Former Bachelorette Charity Lawson and ‘Vanderpump Rules’ star Ariana Madix were previously confirmed to take part in the latest season of the ABC dance competition
ABC revealed on Good Morning America Tuesday that the Zoey 102 and Sweet Magnolia star will join former Bachelorette Charity Lawson and Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix in competing for this year’s coveted Mirrorball Trophy.
She’ll be paired with Alan Bersten, making them the first couple officially revealed for this season.
Asked if she was ready for it, Spears, 32, told GMA, “I don’t know if one can ever be 100% ready to take on something this big; I didn’t realize what a commitment it is, but it definitely is. I’m ready to challenge myself.”
Spears went on to reveal that she’ll be donating her weekly earnings to SAG-AFTRA and the WGA amid their ongoing strike. “While everybody else in my community is on strike, I have this unique opportunity where I was offered a chance to work when my community cannot work. So I figured I’ll do this and I will donate my weekly salary… to just give back to them at a time where they can’t give back to themselves,” she said.
Rehearsals have already been underway, Bersten, 29, said, noting how the two have bonded already. “We had our first rehearsal and it was great,” he said. “Jamie Lynn is so hard-working and so dedicated and it’s actually so much fun. We get along so well.”
“He’s been wonderful,” Spears added. “My family got to meet him and he’s been great. I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else.”
“My 15 year old actually was very motivated for me to do this, which was actually very surprising,” she noted. “My 15-year-old was like, ‘You’re going to dance on TV? What are you doing mom?’ But she was like, ‘Mom, you have to do it.’ She’s an athlete so I think she wants to see me kind of push myself.”
“Typically I’d be working on different ventures but I think it’s just important that I have this opportunity,” Spears continued. “And if I get up there and even if I embarrass myself, I’m doing it for a good reason and hopefully giving back to the community that’s literally given back to me since I was a little girl.”
Season 32 of Dancing with the Stars will premiere Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and will stream on Disney+ and Hulu.
The full cast will be unveiled Wednesday morning on GMA. ” The cast is amazing so it’s going to be vey surprising,” Bersten said, Spears ading she’s excited to grow closer to her fellow competitors. “I can’t wait to make a whole new family and bond through this. I think that’s going to be a very big part of it.”
Madix, 38, teased her turn in the ballroom with an Instagram video posted on Monday.
“I am so excited to do Dancing with the Stars this season, I just met my partner. He’s really great but I can’t tell you who it is. The other people who are on this season are insane. So you have to tune into GMA, and you have to stay tuned to see who is going to be on.”
Madix was the first cast member to be announced for season 32 back in July. At the time, judge Derek Hough quipped during a special GMA segment: “This season on Dancing with the Stars, we are going absolutely mad — mad for Madix! Say goodbye to the drama and hello to the dance floor!”
“That’s right, I’m Vanderpump Rules‘ Ariana Madix, and I will be joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars this season,” Madix added, before showing off some moves with Hough.
“So I know you like to cut up, you like to dance and you like to get down,” Olubeko, 30, said to Lawson. “And you know that we’ve talked about this about how amazing this opportunity would be, and I am so happy to be the one to tell you that you’re going to be on Dancing with the Stars.”
The new cast members will compete in front of Hough and his fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. (Former head judge Len Goodman announced his retirement in November 2022, five months before his death at age 78.)
In addition to changes at the judges’ table, ABC announced this past March that Derek’s sister (and fellow former pro) Julianne Hough was slated to co-host alongside former champ Alfonso Ribeiro following Tyra Banks‘ exit after three seasons as host.
Pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy confirmed his return for season 32, telling Us Weekly that he was “very excited” to compete. He also teased potential returns for his wife Jenna Johnson, who sat out season 31 during her pregnancy with their firstborn son Rome, and sister-in-law Peta Murgatroyd, who welcomed her second son Rio with husband Maks Chmerkovskiy in June.
Separately, pros Lindsay Arnold and Witney Carson both announced they will not be returning for the upcoming season of DWTS. Arnold announced her departure after 14 seasons late last month on TikTok, and Carson followed suit shortly after.
“This was not a decision that we took lightly at all,” Carson said in her TikTok announcement, referring to herself and husband Carson McAllister. “But we will not be doing Dancing with the Stars this season. And as much as that pains me to say, I just feel very at peace with it.”
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“It has been very emotional. There [are] a lot of emotions and there’s lots of excitement, but there’s also lots of fear,” she said. “At the end of the day, this is actually maybe another divorce in a way that I’m going through in one year.”
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