In a few days, “Dancing With the Stars” is set to announce its season 23 celebrity cast, and the Internet has been abuzz with speculation as to who will be competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy on the ABC show this fall. Recently, “DWTS” casting director Deena Katz revealed that she has spoken to a former president and some Olympians to persuade them to compete on the show.
Speaking with ABC News on Tuesday, Aug. 16, Katz said, “You know, I ask Bill Clinton every time. But this time I actually didn’t ask him because I thought he might be a little busy.”
The casting director also revealed that she has spoken with current Olympians for season 23.
“I’ve talked to a lot of Olympians but, unfortunately for them, I can’t really lock someone in so it’s kind of like putting that call out and then they’re all just waiting,” said Katz.
The director further stated that adding Olympians to the celebrity roster has worked for both the athletes and the show, as gymnast Shawn Johnson, figure skater Evan Lysacek, and beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor all competed in different seasons to positive results.
Johnson and professional dance partner Mark Ballas won “DWTS” season 8, and in November 2012, she earned second place on the all-star edition of the show. Lysacek, who was partnered with Anna Trebunskaya in season 10, finished in second place, while May-Treanor joined the show in season 7 and was partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Olympic ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White were both in “DWTS” in season 18, with Davis winning the Mirror Ball Trophy with partner Chmerkovskiy.
As of the moment, Rio Olympics favorite Simone Biles is said to be on the show’s wish list for season 23. On casting the hit dance competition show, Katz said that they aim to make the reality show “really topical” while at the same time mixing up “a little bit of current with a little bit of nostalgia.” The show will announce the cast on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
“Dancing With the Stars” season 23 premieres on Monday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.