Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the ballroom…who?
Dancing With the Stars revealed its line-up of celebrity competitors for its upcoming 28th season this week, and per usual, the roster is a mixed bag of stars, including Hannah Brown, Karamo Brown, James Van Der Beek and Lamar Odom. You’ve got your athletes. Then there’s the reality stars. And of course, you can’t forget a beloved child actor or two and controversial political figure.
Still, that doesn’t mean the cast announcement didn’t inspire a chorus of “Who?”s to ring out across the country as fans wondered just who some of these celebrities were.
In our annual (slightly shady) experiment, we asked our five random people—a DWTS super-fan, a lawyer, a college junior, a former entertainment reporter and a clueless Brooklynite doing his best—if they knew each star.
Their answers ranged from the hilarious to the depressing…
Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
DWTS Super-Fan: She’s a country singer, right? From The Voice?
Lawyer: Is that one person? I have no idea, sounds like some influencer or something. That can’t be a real name. Who is she?
College Junior: OMG, I know this one! The Olympic gymnast!
Former Entertainment Reporter: Usually if I don’t know someone I say they are a Vine star but, you know, RIP. So she’s a TikTok star?
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Had to look you up. Pro-tip: country music sucks.
Who She Really Is: A country singer who got her start when she came in second place on American Idol in season 10.
DWTS Super-Fan: Oh god, she’s doing it?!
Lawyer: I know Christie Brinkley.
College Junior: Um, no clue. Her name sounds like she changed is for show biz so maybe an actress?
Former Entertainment Reporter: Supermodel icon. Also Jerry Gergich’s wife.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: uuuuh 65 and a still a babe. I yelled “CHRISTIE B IS STILL FINE AS HELL!” when I first saw her name…
Who She Really Is: A supermodel and actress.
DWTS Super-Fan: An Olympian?
Lawyer: I feel like I know that name. Ally Brooke…something with sports. No?
College Junior: The girl from Fifth Harmony?
Former Entertainment Reporter: Drawing a blank. Shot in the dark: a singer?
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Girl group? You mean girl band? Take a hike kid, you’ll never be Spice Girls.
Who She Really Is: A former member of Fifth Harmony.
Walt Disney Television/Heidi Gutman
DWTS Super-Fan: That was the girl that was just the Bachelorette, right?
Lawyer: Another part of Fifth Harmony? Would I know her if you gave me a hint? [HINT: “Everything’s coming up roses.”] Gypsy? She’s in Gypsy?
College Junior: ROLL TIDE. My Southern sister! Alabama Hannah forever!
Former Entertainment Reporter: The Bachelorette who chose the wrong dude.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: With a name like this could’ve been anyone. No idea who this person was, and after Googling…not sure they deserve to be known anyway.
Who She Really Is: The most recent Bachelorette who earned praise during her season after refusing to be slut-shamed and dumping her fiancé Jed Wyatt after it was revealed he went on the show with a girlfriend.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
DWTS Super-Fan: I don’t know. Some sort of an athlete?
Lawyer: Oh, that’s beneath him. Isn’t he the culture guy? This is déclassé.
College Junior: I remember him from Queer Eye I think? He is one of the few people who can rock a great bald head.
Former Entertainment Reporter: He’s the culture guy on Queer Eye.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Thought maybe this dude and Hannah were related…I don’t know who this is.
Who He Really Is: Karamo is the Culture and Lifestyle Expert on Netflix’s hit reboot of Queer Eye. Previously, he was a TV host after first making his debut as a cast member of The Real World: Philadelphia in 2004. The activist recently published his memoir and appeared in Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” music video.
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images
DWTS Super-Fan: No clue.
Lawyer: Um. Kate Flannery. Is she from Derry Girls? Irish name, I figured I had a shot.
College Junior: MEREDITH.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Meredith from The Office! “Like Clooney”
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: I simply couldn’t write down all the hilarious Meredith moments here…
Who She Really Is: Meredith from The Office. We’re not worthy.
David Livingston/Getty Images
DWTS Super-Fan: Is he the fighter? A boxer?
Lawyer: He’s a sports guy, right? Football player.
College Junior: I want to say he is blind and plays the piano but I know that’s not it…Oh my god, I was thinking of Ray Charles. So embarrassing!
Former Entertainment Reporter: Former Ravens linebacker.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Raytorious! This guy is going to absolutely murder the competition.
Who He Really Is: Former NFL star, specifically a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
DWTS Super-Fan: I don’t know, an actor?
Lawyer: Kel Mitchell…boy or girl? [WHEN TOLD WHO KEL IS: “I don’t know Kel without Kenan!”]
College Junior: Kenan and Kel! Nobody can do ‘90s comedy like those two.
Former Entertainment Reporter: The Kel from Kenan and Kel.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: KEL YEAH! Another totally awesome person on here? Finally people I know, DWTS stepping up their cast!
Who He Really Is: Kel from Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel, All That and Goodburger. He’s currently executive producing and starring on the recent All That revival. Believed to still love orange soda.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
DWTS Super-Fan: Khloe Kardashian’s ex-husband and a basketball player.
Lawyer: I know that. Uh, one of the Kardashians, right? Wasn’t he the husband of, uh, not Kim or the one that was married to Disick. The other one. Her ex-husband.
College Junior: Lam Lam, did Khloe so dirty.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Khloe Kardashian’s ex-husband. Also: The Office, season 8, episode 11, 11 minutes and 55 seconds in. That’s two references to The Office I’ve made. You’re welcome.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: NY NATIVE AND DOPE DUDE! Happy for you, good job cleaning it up, Lamar!
Who He Really Is: Khloe’s ex-husband and a former NBA star.
John Lamparski/Getty Images
DWTS Super-Fan: I know something to do with politics.
Lawyer: Ugh. It’s disgusting that they’re putting him on that show.
College Junior: WTF. You would think a former White House employee could do something a little more dignified but to each their own I guess.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Ugh. Why?
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Spicy! The motorized podium bit from SNL is still one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life.
Who He Really Is: We’ll just let Wiki take this: he’s “an American political aide who served as the twenty-eighth White House Press Secretary and as White House Communications Director under President Donald Trump in 2017.” Host Tom Bergeron has thoughts on his casting.
James Van Der Beek
DWTS Super-Fan: Oh, I know he’s from…a show. One of these kids’ shows.
Lawyer: Oh, yeah, I know James Van Der Beek. Party of Five! [WHEN CORRECTED: “I know who he is, the crying meme.”]
College Junior: The creepy guy from that one movie about college. His facial structure is too intense for me.
Former Entertainment Reporter: Former star of the criminally underrated Don’t Trust the B…in Apt. 23. He was also on some teen show once, I think. Truly the man who deserves to win this season. What a national treasure.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Varsity Blues > Dawson’s Creek. Fight Me. Feel like this guy is going to be president one day. President Van Der Beek has a ring to it.
Who He Really Is: The Beek played the iconic role of Dawson Leery on Dawson’s Creek before going on to star in Varsity Blues and The Rules of Attraction. And his ABC sitcom Don’t Trust the B…in Apt. 23 once predicted the father of five’s turn on DWTS.
DWTS Super-Fan: I have no idea, a member of Wilson Phillips?
Lawyer: Wilson Philips!
College Junior: Is she a tennis player?
Former Entertainment Reporter: She was a member of The Supremes.
Clueless Brooklynite Doing His Best: Unfortunately, I had zero clue who this was.
Who She Really Is: A member of legendary Motown group The Supremes.
Dancing With the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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