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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

'Dancing With the Stars' cast reveal: Kim Zolciak, Tamar Braxton, Chaka Khan, Paula Deen

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ABC pulled out one of its most interesting casts in years for season 21, which includes three folks with Georgia ties: Kim Zolciak, Paula Deen and Tamar Braxton.

My story from last week when some cast member names leaked out.

A photo gallery of past Georgia contestants on the show.

Zolciak of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and "Don't Be Tardy" fame is paired with veteran pro dancer Tony Dovolani. Deen, the former Food Network star, will be cooking with Louis van Amstel, another long-time member of the show. And R&B star Braxton ("Braxton Family Values") nabs Valentin Chmerkovskiy.

Gary Busey

The wackiest pick is Gary Busey, the actor who spiced up "Celebrity Apprentice" twice.

The coolest last-second selection is Alex Skarlatos, who was one of the three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack last week on a French train. Talk about playing off the news!

This time, there is only one athlete and it's not a football player or gymnast or Olympic gold winner: it's Victor Espinosa, the Triple Crown winning jockey.

Another intriguing pick is Bindi Irwin, the daughter of the late wildlife preservationist Steve Irwin. And she has been paired with the most popular dancer on the show Derek Hough.

Nick Carter

The person with the most obvious dancing experience is Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys fame. (His brother Aaron was on the show in the past and finished top five.) He is paired with Sharna Burgess.

Chaka Khan

There are two other singers this time around on top of Carter: R&B legend Chaka Khan and current singer songwriter Andy Grammer ("Honey, I'm Good")

In a nod to the social media youth, Hayes Grier, a Vine expert has joined the cast. And the first married couple will be on the show: Big Time Rush singer and actor Carlos Pena Jr. and Alexa Varga ("Spy Kids"), who is paired with Mark Ballas.

The show returns Monday, September 14, 2015.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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