‘Dancing with the Stars’ is back with another season packed with thrilling dance performances, raw emotions, and sizzling chemistry. The competition series follows several pairs comprising a celebrity and a professional dancer, who showcase their excellent dancing skills to charm the judges and audiences to advance to the next round. In the finale, the pair that outlasts all the competitors wins the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Season 29 has seen several creative changes, starting with the departure of long-time host Tom Bergeron and co-host Erin Andrews.
Tyra Banks makes her debut as the host while former pro-dancer Derek Hough graces the judging panel, alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Naturally, you must be excited to know about the talented pairings of season 29. Well, here’s an extensive list of celebrity-pro DWTS partners.
1. Peta Murgatroyd and Vernon Davis
From football to footwork, former Washington tight end Vernon Davis is all set to hit the goal with his professional partner Peta Murgatroyd, an exceptional Latin dancer. With the two-time ‘DWTS’ winner Peta on his side, the athlete won’t have a problem grasping the tough dance routines. The pair made their stage debut with a romantic foxtrot number, and look at all that steam!
2. Jenna Johnson and Nev Schulman
The ‘Catfish’ creator Nev Schulman has been paired alongside Latin and ballroom dancer, Jenna Johnson, who has already pushed Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon past the finish line in season 26. The fresh pair performed an elegant ballroom routine in the season premiere, forcing debut judge Derek to exclaim, “My man, you’re a great dancer.” Well, we are sure the two will work towards continuing the streak!
3. Sasha Farber and Justina Machado
Sasha Farber is often touted as the most enthusiastic pro dancer on the show. Well, we must thank his stars as Sasha has been paired alongside ‘One Day at a Time’ actress Justina Machado, who is as fiery and competitive as him. In the premiere, the pair brought the judges to their feet with their energetic cha-cha set to Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect.’ It looks like this might be the season where Sasha bags his first win!
3. Daniella Karagach and Nelly
Daniella is one half of the terrific dancing duo – Karagach and Pashkov. She made her ‘DWTS’ debut with season 28. Although she didn’t get a partner and acted as the troupe member, Daniella managed to impress everyone with her smooth ballroom dancing skills, which paved the way for her to be paired alongside Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. AKA rapper and songwriter Nelly in season 29. The pair performed to Nelly’s own song ‘Ride With Me’ earning compliments from Carrie for their rhythmic salsa routine!
4. Alan Bersten and Skai Jackson
As the youngest contestant on the show, Disney alum Skai Jackson was understandably nervous before the premiere. However, all the jitters faded away when she stepped on the stage to perform a retro-futuristic tango set with her pro partner Alan Bersten, who is the winner of the previous season, i.e., season 28.
5. Britt Stewart and Johnny Weir
Newcomer Britt Stewart has bagged the opportunity to partner up with Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir in the twenty-ninth season of the dance competition. As the first-ever African-American female pro, Britt will not let her chance go to waste. The pair made their stage debut with a sensuous cha-cha performance that had the judges yearning for more.
6. Cheryl Burke and AJ McLean
As the first performers of the season, the Backstreet Boys member, AJ McLean, and pro-dancer Cheryl Burke put all their energy into their jive routine to The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights.’ In case you’re wondering if the pair has got what it takes to win the show, let us tell you that Cheryl is the first female professional to win the show, and the first professional to win twice. So, you do the math!
7. Sharna Burgess and Jesse Metcalfe
Actor and musician Jesse Metcalfe is known for his performance in ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Passions.’ In the competition series, Jesse has been paired alongside season 27 winner, Sharna Burgess. The pair managed to raise the stage temperature, and Carrie couldn’t stop herself from complimenting the actor on his “passionate quicksteps.”
8. Emma Slater and Charles Oakley
It’s been five years (season 24) since Emma Slater has bagged her first ‘DWTS.’ In the current season, Emma has partnered up with basketball legend Charles Oakley. Considering their opening salsa performance, it sure looks like the duo has their eyes fixated on the Mirrorball Trophy.
9. Gleb Savchenko and Chrishell Stause
The real estate agent of ‘Selling Sunset’ fame made the judges swoon to her Tango performance with the Russian dancer and choreographer, Gleb Savchenko. Although Gleb is yet to bag a win on ‘DWTS,’ he is clearly one of the most experienced pros on the show due to his appearances on the Russian, Australian, and American versions of the dance competition series.
10. Brandon Armstrong and Jeannie Mai
Television host and stylist Jeannie Mai, and all-rounder Brandon Armstrong managed to capture the essence of Taylor Dayne’s ‘Tell It to My Heart,’ with their enthusiastic salsa set. Although Brandon hasn’t won a single season of the show, he doesn’t lack the experience and talent to dance his way to the finale with his beautiful partner Jeannie Mai.
11. Keo Motsepe and Anne Heche
It’s good to see Anne Heche back into the spotlight. The ‘Six Days, Seven Nights’ actor is also known for her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres and her tragic familial history. She set the stage on fire by performing a cha-cha set with her talented partner, Keo Motsepe, who is also the first African American professional dancer on the show.
12. Val Chmerkovskiy and Monica Aldama
Navarro College’s cheerleading head coach Monica Aldama’s transition from the cheer mat to the dance stage couldn’t have gotten better. Paired alongside Ukrainian-American pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy, the teacher-turned-student delivered an elegant and stylish foxtrot number. The two-time winner possesses the same competitive spirit as Monica, which will surely help the pair proceed in the competition.
13. Artem Chigvintsev and Kaitlyn Bristowe
Artem and Kaitlyn are one of the most powerful pairs in season 29. The new-father is a ‘DWTS’ veteran who has appeared on several seasons but has never tasted glory. In this season, Artem has been paired alongside ‘The Bachelorette’ and ‘The Bachelor’ alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, who is super excited to show the world what they have in store. For their first dance, the pair performed a cha-cha set to Lady Gaga’s ‘Stupid Love.’
14. Pasha Pashkov and Carole Baskin
The controversial big-cat rights activist made her dancing debut alongside Daniella Karagach’s husband, Pasha Pashkov. Pasha first appeared on the ‘DWTS’ stage in season 28, wherein he made ‘The Office’ fame Kate Flannery dance on his directions. In the season 29 premiere, Carole and Pasha hit the stage wearing tie-dye tiger print costumes and performing pasodoble to ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ Of course! How else do you expect Carole Baskin to make an entrance?
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