Everyone! I have amazing news! Dancing with the Stars returns for its gazillionth season (truth: Season 24) this Monday, and there's no possible way you can be ready for it. Remember last season when that Canadian race car driver made us swoon? Or that filthy shower that hot couple took in the middle of the stage? Or that other time every five minutes that Bruno thrust his pelvis forward while growling and panting? We weren't ready for that, so there's for sure stuff that we can't foresee coming this season, either.
But there is stuff we do know about the season so far. And because we love to anticipate what's in store, we have a few extra questions that will only be answered with time.
That's pretty self explanatory, so let's get to it.
Here's What We Know
The cast was announced earlier this month. Here are the pairings:
- Bonner Bolton with Sharna Burgess
- Charo with Keo Motsepe
- Chris Kattan with Witney Carson
- David Ross with Lindsay Arnold
- Erika Jayne with Gleb Savchenko
- Heather Morris with Maksim Chmerkovskiy
- Mr. T with Kym Herjavec
- Nancy Kerrigan with Artem Chigvintsev
- Nick Viall with Peta Murgatroyd
- Normani Kordei with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Rashad Jennings with Emma Slater
- Simone Biles with Sasha Farber
Who Isn't Coming Back
Dancing mainstay Derek Hough won't be back this season. Neither will Jenna Johnson, Allison Holker and Cheryl Burke. And, thankfully, Ryan Lochte.
The Themed Weeks
Unlike last season, when Dancing producer Rob Wade told TVGuide.com about several special events coming up, DWTS has remained mostly mum on what's in store this season. That doesn't necessarily mean they have something new in store, so expect to see the traditional events like Movie Week, Disney Week (ABC-Disney synergy!) and more of your favorites. Hopefully they'll get rid of the freestyle impromptu dance-off from Halloween night, because that was scary in the wrong way.
First Night Song Choices
The opening-night songs have already been released, and several of them are so far on the nose they may as well be reading glasses. For example, "real" "housewife" Erika Kayne is dancing to an -- ahem -- Erika Kayne song, because that's how she do. Mr. T is prancing around to The A-Team song, probably because he's saving "Treat Your Mother Right" for Week 2. And we're guessing that Chris Kattan is expecting an early exit because he's opening with "What Is Love?," the song that made him famous from his infamous "clubbin' guys" skit he did with Will Ferrell on SNL. Here's the full list:
Simone Biles & Sasha Farber - Tango - "Untouchable" by Tritonal and Cash Cash
Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess - Cha Cha - "Move" by Luke Bryan
Charo & Keo Motsepe - Salsa - "Cuban Pete" by Mambo Compañeros
Erika Jayne & Gleb Savchenko - Salsa - "XXPEN$IVE" by Erika Jayne
Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater - Cha Cha - "24K Magic" by Bruno Mars
Chris Kattan & Witney Carson - Cha Cha - "What is Love" by Haddaway
Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev - Viennese Waltz - "She's Always a Woman" by Billy Joel
Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy - Quickstep - "Good Time Good Life" by Erin Bowman
Heather Morris & Maksim Chmerkovskiy - Viennese Waltz - "Make Something Beautiful" by Ben Rector
Mr. T & Kym Herjavec - Cha Cha - "Theme from the A-Team" by Mike Post, Pete Carpenter and The Daniel Caine Orchestra
David Ross & Lindsay Arnold - Quickstep - "Go Cubs Go" by Steve Goodman
Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd - Cha Cha - "Let Me Love You" by DJ Snake and Tiësto featuring Justin Bieber
Here's What We Want to Know
1. When will Nick Viall break up with Vanessa Grimaldi?
Stress is the enemy of new fragile relationships, and Nick and Vanessa just went public with their engagement earlier this week on the finale of The Bachelor. Did you see how awkward the two were? And do you blame them since they've been on like two dates and probably don't even know how to spell each other's last names? Now Nick will go through the publicity and physical gauntlet of DWTS, which can be overwhelming. He'll also be grinding with returning hottie Peta Murgatroyd as his pro, so if there are any cracks in this brand-new and untested relationship, they'll only get bigger after this. Maybe they'll breakup in time for Nick to join this season of Bachelor in Paradise.
2. How unfair is it to have so many experienced dancers?
Super unfair! Heather Morris used to dance back-up for Beyoncé. She's been dancing since she was standing, basically. Erika Jayne and Normani Kordei are pop stars (or at least Erika thinks she is), and these days the ability to sing is merely a suggestion when it comes to becoming musically famous, while dancing is a must. And gymnast Simone Biles clearly has the strength and rhythm that it takes to win the Mirror Ball trophy, as we saw last year when her teammate Laurie Hernandez crushed everyone. Does anyone else really stand a chance?
3. Who will be the last three to survive?
We've got Morris as our clear favorite, so expect nothing short of the finals for her. Biles will ride her popularity and physical skills to the final three, too. That leaves one spot, which will probably go to Kordei. However, if the fix is in and ABC doesn't want an all-female finale, maybe a wild card like bullrider Bonner Bolton will sneak in there.
4. Who will be the first three to get eliminated?
As top-loaded as this season is, there are also plenty of sacrificial lambs that will exit early. Saturday Night Live's Chris Kattan may make it to the first week of April, if he's lucky, as he's just here to get a few laughs before the real competition begins. Can anyone really picture Mr. T doing a Viennese Waltz? I just tried it, and nope. And Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross won't be able to translate his talent for squatting for three hours into high scores, even if his knees survive his first salsa. Also questionable to go far is the delightful Charo, but her personality will take her further than these guys.
5. Who is this year's James Hinchcliffe?
If you watched last season, then you fell in love with Canadian race car driver Hinchcliffe, who Julianne Hough called the best male dancer she's seen on the show. Hinchcliffe was a total surprise as the relative unknown who made it to the finals with talent and charm, and there's only one person on the roster who could fit that description: Bonner Bolton. The bullrider even has a similar backstory to Hinchcliffe, who nearly died in a horrific car crash. In early 2016, Bolton was launched off a bull, landed on his head and was given a one-percent chance to walk again. Now he's on Dancing with the Stars. It remains to be seen if the cowboy can replicate James' impeccable poise and balance, but the rest of the pieces fit. Also, he's a male model so that won't hurt.
6. Will new parents Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy be able to stay awake?
DWTS takes as much stamina as it does talent, and as every parent knows, newborn babies suck the stamina out of parents (from moms, literally), leaving them withered and exhausted from early-morning feedings and constant crying. Peta and Maks welcomed their son Shai in January, meaning they're right in the middle of mountains of poopy diapers and bleary-eyed mornings. (Sure, they can afford like five nannies, but they have to be doing some of the dirty work, right?) Peta's dancing with Nick Viall and Maks is with Heather Morris; will that affect their chances?
7. Who is the likeliest to gain the most new fans?
Last season, Terra Jole was able to let her personality shine through her dances and made her big introduction to the world. Hinchcliffe was also an unknown who charmed the pants off of America. This season, expect Bolton, who may have the lowest profile of all the dancers, to rocket up trending charts if he can last long. And Heather Morris was a star on Glee, but hasn't been in the spotlight much since. Once people see her dance, they'll be on board the Morris train.
8. Who might feud this season?
There was a distinct lack of friction last season as Dancing with the Stars turned in one of its friendliest affairs yet. But things may be different this year. Charo has already fired shots at Heather Morris, telling E! she was "pissed off" when Morris was announced as part of the competition, given her background as a professional dancer. Go get 'em, Charo!
What are you wondering about regarding the upcoming season?
Dancing with the Stars returns Monday, Mar. 30 at 8/7c on ABC.