Kym Johnson, who has spent 14 seasons on the dancefloor at “Dancing With The Stars”, is taking a break from the show.
Johnson–who got her start on the Australian version of the show in 2004–says she has another opportunity waiting in the wings that she just can’t pass up, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be back.
“I will be taking the next season off from DWTS USA, so that I may accept an amazing work opportunity back home in Australia,” Johnson said. “I am excited, nervous and humbled by this chance and look forward to sharing more about it with you soon. I wish all the dancers and celebrities in season 17 nothing but love and success and hope to see you all back on the dance floor for season 18.”
Johnson has taken home two mirror ball trophies since her time on the U.S. version of the show, once with Donny Osmond and once with Hines Ward.
There have been several cast changes made in recent seasons, the most shocking being the departure of Maksim Chmerkovskiy before season 16. Chmerkovskiy said he wanted to explore other opportunities, but a rep for the show said earlier this year that he may well be back.
“I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of Dancing With the Stars,” Chmerkovskiy said in a statement. “I’ve been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of Dancing With the Stars. I’m going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations. A big thank you to all of my fans for your never-ending support. I also want to thank the entire cast and production of Dancing With the Stars.”
Tom Bergeron, the show’s host, said that there are several rumors going around about casting choices, and some of them are true but of course, he couldn’t divulge which ones.
“Some of the casting rumors are true,” Bergeron said, “and some of them are not true at all. Some of them might reflect contract negotiations that are going in one direction or another. But nothing is final yet.”
Among the stars rumored to be included in the new season are Lindsay Lohan, Paula Deen, and Geraldo Rivera.