Kellie Pickler joins the new DWTS cast

Kellie Pickler is one of two country singers in the latest Dancing With The Stars cast. Kellie Pickler was an American Idol contestant in 2005. Wynonna Judd and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman are also in this DWTS cast.

(Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, file)
Country singer Kellie Pickler is one of eleven celebrity contestants who will compete on the next edition of "Dancing with the Stars." The new season kicks off on ABC with a two-hour premiere on March 18.

Two country music singers, Kellie Pickler and Wynonna Judd, are among the latest eclectic batch of Dancing With The Stars contestants.

The top-rated ABC show that revels in colorful casting (remember Bristol Palin or Chaz Bono?) has also brought in former Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill, comedian Andy Dick, actor D.L. Hughley, and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

"I'm bringing the crazy out here to the dance floor," Kellie Pickler told "I think everyone's gonna bring something different. I just want to have a good time. This is really an opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone and just grow. I'm looking forward to it."

Pickler finished in sixth place in the 2005 American Idol singing competition. But she has parlayed those performances into a country music career. She has released three albums. Her third album, "100 Proof" was released in January 2012. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Pickler, who is disarmingly blunt and quirky, has grown and matured since her performances on American Idol as a 19-year old.

"If fans relate to Kellie, it’s because she’s always been an open book. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is never hesitant to discuss her past and its impact on her present. Her story is now familiar. She was raised by her grandparents in tiny Albemarle, NC. Her mother abandoned Kellie and her father was incarcerated much of her young life," writes Great American Country TV.

Wynonna Judd had been asked to join the cast of DWTS before and declined. But Judd told USA Today now she was ready.

Platinum-selling country artist Wynonna, who had been asked in previous years, says she decided to accept this time after spending many months caring intensively for her husband, drummer Michael Scott Moser, who lost a leg in an August motorcycle accident shortly after their June wedding.

"I went from hanging up my cute, little newlywed clothes that we were going to be wearing while we travel and do things as a married couple and I turned into the nurse/mom/wife/caregiver. And I think I forgot myself. I just wasn't putting myself on that list," she says. "After meeting with the folks from Dancing With the Stars, I said, 'You know what. I'm going to do this, because I'm ready to be hyper-focused on something for me.' ... It's about self-care."

Rounding out the newest DWTS cast will be former welterweight boxing champ Victor Ortiz, "General Hospital" star Ingo Rademacher, actress-singer Zendaya Coleman and Lisa Vanderpump from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," as well as Olympic gold-medal gymnast Aly Raisman.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.