The newest celebrity cast for Season 25 of Dancing With the Stars will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 6 on Good Morning America on ABC. Will a soaper be on the roster of stars competing for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy?
Soap Hub certainly thinks the show is overdue. The last time a daytime star competed on the show was in Season 19 when Antonio Sabato Jr. (ex-Jagger, General Hospital) was paired with two-time DWTS champ Cheryl Burke.
We spoke to DWTS executive producer Deena Katz to see if soap fans will have a sudsy reason to tune in this season.
“I think you’re right,” Katz says. “It should be time [we have a soap star on the show].” The exec knows fully well the devotion soap fans have to their favorite stars.
Katz’s mother is the late Barbara Esensten, an Emmy-winner, whose writing credits include Guiding Light, All My Children, and The City.
“I see those fans and they’re like fans of sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys or the Pittsburgh Steelers,” says Katz.
Timing Is Everything
Katz’s respect for daytime talent is only half the battle. Securing deals with celebs isn’t easy given previous commitments and work schedules. Past contestants from AMC, Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan) and Susan Lucci (ex-Erica), were in heavy storylines when they competed on the show.
“Susan and Cameron would fly back and forth [from LA to New York],” Katz recalls. “We do have to find the right person and it’s hard for them because they have to work so much, sometimes every single day.”
Dance pros who have been paired with daytime stars in the past enjoy a side perk — they’re often invited onto the soap that their celeb is appearing. Tony Dovolani did a cameo on AMC with Lucci.
Both Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Val Chmerkovskiy appeared on GH thanks to Val being paired with Season 1 winner Kelly Monaco (Sam) during the All-Star Season.
It’s arguable that the dance pros’ popularity can be eclipsed by some of the celebs they teach to dance.
“The dancers are the family of the show,” Katz says. “The celebs who all come on are fantastic and people want to watch their journey, but year after year the fans of our show see the dancers. Season to season, the core is our dancers.”
Dancing With the Stars Season 25 premieres Monday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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