The cast members of the upcoming reality series "Dancing with the Stars: All Stars" at the Disney-ABC Television Group portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills. (Photo : Reuters)
Fifteen celebrities have agreed to return to ABC's all stars edition of Dancing with the Stars, however two won't get to step on the dance floor.
The all stars cast was revealed at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.
"We got the best of the best," said Executive Producer Conrad Green. "We got the best personalities, the best dancers. We had a wish list and we pretty much got the wish list. All were willing to take part. It's a testament to how much they enjoyed doing it. This is our version of The Avengers. We tried to focus on the people who went further in the competition, who had the most ability. It will be an intensely competitive season."
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Among the returning contestants are six previous winners, singer Drew Lachey (season 2), former NFL player Emmitt Smith (season 3), Olympic speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno (season 4), Indy 500 Champion Helio Castroneves (season 5), Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson (season 8), and the first winner of the series, actress Kelly Monaco.
Controversial season 11 contestant Bristol Palin is set to return as well, previously landing in third place despite consistently receiving low judging marks.
"The press is going to talk about me no matter what," said Palin. "So I might as well have fun."
Green noted he and his colleagues wanted to do a special season with enough "heritage" to it.
"One hundred-thirty-plus celebrities have participated, and we wanted to pick from the best of the best," said Green "We felt we needed enough time to build up the stock to do that and this felt like the perfect time to do that. I'm astonished with the people who have agreed to say yes."
In a twist, the viewers will choose the 13th all-star contestant. Season 5's Sabrina Bryan, Season 11's Kyle Massey, and Season 13's Carson Kressley currently face the public vote, and only one will earn the final spot for the show's 15th season. Viewers can vote on ABC.com until Aug. 24. The winner will be announced on the Aug. 27 edition of Good Morning America.
Official Dancing with the Stars All Stars Cast:
Kelly Monaco (season 1, winner)
Drew Lachey (season 2, winner)
Emmitt Smith (season 3, winner)
Apolo Ohno (season 4, champion)
Joey Fatone (season 4, second place)
Helio Castroneves (season 5, winner)
Shawn Johnson (season 8, champion)
Gilles Marini (season 8, second place)
Melissa Rycroft (season 8, third place)
Pamela Anderson (season 10, withdrew after fourth round)
Bristol Palin (season 11, third place)
Kirstie Alley (season 12, second place)
The contestants' dance partners will be announced on Aug. 13. Dancing with the Stars premieres on Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.