Some celebs, perhaps who the show producers perceive as heavy hitters, were matched with their same partners from the previous season: Kirstie Alley with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Bristol Palin with Mark Ballas, Melissa Rycroft with Tony Dovolani.
Here’s the announcement from ABC; the season kicks off Monday, Sept. 24:
• KIRSTIE ALLEY partners with MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, who returns for his 13th season.
• PAMELA ANDERSON teams with TRISTAN MACMANUS, who returns for his 3rd season as a professional partner.
• HELIO CASTRONEVES joins CHELSIE HIGHTOWER, who is returning for her 7th season.
• JOEY FATONE partners with two-time champ KYM JOHNSON, who returns for her 12th season.
• SHAWN JOHNSON joins three-time champ DEREK HOUGH, who returns for his 10th season.
• DREW LACHEY teams with ANNA TREBUNSKAYA, who returns for her 10th season.
• GILLES MARINI partners with last season’s champ, PETA MURGATROYD, who is returning for her 3rd season as a professional partner.
• KELLY MONACO joins VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY, who returns for his 3rd season.
• APOLO ANTON OHNO teams with Season 13 champ KARINA SMIRNOFF, who returns for her 12th season.
• BRISTOL PALIN teams up with two-time champ MARK BALLAS, who is returning for his 11th season.
• MELISSA RYCROFT joins TONY DOVOLANI, who returns for a 14th season.
• EMMITT SMITH partners with two-time champ CHERYL BURKE, who returns for her 14th season.