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“LEGO® Star Wars™: Droid Tales – Mission to Mos Eisley,” the third episode in an all-new series of event specials that re-tell the classic Star WarsTM saga in LEGO® brick form, is set to debut this MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 (8:00 p.m. ET/PT) on Disney XD.

In this episode, C-3PO recounts his exciting adventures with the “Star Wars Rebels” crew and the events of “A New Hope” in his efforts to find R2-D2, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious figure.

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Furthering its commitment to kids and families, Disney Channel will present a special episode of the family comedy series “Girl Meets World” that delivers both entertainment and information for kids and parents about Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. Three experts consulted on the episode to help deliver an authentic storyline that can spark conversation among kids and their families. They are: Elizabeth Laugeson, Psy.D, The Help Group; child development consultant Arthur Pober, Ed.D.; and Shiela Wagner, M.Ed., retired, Emory Autism Center.

In the story, “Girl Meets Farkle,” Riley, Maya and Lucas emphasize the beauty of being unique as they rally around their friend Farkle Minkus, who may be on the autism spectrum. Meanwhile, his friendship with another student, Smackle, grows fonder. The episode premieres FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. Guest starring are Cecilia Balagot (“Isadora Smackle”), Cyrina Fiallo (“Ms. Oben”) and Lee Norris (“Stuart Minkus”) and Kristanna Loken (“Jennifer Bassett Minkus”), who return to their “Boy Meets World” roles, now as Farkle’s parents.

“Girl Meets World” stars Rowan Blanchard as Riley Matthews, Ben Savage as Cory Matthews, Sabrina Carpenter as Maya Hart, Peyton Meyer as Lucas Friar, August Maturo as Auggie Matthews, Corey Fogelmanis as Farkle Minkus and Danielle Fishel as Topanga Matthews.

For more information on autism, families can visit: www.cdc.gov/autism.

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Guests who had registered for Disney’s Force Friday events at Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort have been informed that they will no longer be charging for the event and that their $50 fee will be refunded to them. Guests who had previously registered will remain the first to enter the stores that will be selling the new Star Wars merchandise.

Further details on how all Star Wars fans can participate in the event is expected to be revealed later today.

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Dean Jones, star of “The Love Bug”, has passed away at the age of 84 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. The actor who starred in many Disney films was named a Disney Legend in 1995.

From his Legend bio:

When Dean Jones began his motion picture career in 1956, he was just biding his time until he got his real break. The former crooner-turned-actor once recalled, “I wish I could say I had this master plan for a career, but I always thought acting was something I’d just do until I had a hit record.

While Dean’s hit record proved elusive, he scored a number of hit movies while under contract with The Walt Disney Studios. By 1975, Variety named six of his Disney features on its list of all-time box office champions, including The Love Bug, That Darn Cat,Snowball Express, The Ugly Dachshund, The $1,000,000 Duck, and Blackbeard’s Ghost.

Dean’s clean-cut appeal and good-natured hijinks made his name synonymous with Disney motion pictures. As former president of Walt Disney Pictures David Vogel once said, “When you think of Disney, you think of Dean Jones.”

Born on January 25, 1931, in Decatur, Alabama, Dean liked to fish in the nearby Tennessee River and sing; his father, a railroad worker, would accompany him on the guitar. At 15 he left home to pursue a singing career, picking up odd jobs as a coal loader, cotton picker, and dishwasher. He began singing in a New Orleans club that paid three dollars a night, plus dinner. After four months the club folded, and Dean beat a path back to Decatur to complete his high school education.

A year of voice study at Kentucky’s Asbury College was followed by a four-year hitch with the United States Navy, which took Dean to San Diego, California. Whenever he had a day off, Dean headed to Hollywood to audition for orchestras; he eventually won a screen test and contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Instead of singing for the cameras, however, he starred in mostly straight, dramatic roles. Among his early films were Vincente Minnelli’s Tea and Sympathy, Torpedo Run with Glenn Ford, and Jailhouse Rock with Elvis Presley.

In 1960, Dean found fame in Broadway’s Under the Yum Yum Tree. While starring in television’s Ensign O’Toole, he was tapped by Walt Disney to become the Studio’s leading man, appearing in such films as The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, The Shaggy D.A., and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. He returned to the Broadway stage in 1970, appearing in Steven Sondheim’s Company.

