We already knew that Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown would be part of the new cast for Dancing With the Stars. But the official announcement Tuesday morning on Good Morning America revealed that two other sports figures were also among the 12 contestants for season 22 (!) of the celebrity dance competition.
Joining Miller and Brown are former Heisman Trophy winner and current NBC Sports analyst Doug Flutie. Flutie is the color analyst for NBC’s Notre Dame football telecasts, but as also demonstrated with Miller and Brown’s participation, this spring season of DWTS takes place during football’s offseason and won’t interfere with any of those on-air duties. (Maybe it will prevent some participation in the Pro Football Talk TV show on NBCSN?)
The other sports star who will be dancing it up is MMA fighter Paige VanZant. Nicknamed “12 Gauge,” VanZant fights in the straw-weight division of UFC, where she holds a 6-2-0 record. She lost her most recent match back in December to Rose Namajunas by submission.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 8, 2016
Hilariously, GMA host George Stephanopoulos showed he’s not much of a football fan. Either that, or some bad copy was written for him. Introducing Brown, he said “No defensive player has ever won the mirror-ball trophy, so will this wide receiver break the streak?” Fellow GMA personality and former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan hopefully pointed out Stephanopoulos’ flub during a commercial break. Stay in your lane, George. Politics and news is your game. Football clearly is not.
(By the way, when is Strahan going to compete on Dancing with the Stars? Hosting LIVE with Kelly and Michael might prevent that, however, since that show is in New York. But both he and Kelly Ripa would be great on DWTS.)
Brown will be partnered with Sharna Burgess on the dance floor. Super Bowl MVP Miller will be dancing with Witney Carson. Flutie’s partner will be Karina Smirnoff, former fiancée to MLB pitcher Brad Penny. And VanZant may have gotten the best draw, teamed up with two-time DWTS champion (and seven-time finalist) Mark Ballas.
Hosted by Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, the new season of Dancing With the Stars premieres on ABC Monday, March 21 at 8 p.m. ET.