DWTS Season 29 Cast Changes & New Dancing With the Stars Rules


ABC Season 29 of "Dancing With the Stars" is here, but one of the celebrity dancers will be kicked off after their first performance.

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars is officially back for a brand-new season, and the premiere will come with some major changes to the judging panel and the rest of the cast. The season will also introduce some new rules.

Prior to the show announcing coming back to air, viewers speculated about what production might have to change in order to keep everyone safe from the COVID-19 pandemic while filming, especially since the show requires such close contact between partners.

Things that won’t change this season are the stakes: each week, celebrities will take the stage with their assigned pro dancer to compete for the ultimate prize while getting out of their comfort zones and, hopefully, wowing the audience.

Read on to learn more about what will be changing this season on Dancing With the Stars. 

New Rules Include All Professional Dancers Living Apart for the Season

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cast, crew and celebrities all have new rules to follow that won’t necessarily affect what viewers see on TV. One notable rule is that each pro will have to live separately. That rule includes married couples in hopes that, if one of the pros get sick, it wouldn’t lead to their spouse also having to leave the show.

Three married couples are among the cast this year. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and wife Jenna Johnson, Emma Slater and husband Sasha Farber and Pasha Pashkov and his wife Daniella Karagach are all on the roster of pros, and Slater talked to Good Morning America about the new mandate.

“It’s going to be so different because we can’t actually interact and even prep with each other, which is something completely different, but we’re doing everything we can to keep safe,” she said. “There’s going to be a lot of Facetiming.”

Other than that, it seems that the rules of the season will be pretty much the same as they were in Season 28, when the show introduced the Judges’ Save as well as adding online and text-in voting for the viewers. It’s possible that we’ll see more new rules added to the season during the premiere.

Season 29 Will Have A Different Judging Panel

Joining the judges this year is Derek Hough, of long-time Dancing With the Stars fame. He’ll be taking over for long-time judge Len Goodman.

Hough has won the championship of DWTS six times in his time on the show, and he’s no stranger to being a judge on reality dancing competitions. He’s also a judge on World of Dance alongside Ne-Yo and Jennifer Lopez.

Hough joins long-time DWTS judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba on the panel this year.

Who Are the Pros and Contestants on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in 2020?

This season sees many returning pros as well as a few new ones including the first Black female professional dancer to be featured on the show. Likewise, the celebrity list is pretty standard, but it did come with a few surprises.


  • Brandon Armstrong
  • Alan Bersten
  • Sharna Burgess
  • Cheryl Burke
  • Artem Chigvintsev
  • Val Chmerkovskiy
  • Sasha Farber
  • Jenna Johnson
  • Daniella Karagach
  • Keo Motsepe
  • Peta Murgatroyd
  • Pasha Pashkov
  • Gleb Savchenko
  • Emma Slater
  • Britt Stewart


  • Monica Aldama
  • Carole Baskin
  • Kaitlyn Bristowe
  • Vernon Davis
  • Anne Heche
  • Skai Jackson
  • Justina Machado
  • AJ McLean
  • Jeannie Mai
  • Jesse Metcalfe
  • Nelly
  • Nev Schulman
  • Charles Oakley
  • Chrishelle Stause
  • Johnny Weir

Be sure to tune in to Dancing With the Stars on ABC to watch the first performances from the pros and celebrities.

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