ABC has announced that WWE Celebrity Hall of Famer Mr. T will be a member of the cast of the new season of Dancing with the Stars, which premieres on March 20th. The following press release was issued:
ABC ANNOUNCES THE CELEBRITY CAST ALONG WITH THEIR PROFESSIONAL DANCE PARTNERS OF THIS SEASON’S ‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ LIVE ON ‘GOOD MORNING AMERICA’
‘Dancing with the Stars’ Returns with a Live Premiere on Monday, March 20, 8:00-10:01 p.m. EST
The new celebrity cast of “Dancing with the Stars” are donning their glitzy wardrobe and slipping on their dancing shoes as they ready themselves for their first dance on the ballroom floor, as the season kicks off on MONDAY, MARCH 20 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. The season 24 premiere marks the 400th episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” and this season’s lineup of celebrity dancers includes the greatest Olympic gymnast in history, a two-time World Series champion – and the show’s first baseball player, a real housewife of Beverly Hills, a bull rider who survived a catastrophic injury, a member of the popular band Fifth Harmony, a “Saturday Night Live” alumnus and the original “CuchiCuchi” girl, to name just a few.
As announced this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the celebrities with their professional dance partners heading to the ballroom this season (in alphabetical order) are:
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
BONNER BOLTON – In the past 14 months, Bonner Bolton has gone from sitting atop the standings as the world’s No. 1 bull rider to being paralyzed to becoming an international fashion model. He had been leading the PBR’s 2016 season opener when he landed on his head when dismounting the bull. He splintered his C-2 vertebra, was temporarily paralyzed and given a one percent chance to walk again. Following spinal fusion surgery and during his remarkable recovery, IMG Models signed the cowboy from west Texas for global representation, and he’s been featured in major photo shoots and ad campaigns. Bolton, 29, joins “Dancing with the Stars” to continue to blaze a trail for PBR cowboys crossing into the mainstream while he evangelizes the cowboy code of hard work, honesty, courage and compassion.
Bolton grew up on a ranch in west Texas and started mounting steers when he was 10. Before breaking his neck, he had persevered through several serious injuries to rank among the world’s top bull riders. In 2008 he tore his right bicep clean off the bone, sidelining him for nearly a year. In 2015 he came off a collarbone broken in four places to finish seventh at the PBR World Finals. Prior to his nearly catastrophic injury, he played Scott Eastwood’s stunt double in the major motion picture, “The Longest Ride.”
Bolton credits his father, Toya, an old-school cowboy who rode bulls professionally for 20 years, with teaching him how to ride, take care of his body and maintain the toughness necessary to stay on powerful bucking bulls more than 10 times his size.
Follow Bonner @bonner_blue_
Follow Sharna @SharnaBurgess
CHARO – Only a few people in show business are recognized by just one name. Charo is one of those people. A virtuoso guitarist, singer, composer, actress and comedienne, Charo is an American music and pop culture Icon.
Charo is instantly recognizable by her trademark expression, “CUCHI-CUCHI,” which has endeared her to millions around the world and made her name synonymous with music, fun and excitement. Charo is short for Rosario, her given name of Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza. Born in the town of Murcia, Spain, she learned to play the guitar at an early age and studied under the world-famous master of Flamenco guitar, Andrés Segovia. Becoming a recording artist in her early teens, Charo appeared in the Spanish film classic, “Don Juan Tenorio,” and was featured in a children’s television show that brought her to the attention of famed Latin bandleader Xavier Cugat. Charo joined Cugat’s band and traveled to Las Vegas, where the band played in all the major casinos, including Caesar’s Palace, The Flamingo and The Tropicana.
Soon, Charo began performing as a solo artist at the Congo Room at the Sahara Hotel and Casino, sharing the stage with the likes of Johnny Carson, Joey Bishop, Danny Thomas, Buddy Hackett, Jim Nabors and George Burns. During this time, she recorded her hit disco albums, “La Salsa” and “Flamenco Salsa,” on Capitol Records. The single, “Cuchi Cuchi,” went platinum and became a hit in nightclubs worldwide. Her follow-up album, “Ole-Ole,” on Salsoul Records, contained the single “Stay with Me” and became an international hit, achieving gold status. With the introduction of her international hit, “Dance a Little Bit Closer,” Charo created and established a new bilingual salsa style – “The Charo Rhythm” – which has been emulated by other performers.
In 1985 she and her husband, Swedish businessman Kjell Rasten, visited Hawaii and fell in love with the islands and relocated her family there. While in Hawaii, she executive produced and starred in the variety show “Tropical Heat” at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikiki, and for 10 years it was the most successful show in Hawaii. It was during this time that she began preparing her critically acclaimed album “Guitar Passion,” which earned her Female Pop Album of the Year at the Billboard International Latin Music Conference and reached platinum status worldwide.
Charo returned to mainstream show production and headed for Las Vegas. In 2001 she headlined and produced “Bravo,” at The Venetian Hotel & Casino. It was named “Best Variety Show in Las Vegas” by Time Magazine. She recently starred in several episodes of the CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” She and her family also recently appeared on an episode of ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap,” bringing to millions the antics and hilarious situations in her crazy Beverly Hills household. She also appeared in such films as “Moon Over Parador,” with Richard Dreyfuss, and “Airport 79: The Concord.” She is also currently at work on her latest album and other projects, including an exercise video, “Ejercicio.” Charo also enjoys huge popularity among gay audiences and has appeared several times on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She also teams up with world famous DJs and producers from around the world, who add their dance mixes to her virtuoso guitar performances and come up with dance hits, one of which earned her a World Dance Music Award Nomination.