Dean later appeared in a number of Disney television specials, including Disney’s Greatest Dog Stars in 1976. He starred in the first of a number of Disney remakes—The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes in 1995; and, in 1997, That Darn Cat and the ABC television movie The Love Bug.

A memorial service will be scheduled for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Christian Rescue Fund c/o Jubilee Campaign USA, 9689-C Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22150.

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Milial Resort Hotels Co., Ltd. announced today that a new hotel, the Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel, will open June 1, 2016 (tentative) in the ShinUrayasu area close to Tokyo Disney Resort. It will be the fourth Disney hotel to operate in Japan. Brighton Corporation Co., Ltd., a 100% subsidiary of Milial Resort Hotels, will redevelop the existing Palm & Fountain Terrace Hotel for this new hotel. Currently the three existing Disney hotels have an annual occupancy rate of over 90%, which indicates the extremely high demand for Tokyo Disney Resort accommodations. Accordingly, the decision was made to develop a new hotel that will allow more Guests to enjoy a stay at a Disney hotel.

The development of the hotel will be based on a new concept that is different from the existing hotels. The designs will celebrate the magic and imagination of Tokyo Disneyland Park and Tokyo DisneySea Park in the guest rooms, the lobby and the courtyards. Guests staying in the Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel will be surrounded by the ambiance of their favorite Disney Park memories, inspiring them to relive moments from their time spent in the Parks, as well as anticipating the experiences awaiting them the next day. Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel will offer attractive accommodations while making a casual resort stay possible by simplifying its facilities and services. With the opening of this new hotel, even more Guests will be able to enjoy a wonderful, unforgettable time at Tokyo Disney Resort. The Disney hotels will continue to evolve as the hotels of choice that are favored by many Guests.

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Just when you thought the journey was coming to an end! This December, book an extended stay in the Marvel Universe’s newest and most dangerous destination in WEIRDWORLD #1 – a brand new ongoing series set in the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe! Critically acclaimed writer Sam Humphries (Legendary Star-Lord) joins forces with fan-favorite Weirdworld artist Mike Del Mundo for a brand new adventure ripped from the pages of Secret Wars and planted firmly in the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe!

“Weirdworld is a place where anything can happen,” says series writer Sam Humphries in an interview with Marvel.com. “Weirdworld is a place inside the Marvel Universe. Weirdworld is a place where the lost can be found. But only if you’re strong enough…”

Imagine a world of sword and sorcery, a land where lost things go. Now imagine being trapped there with zero sword or sorcery experience! Meet Becca, an ordinary girl in an extraordinary world with one mission in mind – GET HOME ALIVE! Easier said than done! But how did she come to be here? And how can she hope to escape in one piece?

“Weirdworld is a place that is ever changing, always chaotic, and a place of infinite discovery,” continued Humphries. “Its essential nature is so mysterious that no complete map can ever be created. It is a polyglot of fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and other weird things dug up from the brains of myself and [artist] Mike Del Mundo.”

Barbarians! Wizards! Goblins! Even tricked out sports cars! All await Becca around every turn in the depths of Weirdworld. Be there as Marvel’s own twisted fantasy realm comes alive before your eyes as Humphries & Del Mundo plunge headlong into WEIRDWORLD #1 – available in comic shops and on digital devices this December!

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ABC Family scares up the 2015 13 NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN celebration, with programming filled with scares and frights as you countdown to Halloween. The popular programming event, now in its 17th year, kicks off on Monday, October 19th and concludes on Saturday, October 31st, and features a special Halloween episode of procedural drama “Stitchers.” The stunt will also include the ABC Family premiere of Johnny Depp in  “Sleepy Hollow,” the network premiere of “Disney∙Pixar’s Monsters University,” and a delightfully scary mix of Halloween-themed programming airing for the 13 nights leading up to Halloween.

Following is a listing of frightful programming taking place October 19th-31st during ABC Family’s
13 Nights of Halloween.

Night One – Monday, October 19th
The 17th annual 13 NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN kicks off with back-to-back airings of the final Harry Potter films, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” (1:30 – 5:00 PM ET/PT) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (5:00 – 8:00 PM ET/PT). Then everyone’s favorite Halloween sisters from “Hocus Pocus” (9:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) deliver the scares. “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” (12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT) rounds out the evening with an invitation to the creepiest wedding ever!  

