Candace Cameron, Drew Carey & Billy Dee Williams Among DWTS Season 18; Full Cast Revealed!
This season's dynamic lineup of stars -- including two Olympic Gold Medalists, a game show host, a swimming legend and a teen pop star - will perform for the first time on live national television with their professional partners during the two-hour season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars," MONDAY, MARCH 17 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
In a first for "Dancing with the Stars," the competition will feature a new game changing twist called "The Switch Up." This season, America will be given the power to vote and change celebrities and professional dance pairings. This new rule will affect all couples as they will be required to switch partners at a point in the season. Never before have dance partnerships been split up during the course of competition.
As announced this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America" by "Dancing with the Stars" hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, the 12 celebrities with their professional partners heading to the dance floor this season (in alphabetical order) are:
SEAN AVERY -- Former pro hockey player Sean Avery is known for his unpredictable antics on the ice and a humorous personality. During his twelve year hockey career, he played left wing for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars, and the New York Rangers. Typically known as his team's "enforcer," Avery had a reputation as an outspoken agitator on (and sometimes off) the ice. Controversy followed him wherever he played, and he became known as much for his mercurial style of play as for his eclectic interests. These interests led Avery to many unique experiences including an internship at Vogue Magazine, working under the famed Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley. He has been featured in numerous ad campaigns as a model, including 7 For All Mankind and is currently the Luxury Advertising Director at Playboy. Also an activist, Avery is on the Board of Directors of Athlete Ally, a nonprofit raising awareness about homophobia and transphobia in sports. SEAN AVERY partners with KARINA SMIRNOFF.
CANDACE CAMERON BURE -- Actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author and inspirational speaker, Candace Cameron Bure is both outspoken and passionate about her family and faith. Known to millions worldwide from her role as D.J. Tanner on the iconic family sitcom "Full House," Cameron Bure continues to flourish in the entertainment industry as role model to women of all ages. With an acting career that started at the age of five, Cameron Bure grew up in show business alongside her brother Kirk Cameron and has appeared in countless national television commercials, prime-time hits, TV movies and feature films. Mostly recently, Cameron Bure starred in the Hallmark Original Movie "Let It Snow." In addition, she starred on ABC Family's hugely popular show "Make It Or Break It" in a three year run as Summer Van Horn. Cameron Bure added bestselling author to her many titles with her book Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness, inspiring women to embrace a healthier lifestyle by moving faith to the forefront of their relationship with food. Her second book, Balancing It All, shares her story of successfully balancing different roles and responsibilities including motherhood, work, and Hollywood. Cameron Bure and her husband, former NHL star Val Bure, have been happily married since 1996. Together with their 3 children, Natasha, Lev and Maks, they split their time between Los Angeles and Napa Valley, California which is home to their boutique wine label, Bure Family Wines. CANDACE CAMERON BURE partners with MARK BALLAS.
DREW CAREY -- Drew Carey is a stand-up comic turned actor and producer who had the distinction of having two hit shows simultaneously: the long-running comedy "The Drew Carey Show," which ran from 1995-2004 and the improv/sketch show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" on which he was host and a producer. The success of that show led to the creation of "Drew Carey's Improv All-Stars," an improv troupe that performs in showrooms across the country. In July 2007, he was named the host of "The Price Is Right," succeeding longtime host Bob Barker. He began his successful career as a comedian in April of 1986 at the Cleveland Comedy Club. In 1988, one of his first big breaks was competing on "Star Search." In 1991, Carey landed a spot on HBO's "14th Annual Young Comedians Special" and appeared on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." Carey landed his own television development deal with Disney, which led to an opportunity for him to co-star in the series "The Good Life." He also had the opportunity to work with Bruce Helford, who was a consulting writer on the series and hired him as a staff writer for "The Gaby Hoffman Show." Their experience led the two of them to decide to co-create a series for Carey. He went on to star in his own comedy special for Showtime, "Drew Carey: Human Cartoon" and performed in Showtime's "Tenth Anniversary of the Montreal Comedy Festival." Carey was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Los Angeles. DREW CAREY partners with CHERYL BURKE.
MERYL DAVIS -- Paired in 1997, Meryl Davis, 27, and her partner Charlie White, 26, are the longest-running ice dancing partnership in the history of United States figure skating. As a child, Davis wished to glide atop the frozen surface of the Michigan Lake adjacent to her home, so learning to ice skate at the age of five was a natural choice. They are 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists, 2010 Olympic Silver Medalists and 2011 & 2013 World Champions. Davis and White are also six-time (2009-2014) U.S. Champions, and five-time (2001-2013) Grand Prix Final Champions. Led by one of the most successful coaching teams in the world, she and White have steadily climbed the ranks of the U.S. and international ice dancing world. In 2006, they made their senior debut on the Grand Prix Series. They dominated the international skating scene this season, standing atop the podium at all six competitions they entered. By winning the 2013 World Championships, the team made figure skating history, becoming the only U.S. ice dancing team to ever win two World titles. The second title cemented their place in figure skating history and positioned them as the team to beat at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. When not on the ice Davis enjoys reading, traveling and learning about other cultures. She is currently a student at the University of Michigan. MERYL DAVIS partners with MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY.
NENE LEAKES -- NeNe Leakes shot to stardom as a fan favorite on Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta." Her popularity as a housewife led to her own Bravo television series "I Dream of Nene: The Wedding." In 2012, she was cast as coach Roz Washington on "Glee" and later that year landed a starring role on NBC's sitcom "The New Normal." Leakes has also guest-starred in BET comedies, "The Game" and "Let's Stay Together." She was voted as one of Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year and was the recipient of Bravo's A-list Award for Fan Favorite. She is the author of Never Make the Same Mistake Twice, discussing her fractured childhood, abusive relationship and struggles with being a single mother. Currently, Leakes resides in Duluth, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, along with her two children and husband Gregg Leakes. NENE LEAKES partners with TONY DOVOLANI.
JAMES MASLOW -- James Maslow is best known as the star of the hit television series "Big Time Rush" and as a member of the worldwide bestselling music group of the same name. Maslow has headlined sold out tours across the globe, most recently the Big Time Rush Live 2014 World Tour, performing at some of the largest venues across North & South America. Maslow began his acting career on the popular series "iCarly" and completed the fourth season of "Big Time Rush" last year. As one of the most popular music groups internationally, Big Time Rush has won countless Kids' Choice Awards, and a 2012 Parade Magazine poll named Big Time Rush the "Best Boy Band in the World," topping other well-known bands such as One Direction and The Wanted. Maslow has collaborated with many popular recording artists, such as Jordin Sparks, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic and with Snoop Dogg on Big Time Rush's international, chart-topping hit single "Boyfriend." Born in New York and raised in San Diego, Maslow began performing at an early age, training at the prestigious La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, and the Coronado School of the Arts. JAMES MASLOW partners with PETA MURGATROYD.
DANICA MCKELLAR -- Danica McKellar, best known as Winnie Cooper on "The Wonder Years" and Elsie Snuffin on "The West Wing," is a New York Times bestselling author with her three groundbreaking books, Math Doesn't Suck, Kiss My Math and Hot X: Algebra Exposed. She is also the author of Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, McKellar wrote a theorem that has been dubbed, "The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem," and was published in Britain's esteemed Journal of Physics. Her recent acting roles include appearances on "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Big Bang Theory." DANICA MCKELLAR partners with VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY.