Wynonna Judd, Kellie Pickler to be on 'Dancing with the Stars'

Season 16 will begin March 18
Feb 27, 2013


Country singers Wynonna Judd and Kellie Pickler will be contestants on the 16th season of the hit ABC television show "Dancing with the Stars."

The lineup of celebrity dancers was announced Tuesday on "Good Morning America."

Judd, a five-time Grammy winning country star will dance with Tony Dovolani.

"This is something I said I would never do," Wynonna said this morning about joining the season 16 cast. "They've asked me for six years. I'm trying to get back to my original weight of 8 pounds, 15 ounces. Because it's the year of doing things that you're scared of."

Her partner is the reigning pro champ, winning last season's "All-Star" competition with partner Melissa Rycroft. This will be his 15th season.

Wynonna's grandmother, Polly Judd of Ashland, said she's glad her granddaughter will be on the program.

"I think it's great when people experience something different that gives a little lift, a little fun to their life," Judd said. "She's had a hard time with her husband's accident and she deserves to reach out and see what else she can do. She might take up fencing -- who knows with that girl?"

Judd said Wynonna is a lot of fun and expects her to be entertaining to watch.

"She's an adventurer and if she'd been on this Earth at the turn of the century, she would have been out scouting and seeing everything she could see with a new eye," Judd said, noting Wynonna didn't show interest in dancing when she was a child, only in singing.

Although not a regular watcher of "Dancing with the Stars," Judd said she will watch her granddaughter when she appears.

"I certainly will watch it for her," Judd said. "She is so much fun and she'll give it her best. She's very coordinated and it will be fun. She's a very funny girl."

Also in this season's cast is Pickler, who will be partnered with Derek Hough.

The 26-year-old Pickler gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of the Fox reality show "American Idol," eventually finishing in sixth place. In 2006, she signed to 19 Recordings and BNA Records as a recording artist, releasing her debut album, "Small Town Girl," later that year. To date, it has sold over 800,000 copies.

She released her self-titled second album in the fall of 2008 and has produced the singles "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" (which climbed to No. 21), "Best Days of Your Life" (which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift and went to No. 9 -- her first Top 10 hit), "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You" (No. 14) and "Makin' Me Fall in Love Again" (No. 30).

She parted ways with her former record label and in October signed with Black River Entertainment.

After 2 1/2 years of dating, Pickler became engaged to songwriter Kyle Jacobs on June 15, 2010, the day of her late grandmother's birthday, after he proposed on a beach at sunset. Pickler and Jacobs eloped on Jan. 1, 2011 in a small, intimate ceremony on a private island in the Caribbean.

Last September, Pickler shaved her head on "Good Morning America" in support of her friend, Summer Holt Miller, who started chemotherapy after breast surgery.

Others who will dance include:

--Boxer Victor Ortiz with Lindsay Arnold.

--Actor/comedian D.L Hughley with Cheryl Burke.

--Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones with Karina Smirnoff.

--Comedian Andy Dick with former troupe member Sharna Burgess.

--Actor Ingo Rademacher with Kym Johnson.

--Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman with Mark Ballas.

--Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman with Valentin Chmerkovskiy.

--Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill with Tristan MacManus.

--Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules star Lisa Vanderpump with Gleb Savchenko.

A 12th celebrity dancer will be named later.

The season will begin at 8 p.m. March 18.


By Lee Ward - The Daily Independent, Ashland, Ky. (MCT)

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