Night Two – Tuesday, October 20th
“Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” (4:00 – 6:00 PM ET/PT) is back for another walk down the aisle, followed by beloved Halloween classic “Hocus Pocus” (6:00 – 8:00 PM ET/PT). Then tune in to a special Halloween episode of “Stitchers”where Camille preps for her annual Halloween bash, as the Stitchers team investigates the suicide of a young man (guest star Jeremy Sumpter, “Friday Night Lights”), who is suspected of abducting a missing college student (9:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT), with an encore airing immediately following. Spend your late night with the friendly ghost “Casper”(12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT).

Night Three – Wednesday, October 21st
Kick off the night with the friendly ghost “Casper” (5:00 – 7:00 PM ET/PT), then spend your Wednesday with “The Addams Family” (7:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT) and “Addams Family Values” (9:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT). Stay up late for extra chills with “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT) where someone is watching, and they know your secret!

Night Four – Thursday, October 22nd
Spend some more time with the kookiest family around, “The Addams Family” (4:00 – 6:00 PM ET/PT) and “Addams Family Values” (6:00 – 8:00 PM ET/PT), then volunteer as Tribute with “The Hunger Games” (8:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT).  You’re in for another terrifying late night “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” (12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT).

 

Night Five – Friday, October 23rd
May the odds ever be in your favor with another airing of “The Hunger Games” (5:30 – 8:30 PM ET/PT).  Johnny Depp is Ichabod Crane in the ABC Family premiere of “Sleepy Hollow” (8:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT). Finish your night with a visit with the most charming and magical girl, “Matilda” (12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT).

Night Six – Saturday, October 24th
The day of Halloween hijinks kicks off with the story of a magical little girl who uses her extraordinary gifts to change her unhappy life in Matilda (7:00 – 9:00 AM ET/PT). Then spend some time with “ParaNorman” (9:00 – 11:00 AM ET/PT)and his dearly departed friends. It’s back-to-back Tim Burton thrills with “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET/PT), followed by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1:00 – 2:30 PM ET/PT), doubling your frights. Then“Casper” (2:30 – 4:30 PM ET/PT) the friendly ghost drops by. Spend some time with Gomez, Morticia, and the rest of the“The Addams Family” (4:30 – 6:30 PM ET/PT) and learn some “Addams Family Values” (6:30 – 8:30 PM ET/PT). Enroll with Mike and Sulley in the ABC Family premiere of Disney∙Pixar’s Monsters University,(8:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) and stay to watch Buzz, Woody and all your favorite toys work together to track down their missing friend in Disney∙Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!” (11:00 – 11:30 PM ET/PT). Cap off your day of thrills with the Sanderson sisters and practice some“Hocus Pocus” (11:30 PM – 1:30 AM ET/PT).

Night Seven – Sunday, October 25th
Start the day with a ghostly visit with “ParaNorman” (7:00 – 9:00 AM ET/PT), then you’re invited to the creepiest wedding of the year with “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” (9:00 – 11:00 AM ET/PT). Take a trip to Halloween Town to visit Jack Skellington in “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (11:00 AM – 12:30 PM ET/PT).  Spend some more time with “Casper” (12:30 – 2:30 PM ET/PT) and “The Addams Family” (2:30 – 4:30 PM ET/PT), followed by “Addams Family Values” (4:30 – 6:30 PM ET/PT).  Take a ride on Disney∙Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!” (6:30 – 7:00 PM ET/PT) if you dare!  And then go back to school at Disney∙Pixar’s Monsters University,” (7:00 – 9:45 PM ET/PT). Then spend another witchy late night practicing “Hocus Pocus” (9:45 PM – 12:00 AM ET/PT).

Night Eight – Monday, October 26th
Try to outrun the Headless Horseman terrorizing the town of “Sleepy Hollow” (5:30 – 8:00 PM ET/PT).  Then join Buzz and Woody on Disney∙Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!” (9:00 – 9:30 PM ET/PT), followed by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (9:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT). Stay up late to see the undead Sparky of “Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie”(12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT).

