by Emily Yahr
No controversial figures will populate the dance floor this season on "Dancing With the Stars," as Gladys Knight was easily the most surprising name announced out of the dozen new cast members on "Good Morning America."
The only other sort of-surprise? Pro dancer Maksim Chermkovskiy, who caused headlines last season for his bad attitude, and claimed the reality dancing competition was "his show," will be back to dance again.
Some of the bigger names on the list included Jack Wagner, Sherri Shepherd, Gavin DeGraw and the guy who played 'Urkel,' also known as Jaleel White.
Plus, not a single political figure, even in an election year (Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann had already made it clear they weren’t going to be joining.)
The official cast announcement was turned into quite the spectacle, as hundreds of screaming people lined the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, waving signs and generally causing a frenzy as Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet announced the new "Dancing with the Stars" cast and their pro dance partners for Season 14:
- Jack Wagner, soap actor from "General Hospital" and "Melrose Place" — with Anna Trebunskaya
- Melissa Gilbert, played Laura Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie” — with Maskim Chmerkovskiy (solving the “will Maks be back?! mystery)
- Donald Driver, receiver for the Green Bay Packers — with Peta Murgatroyd
- William Levy, telenova star apparently known as the “Brad Pitt of Mexico” — with Cheryl Burke
- Sherri Shepherd, co-host of “The View” — with Val Chmerkovskiy
- Katherine Jenkins, opera star — with Mark Ballas
- Gavin DeGraw, pop singer known for penning the “One Tree Hill” theme song — with Karina Smirnoff
- Martina Navratilova, tennis pro — with Tony Dovolani
- Roshon Fegan, star of Disney Channel's "Shake It Up" and hip hop producer — with Chelsie Hightower
- Maria Menounos, co-host of "Extra" — with Derek Hough
- Jaleel White, best known aS Steve Urkel in "Family Matters" — with Kym Johnson
- Gladys Knight, singer, or “empress of soul” — with Tristan MacManus
Plus, Melissa Gilbert said she feels better now that the "mystery is lifted" about whether she's joinng. Jack Wagner refused to say who he thinks is the toughest competition. Jaleel White said he was persuaded to join by his mother, who considers this her favorite show.
Even "The View" co-host Barbara Walters gets a shout-out, as Sherri Shepherd proclaims she's "petrified," and "I need Barbara Walters!"
Finally, any word from the infamous Maks? He proclaims his partner, Melissa Gilbert, is "alright," but was obviously told to keep his comments short. "I love the new cast," he said sweetly. "I'm looking forward to see everybody dance."