Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean joins season 29 of ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Get ready to “Rock Your Body” on the latest season of “Dancing with the Stars,” because Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean is heading to the ballroom! On Thursday morning, Good Morning America revealed that boy band member, AJ McLean will compete as a celebrity contestant on season 29 of Dancing with the Stars.

“I’ve been dancing since I was about 6 years old, but this is going to be a bit different,” the Backstreet Boys star said. Joking, that he does not have an advantage in the competition while appearing Thursday morning on “Good Morning America” where the announcement was made.

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The singer joins The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe, who was announced as one of the celebrity cast members in June, on the upcoming season which will see Tyra Banks take on the role as host of the show. So far, “The Bachelorette” alum and the boy band member are the only two celebrities to be confirmed for Season 29. ABC will announce the complete celebrity cast on September 2nd, earlier next week.

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“It’s going to be awesome for them to watch daddy cutting a jig on TV”

McLean, who shares daughters Ava Jaymes, 7, and Lyric Dean, 3, with wife Rochelle, told GMA that his little girls can’t wait to see their dad on the show.


“They are stoked, especially my oldest,” he said. “She’s been doing competitive dance now for the last two years. And my youngest is obviously trying to follow in her big sis’ footsteps, so they’re both just elated.” He added, “It’s going to be awesome for them to watch daddy cutting a jig on TV.”

“If there’s anybody that can get the mirrorball, it’s definitely you”

This isn’t the first time a Backstreet Boy has taken his dancing skills to the TV stage. Five years ago, fellow Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter joined the show during season 21. Whats more, Carter finished in second place on the dance competition series.

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“I reached out to Nick four days ago just to get some kind of insight on what to expect during the course of the season. And he both supported me and terrified me a little bit,” McLean shared Thursday. “Just letting me know that schedule is gonna be rough, just hang in there. It’s a marathon not a sprint and I’m gonna do the best I can and hopefully take home that mirrorball.”

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Additionally during McLean’s GMA appearance, Carter surprised his band mate with a video message offering words of encouragement. “If there’s anybody that can get the mirrorball, it’s definitely you,” Carter said. “Get first place baby, go get that mirrorball.”

“Get ready, BSB Army, this is going to be a wild ride”

McLean also shared the exciting news on social media noting how “grateful” he is for the opportunity to appear on the show. “I also want to thank my wife and my two girls for letting Daddy go on this new adventure. I’m doing it ALL for you!” he wrote.”Get ready, BSB Army, this is going to be a wild ride. LET’S DO THIS!!!!!!” he added in a follow-up tweet.

Earlier this month, it was announced that fan favorites Artem Chigvintsev, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd, Val Chmerkovskiy. Cheryl Burke, Keo Motsepe, Jenna Johnson, Alan Bersten, Brandon Armstrong. Sasha Farber, Pasha Pashkov, Emma Slater and Gleb Savchenko would all be returning as professional dancers for the upcoming season of the show.

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Two first-time pros will also be joining the cast: Britt Stewart and Daniella Karagach. The contestant and pro dancer pairings will be revealed during next month’s two-hour premiere.

The new season is unlike any other

DWTS season 29 will be unlike any other. The new season is said to be a creative refresh of the long-running show. DWTS will be welcoming its first Black female pro, Britt Stewart.

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will also be more safety protocols in place. All the pros must live apart, including the married pro couples, like Emma Slater and Sasha Farber. This is in accordance with a new rule, issued in order to prevent the elimination of two pros and their celebrity partners. Should one get sick with COVID-19.


Tom and Erin’s Exit From The Show

Another thing different about this season, is that former hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will not be returning to the stage.

ABC and BBC Studios confirmed the news in a joint statement. “Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success.” Bergeron co-hosted all 28 seasons of the dance competition show from 2005 through 2020, spanning 15 years and nearly 450 episodes.

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“Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom,” the statement continued. “Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010. And her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show.”

“I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats”

A day after Tom and Erin’s exit, DWTS announced that Supermodel and businesswoman, Tyra Banks is the new host of the ABC reality dance competition. Tyra, who will also be an executive producer on the series, shared her excitement on taking over as the show’s host. “I’ve been a fan of ‘DWTS‘ since its beginning, the TV personality said. “The fun mixed with raw emotion, seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones, the sizzling dance performances. It’s always transported me to my days of turning it up 10 notches on the catwalk.” Banks says as she recalls her supermodel days.

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Banks also took the moment to honor DWTS’s long running host, Bergeron. “Tom has set a powerful stage. I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats.”

Season 29 of DWTS will premiere on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.


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