Night Nine – Tuesday, October 27th
Dr. Frankenstein and his dog are back in “Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie” (4:00 –6:00 PM ET/PT). Have another haunting holiday with “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (6:00 – 7:30 PM ET/PT).  Woody and Buzz are back with more scares in Disney∙Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!” (7:30 – 8:00 PM). Don’t drink these witches’ brew as the Sanderson sisters wreak havoc in “Hocus Pocus” (9:00– 11:00 PM ET/PT). Then keep the late night spooks going with “ParaNorman”(12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT).

Night Ten – Wednesday, October 28th
Kick off the night with “ParaNorman” (4:00 – 6:00 PM ET/PT), and continue on with the baddest witches in town in“Hocus Pocus” (6:00 – 8:15 PM ET/PT). Then Barnabas Collins returns from the dead in “Dark Shadows” (8:15 – 11:00 PM ET/PT).  And you won’t be afraid to stay up late to see “Casper” (12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT).

Night Eleven – Thursday, October 29th
The night kicks off with a bonus airing of “Casper” (5:00 – 7:00 PM ET/PT). Then spend time some with Uncle Fester and Cousin It in “The Addams Family” (7:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT) and “Addams Family Values” (9:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT). Have a late night with “Hocus Pocus” (12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT).

Night Twelve – Friday, October 30th
It’s your last chance to see “The Addams Family” (2:30 – 4:30 PM ET/PT) and brush up on “Addams Family Values” (4:30 – 6:30 PM ET/PT).  Watch out for those witchy sisters in “Hocus Pocus” (6:30 – 8:30 PM ET/PT). They’re heeeeeeeeeeere!“Poltergeist” (8:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) and “Poltergeist II: The Other Side” (12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT) will keep you up with spine tingling scares.

Night Thirteen – Saturday, October 31st

All Hallows Eve is upon us and promises to bring with it a day full of ghosts, witches, and Batman. The day kicks off with the Joker vs “Batman” (7:00 – 10:00 AM ET/PT), followed by a bat, a cat, and a penguin in “Batman Returns” (10:00 AM – 12:30 PM).  The otherworldly battles between the Freeling family and some truly wicked spirits in “Poltergeist” (12:30 – 3:00 PM ET/PT) is sure to keep your Halloween scary. Then lookout for the Headless Horseman in “Sleepy Hollow” (3:00 – 5:30 PM ET/PT).  You should always visit Halloween Town on Halloween in “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (5:30 – 7:00 PM ET/PT).  Spend your evening with back-to-back airings of “Hocus Pocus” (7:00 – 9:15 PM ET/PT), with an encore airing immediately after (9:15 – 11:30 PM ET/PT). Then wrap up 13 Nights of chills with an encore of “Sleepy Hollow” (11:30 PM – 2:00 AM ET/PT).

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Tickets for the AdvoCare Invitational, formerly the Orlando Classic and now in its 10th year, are now on sale. The AdvoCare Invitational will begin Thursday, Nov. 26 and continue on Friday, Nov. 27 and Sunday, Nov. 29, from HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

The field for the 2015 AdvoCare Invitational includes Alabama, Dayton, Iowa, Monmouth, Notre Dame, Southern California, Wichita State and Xavier. Five of those teams played in the NCAA Championship last season: Notre Dame reached the Elite Eight; Wichita State advanced to the Sweet 16; Dayton, Iowa and Xavier all played to the third round.

Fans can purchase AdvoCare Invitational tickets to all six sessions (12 games) for $125 each. Single-session tickets will be sold starting on November 2, and will be based on availability. If single-session tickets become available, the cost will be $35 per two-game session.

Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or on location at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Box Office.

The 2015 AdvoCare Invitational, a bracket-format tournament, will feature 12 games over three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in a championship match Sunday, Nov. 29.

The family-friendly tournament is a weekend-long affair at the Walt Disney World Resort, where participating teams practice, play and enjoy the Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks. Travel packages are available for fans and include resort accommodations at the team hotel, game tickets, theme park tickets and much more. Visit AnthonyTravel.com/AdvoCare-Invitational or call 888-632-6951 to make your reservation today.

Kansas won the 2014 Orlando Classic. Previous winners also include Memphis in 2013, Gonzaga in 2008 and 2012, Dayton in 2011, Notre Dame in 2010, Florida State in 2009, NC State in 2007 and Arkansas in 2006.

