean made a virtual appearance on Good Morning America to announce his participation in the ABC series. When GMA's T.J. Holmes asked if he has an "advantage" due to his boy band past, McLean said this style of dancing is a bit "different" than his previous performances. "I've been dancing since I was about 6 years old," the 42-year-old admitted. "But this is gonna be a little bit different. There was definitely no foxtrot in the past 27 years, I can assure you that."

While on GMA, McLean also received a video message from his bandmate and former DWTS runner-up Nick Carter, who encouraged him to "go get that Mirrorball!"

The full cast will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 2 on Good Morning America. Until then, ABC won't be confirming or commenting on any cast reports. 

These Dancing With the Stars Relationships Happened Off the Show

Get the full scoop on the potential season 29 cast below! 

Johnny Weir

Johnny Weir, 36, is an American figure skater and commentator who somehow has not competed on Dancing With the Stars yet. But that's about to change! 

Charles Oakley

Charles Oakley, 56, is a former NBA superstar who recently appeared in the docuseries The Last Dance

Nev Schulman

Nev Schulman, 35, is best known as host and executive producer of Catfish


Rapper, actor, and entrepreneur Nelly, 45, will be competing for the mirrorball trophy this season. 

Jesse Metcalfe

The 41-year-old actor starred on Desperate Housewives and Dallas before becoming a prolific star of Hallmark Channel movies. 

Jeannie Mai

Jeannie Mai, 41, is best known as one of the hosts of The Real and a sideline correspondent on ABC's Holey Moley.

Justina Machado

One Day At a Time star Justina Machado, 47, will be dancing in season 29.

Skai Jackson

Jackson is an 18-year-old former Disney Channel star and is best known for playing Zuri Ross on Jessie and Bunk'd

Monica Aldama

The head coach of the Navarro College cheerleading team and star of Netflix's Cheer is officially part of the season 29 cast. 

Vernon Davis

The former NFL player and Super Bowl champion will be suiting up and putting on his dancing shoes. 

Kaitlyn Bristowe

The 35-year-old Canadian reality star, podcast host, and entrepreneur was the first (and so far, only) cast member to be confirmed. Chris Harrison gave her the good news during an interview after her episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever! She was on season 19 of The Bachelor and starred in season 11 of The Bachelorette

AJ McLean

The 42-year-old Backstreet Boys star has officially joined season 29, following in the footsteps of his bandmate Nick Carter and fellow boybanders Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey and Nick Lachey. On Aug. 24, he posted a video on Instagram about his workout progress, and explained that he's getting "prepared and ready for what's to come in the next few weeks" though he couldn't say exactly what it is that's coming. "A lot of surprises from me," he said. "I can't tell you guys exactly what yet, but I'm doing this for two reasons. One, to get in the best shape of my life and to be healthy and to be happy, physically and mentally and emotionally, and there's something else coming up. Can't tell you what it is, but believe me, you'll know why based on that." 

Carole Baskin

Baskin, 59, made headlines earlier this year when she was one of the subjects of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King. She owns her own zoo and was accused by Joe Exotic of killing her ex-husband. She's also a YouTuber. 

Chrishell Stause

Stause, 39, is a real estate agent and one of the stars of Netflix's Selling Sunset. She's made headlines lately due to season three's portrayal of her divorce from This Is Us star Justin Hartley.

Anne Heche

The 51-year-old actress was recently known for roles on Chicago P.D., The Brave, and Quantico

Season 29 is the start of a "new creative direction" for Dancing With the Stars. Tyra Banks has signed on as the new host and a new executive producer, while Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will no longer be a part of the show. Banks has promised that the season will be "so next level" while "still keeping the stuff that we know America loves." 

The coronavirus pandemic means there will be other changes this season as well, many of which have yet to be announced. There will likely be no in-studio audience, and all pros will have to quarantine separately from each other, even if they're married to each other.

The list of pros includes three married couples this season: Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy; Sasha Farber and Emma Slater; and Pasha Pashkov and first-time pro Danielle Karagach

Britt Stewart is also joining as a first-time pro, and the first Black female pro the show has ever had. The other pros are Artem ChigvintsevBrandon ArmstrongSharna BurgessCheryl BurkeKeo MotsepePeta MurgatroydGleb Savchenko, and reigning champ Alan Bersten.  

The full cast will be announced on GMA on Sept. 2, and the season will premiere on Monday, Sept. 14. at 8 p.m. on ABC. 

This article was originally published on Mon, Aug 24, 2020, 3:00 p.m.