The Palin family reality TV dynasty has grown by one, as Bristol Palin is indeed returning for ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars.”
Disney actor Kyle Massey, who finished Season 11 in a higher spot than Bristol (she finished third) is among the former celebs on the list of candidates waiting to find if they’ve made it to the all-star edition — viewers get to decide whether, Carson Kressley or Sabrina Bryan will be the final celeb dancers on the show this fall.
Other returning celebs who have won previous “DWTS” seasons include Kelly Monaco, Drew Lachey and Helio Castroneves.
Once upon a time, Bristol Palin and Kyle were supposed to team up and live together for a BIO channel reality series. But when that show fell apart, it got turned into “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp” without Kyle or his brother, and wound up on Lifetime (where it’s performing so poorly in the ratings that Lifetime moved it to late night). Last month, Kyle and his family sued the producers of “Life’s a Tripp,” saying they got shut out at the last minute.
With Friday’s announcement, the Palin family now has five reality series under its belt, including “DWTS” twice, Lifetime’s “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” Todd Palin’s new NBC reality series, “Stars Earn Stripes,” and TLC’s “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”
Here’s the full line-up:
Bristol Palin, daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin/reality star, Season 11 second runner-up
Pamela Anderson, model/actress, Season 10 sixth place finisher
Kirstie Alley, actress, Season 12 runner-up
Emmitt Smith, former Dallas Cowboys running back, Season 3 winner
Kelly Monaco, soap opera actress, Season 1 winner
Gilles Marini, actor, Season 8 runner-up
Drew Lachey, former boy band singer, Season 2 winner
Helio Castroneves, racecar driver, Season 5 winner
Melissa Rycroft, former “Bachelor” contestant, Season 8 second runner-up
Joey Fatone, former boy band singer, Season 4 runner-up
Shawn Johnson, Olympic gymnast, Season 8 winner
Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic speed skater, Season 4 winner
ABC will let viewers vote for the 13th contestant — Disney singer/actress Sabrina Bryan, style expert Carson Kressley or Disney actor Kyle Massey — and the winner will be announced on “Good Morning America” on Aug. 27.
This is the 15th edition of “DWTS,” and the first all-star version for the show. On last season’s finale in May, host Tom Bergeron said that meant bringing back “champions, finalists, fan favorites and controversial characters.” When mentioning “controversial characters,” a screen appeared with photos of potential cast members, including former contestants Chaz Bono, Bristol Palin, Nancy Grace and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. (So apparently, only Palin made the cut.)
The Season 14 finale, in which Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd were crowned the winners winners, averaged about 17.8 million viewers — about 1.5 million fewer than the audience that had watched the year before (winners J.R. Martinez/Karina Smirnoff), and 4 million down from the season before that (champions Hines Ward/Kym Johnson).
Bergeron hinted earlier this week that viewers would have a say in bringing someone back to dance in the all-star season, tweeting “Looking forward to Friday’s DWTS All-Star Cast announcement. We’ll be announcing all but one, then YOU have to get to work!”