 

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Reports are indicating the Steven Speilberg’s Dreamworks will be leaving Disney following the release of The BFG on July 1, 2016. Disney is also distributing the Tom Hanks cold war thriller Bridge of Spies which will be released this October 16.

The initial deal for Disney to distribute Dreamworks films was negotiated by former studio chairman Dick Cook. The deal was created prior to Disney’s acquisition of Marvel and Lucasfilm as a way to pump more films into Disney’s slate as they were cutting back the number of Touchstone films leaving holes in the release schedule.

Now that Bob Iger is focusing on film’s under Disney’s brands, the Dreamworks films sometimes feel out of place on Disney’s schedule.

The suspicion is that Dreamworks will move to Universal, where Speilberg maintained an office throughout his career. The new partner would distribute A Dog’s Purpose and Ghost in the Shell which otherwise would have fallen under the Disney deal that is now being unwound.

Neither Dreamworks, Disney, nor Universal would comment on the reports.

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GOOD MORNING AMERICA - The cast of the 21st season of "Dancing with the Stars" is revealed live on "Good Morning America," 9/2/15, airing on the ABC Television Network. "Dancing With the Stars" Season 21 premieres Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Television Network. (ABC/Ida Mae Astute) PAULA DEEN, TAMAR BRAXTON, ALEX SKARLATOS, HAYES GREER, BINDI IRWIN, CHAKA KHAN, KIM ZOLCIAK, CARLOS PENAVEGA, ALEXA PENAVEGA, VICTOR ESPINOZA

The celebrity cast of “Dancing with the Stars” is lacing up their ballroom shoes and getting ready for their first dance on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. This 21st season’s lineup of celebrity dancers includes three platinum-certified music super stars, an Academy Award® nominee, a Triple Crown winner, an American Hero, and our first ever married couple, to name a few.

As announced this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the celebrities with their professional partners heading to the ballroom this season (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Alek Skarlatos partnered with Lindsay Arnold
  • Alexa PenaVega partnered with Mark Ballas
  • Andy Grammer partnered with Allison Holker
  • Bindi Irwin partnered with Derek Hough
  • Carlos PenaVega partnered with Witney Carson
  • Chaka Khan partnered with Keo Motsepe
  • Gary Busey partnered with Anna Trebunskaya
  • Hayes Grier partnered with Emma Slater
  • Kim Zolciak Biermann partnered with Tony Dovolani
  • Nick Carter partnered with Sharna Burgess
  • Paula Deen partnered with Louis van Amstel
  • Tamar Braxton partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
  • Victor Espinoza partnered with Karina Smirnoff

ALEK SKARLATOS – Alek is an Army National Guard Specialist from Sacramento, CA. Alek and his two childhood friends, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, made headlines around the world on August 2015 when they heroically overpowered a man that opened fire on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. This true American hero was recently awarded France’s highest honor by President François Hollande. Alek is partnered with Lindsay Arnold.

ALEXA PENAVEGA –Alexa is known worldwide for her role as Carmen Cortez in four blockbuster “Spy Kids” films, as well as “Machette Kills” and “From Prada to Nada.” PenaVega made her Broadway debut in 2007 when she played Penny Pingleton in the Tony Award winning Broadway version of “Hairspray.” Fans of the ABC hit drama “Nashville” also know her for her turn as Kiley Brenner. Alexa is married to actor/singer Carlos PenaVega, who will also compete in Season 21 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Alexa is partnered with Mark Ballas.

 

ANDY GRAMMER–Los Angeles-born, New York-raised pop star Andy Grammer has gone from hustling street performer on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade to platinum-selling recording artist. With his 2011 self-titled debut album, Andy became the first male pop star in a decade, since John Mayer in 2002, to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me,” certified platinum and gold respectively. Andy’s second album, 2014’s critically acclaimed “Magazines or Novels,” continues his disarming success with his huge hit “Honey, I’mGood.” Over the course of the last year, Andy’s double platinum-selling song became ubiquitous, topping sales, hitting #1 on adult pop radio for the first time and top 10 across 3 radio formats, garnering over 70 million views on YouTube and 60 million streams on Spotify, broadcasting on national TV everywhere and most recently became a country collaboration with Eli Young Band.

