LOS ANGELES (BVM) – The 16 celebrity cast members of Season 31 of “Dancing with the Stars” were revealed Thursday. For the first time in 10 seasons (since Season 21), there are no former NFL or NBA players as well as no Olympic medalists on the hit reality ballroom dance competition.
Sports fans may want to sit out of watching this season. In past seasons, fans have seen former NBA players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NFL players like Antonio Brown and Olympic medalists like Simone Biles. Former NBA player Iman Shumpert actually won last season’s coveted Mirrorball Trophy.
Over a third of the winners in “DWTS” 30-season history have been professional athletes from the NBA, NFL and many of whom are Olympic medalists. Here’s a list all the athletes who’ve ever won “Dancing with the Stars:”
Season 30: Iman Shumpert, NBA shooting guard
Season 26: Adam Rippon, Olympic medalist
Season 24: Rashad Jennings, NFL running back
Season 23: Laurie Hernandez, Olympic medalist
Season 18: Meryl Davis, Olympic medalist
Season 14: Donald Driver, NFL wide receiver
Season 12: Hines Ward, NFL wide receiver
Season 8: Shawn Johnson, Olympic medalist
Season 6: Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic medalist
Season 5: Helio Castroneves, Indianapolis 500 champion
Season 4: Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic medalist
Season 3: Emmitt Smith, NFL running back
The only athlete this season is Joseph Baena. He is a bodybuilder who also happens to be the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“The training discipline is there, but the thing that’s going to be different is the flexibility,” Baena said on Good Morning America during the cast announcement.
That statement is true for all athletes on the show learning to shake, bend and flex in ways they’ve never done before. But, history has shown that athletes tend to do better on the show especially because of America’s popularity vote as sports fans keep them in the competition. So, it’s shocking that there weren’t any bigger and more competitive athletes named to this season when there are typically a few.
Bodybuilding fans can watch Joseph Baena on “Dancing with the Stars” beginning September 19 on Disney+.