Photo Credit: ABC/Rick Rowell
Don't let the haters fool you. The ratings for ABC's Dancing With the Stars may have recently dipped, but it's still one of the most talked-about shows on TV. And the latest crew of Mirror Ball-strivers are about to take the dance floor for Season 16! Here's a roundup of important facts about the competitors.
The stars are younger than usual. "It's one of our youngest [casts] ever," exec producer Conrad Green told TV Guide. "I think half of them are around the age of 25."
But Dorothy Hamill -- at 56, the oldest contestant -- is a reluctant frontrunner! And she's been busy trying to temper expectations. "It's not as easy as you might think to go from skating to dancing," Hamill told ESPN.com. "I'm just trying not to look like a complete idiot!" Hmm. This sounds a lot like the early protests of Jennifer Grey, who went on to win Season 11 at age 51. Then again, Hamill did win her figure skating gold medal in 1976 -- before any of those 25-year-old DWTS competitors were born.
Thank heavens they're mixing up the dance styles this season! "You have to keep trying new things to keep it fresh," Green says. "If you've watched from the beginning, you've seen a hell of a lot of cha-chas and foxtrots!" The new styles are contemporary and jazz, which were both featured last season during episodes with opponents picks and theme combinations.
Aly Raisman wants to show America that she has a fun side. "At the Olympics, I was so serious and intense, so I'm glad people will be able to see my personality and see me have fun and go crazy here," says the 18-year-old, who won two gold medals and a bronze at the London Olympics. "It's a totally different side that people don't know exists."
"Andy Dick will out-Bruno Bruno." So says improv theater founder Charna Halpern, a longtime friend of the 47-year-old comedian. "Andy is more emotional than Bruno. … Bruno needs to keep Andy calm or he will heighten Bruno's emotions and madness will ensue." Well, that could be a good thing.
Sean Lowe has more to offer than just nice pecs. The Bachelor's partner, Peta Murgatroyd, sent an Instagram of the pair practicing -- and noted that he "is extremely flexible.....?!” She sounds shocked. Will we be as well?
Kellie Pickler just wants to maintain her dignity. "I've never ballroom danced in my life," she told USA Today. But she plans to stick to the main lesson she learned on American Idol in 2006. "If you don't act bats--t crazy, they can't make you look like that, you know what I mean?"
DWTS, Season 16 premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.