The euphoria of the year’s successes sparked an undeniable new emotion for the artist, so on a short stop in Los Angeles recently, Andy swiftly penned a new gem “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah).” The song was just released on iTunes. “Life has so many ups and downs and this is about that pure bliss you feel when things are finally going your way,” explains Grammer. “The lyrics ‘good to be alive right about now’ convey something that I think anyone who’s felt like they had a breakthrough can relate to.” Andy is partnered with Allison Holker.

 

BINDI IRWIN – The 17 year-old Australian has continued the legacy of her parents, Crocodile Hunter Steve IrwinandTerri Irwin, starring in a series of wildlife shows, including “Bindi: The Jungle Girl,” “Bindi’s Bootcamp,” and “Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors.” As an actress, Bindi starred in the films “FreeWilly: Escape from Pirate’s Cove”and “Return to Nim’s Island.” In 2014, Bindi was awarded the prestigious Australian Geographic Society’s Young Conservationist of the Year, an honor that she dedicated to her late father, Steve Irwin. Bindi is partnered with Derek Hough.

CARLOS PENAVEGA –Actor/singer Carlos PenaVega shot to fame and cult status after starring on the highly successful Nickelodeon musical comedy “Big Time Rush” as Carlos Garcia, which also took to the road and toured with the ensemble cast around the globe. Having studied musical theater at the Boston Conservatory, Carlos recently released his first solo single in Spanish, “Electrico,” which charted in the Top 10 on the Latin iTunes songs charts. Carlos is married to actress Alex PenaVega, who will also compete in Season 21 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Carlos is partnered with Witney Carson.

 

CHAKA KHAN – Chaka is an international music icon who has influenced multiple generations of artists and continues to do so as a singer, songwriter, producer, visual artist, author, actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, activist and mother. A ten-time Grammy® Award winner who has the rare ability to sing in eight music genres, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs. She is currently at work on a series of mixed media visual works with a planned gallery exhibition in 2016, as well as a new CD, set for release later in 2015. Chaka is partnered with Keo Motsepe.

GARY BUSEY – Gary celebrates his 45th anniversary in show business during 2015.  Gary rose to fame in Hollywood when he became an Academy Award® nominee for ‘Best Actor’ for his performance in the title role of Buddy Holly in “The Buddy Holly Story.” His other feature film credits include memorable roles in “The Firm,” “Under Siege,” “Point Break,” “Big Wednesday,” “Straight Time,” and “Lethal Weapon.”

Gary became a household name and ratings sensation with TV audiences, too, in “Celebrity Wife Swap,” “Celebrity Apprentice,” and “All Star Celebrity Apprentice.” His other memorable TV roles of note are his multiple appearances on HBO’s “Entourage” as well as a recurring role on the hit syndicated sit-com, “Mr. Box Office.” He also had a special guest-star role on “Two and a Half Men” when he played himself. Additionally, Gary became the first American to win “Celebrity Big Brother U.K.” in 2014.

Gary can also be seen in his comical TV commercials for Amazon as well as “Entourage: The Movie” and in his starring role in the upcoming critically acclaimed feature film, “CANDiLAND.” Gary is partnered with Anna Trebunskaya.

HAYES GRIER –At just 15 years old, Hayes Grier is a rising star in the social media world, with more than 3.5 million followers on Vine and more than 2 million Twitter follows. The North Carolina teen shot to fame with his personal videos and is currently on a live tour across the United States. Hayes is partnered with Emma Slater.

KIM ZOLCIAK BIERMANN – Known for her blonde wigs, catchy pop songs and her vivacious personality, Kim Zolciak is also the mother of Brielle, Ariana, KJ, Kash Kade, Kaia and Kane. Her socialite status amongst Atlanta’s elite snagged her the reality spot on Bravo’s hit show, “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” After meeting NFL Falcons player Kroy Biermann in 2010 at a charity event, Kim fell in love and the two began a whirlwind romance. The Zolciak-Biermann family lives in their dream home in the Alpharetta, GA.

Kim’s ambitions are as big as her blonde hair. As chronicled on the first season of Housewives, Kim began pursuing her music career in 2009. Her debut single, “Tardy for the Party,” reached the number three spot on iTunes. The hit was produced alongside fellow housewife, Grammy Award winning artist Kandi Burruss. In 2012, Kim released her second single “Google Me.”

In April 2012, Kim’s spin off “Don’t be Tardy for the Wedding,” debuted on Bravo. The series revolved around Kim’s extravagant wedding and was a huge hit for Bravo, currently on air for its 4Th season. Kim is partnered with Tony Dovolani.

NICK CARTER–- The singer, songwriter and actor sparked his career at the tender age of 12 as the youngest member of the iconic boy band Backstreet Boys. Since taking the world by storm in 1995, the band has sold over 130 million records worldwide and has earned five Grammy® nominations, countless awards, and an honorary star on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a standout member of the Backstreet Boys, Carter was named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World.” In 2002, Nick released his debut solo album “Now or Never”and released his second solo album, “I’m Taking Off,” in 2012. In 2014, Nick and longtime girlfriend Lauren Kitt made their TV debut as a couple in the VH1 reality series, “I Heart Nick Carter.Nick is partnered with Sharna Burgess.

 

PAULA DEEN – Paula was living the American dream—married to her high school sweetheart, raising two adorable boys when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started “The Bag Lady,” a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen’s professional cooking. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering “lunch-and-love-in-a-bag,” beginning in June 1989, Paula turned around her life by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

Overcoming poverty, self-doubt and health challenges to achieve success and acclaim, Paula has become one of the best-known personalities in the world of cooking. Yet the most remarkable part of Paula Deen’s journey from her kitchen to fame is that Paula has remained every bit as genuine, real and full of love as she was the day the first meals left her kitchen.

She moved her catering company to a small restaurant at a Best Western motel in Savannah and finally opened her first restaurant, The Lady and Sons, with Bobby and Jamie five years later. The restaurant was a hit and the popularity of Paula and her cooking led to her first cookbook, 1998’s The Lady andSons Savannah Country Cookbook. This gave her fans the opportunity to try Paula’s recipes at home, and led to her first television appearance on QVC. Paula’s genuine warmth and folksy personality made her a natural for television. In 1999, USA Today food critic Jerry Shriver named The Lady and Sons “International Meal of the Year.”

In 2014, Paula launched her nationwide live tour, Paula Deen Live!, and her own digital lifestyle network, the Paula Deen Network where each day, Paula provides viewers with cooking tips, new recipes and step-by-step instruction on how to cook her signature Southern dishes in an unscripted format.

In 2015, Paula launched her first free mobile game, “Paula Deen’s Recipe Quest,” premiered her first show on EVINE Live, launched her podcast and radio show, and opened her new restaurant, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. On September 8, 2015, Paula will release her new cookbook, Paula Deen Cutsthe Fat: 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up.

Ever grateful for all she has been blessed with, Paula and her family continue to give back to the community. Paula, a board member of the Bethesda Home for Boys, also works tirelessly for America’s Second Harvest. In 2012, Paula launched The Bag Lady Foundation, supporting issues of hunger that affect women and families across the country. Paula is partnered with Louis van Amstel.

TAMAR BRAXTON – Tamar Braxton is a Grammy® nominated singer, reality TV personality, and talk show host. A veteran performer who began singing backup vocals for her older sister Toni at age 12, Tamar was also a founding member of R&B group The Braxtons with Toni and their siblings Traci, Towanda and Trina. She is married to music executive Vince Herbert, the couple welcomed their first child, a baby boy, in June 2013.

Tamar executive produces and stars in the WE TV reality hit “Braxton Family Values,” currently in its 4th season. Originally created and spearheaded by Tamar and sisters, the show soared as the cable network’s highest-rated television show. She is also co-host and producer of FOX-TV’s “The Real,” now going into its 2nd season. Tamar reveals, “’The Real’ is one of the best things to ever happen to me. I get to chat with a group of women and its feels like happy hour in the middle of the day.”

Tamar’s third studio LP, “Calling All Lovers,” is due September 11 on Epic/Streamline Records. Tamar is partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy.

VICTOR ESPINOZA– After coming close twice, Victor earned the famous Triple Crown earlier this year, winning the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes aboard speedy American Pharoah.It was the first time in 37 years the feat had been accomplished. The first Hispanic jockey to ever win the Triple Crown, Victor has won over 3000 races in his career and donates 10% of his weekly winnings to The City of Hope for childhood cancer research. Before becoming a jockey, Victor drove a city bus in Mexico and says, “It’s a lot easier riding horses than driving in that traffic in Mexico City.” Victor is partnered with Karina Smirnoff.