The new "Dancing with the Stars" cast could have its hardest bodies yet -- a bunch of pro athletes and an Olympian -- along with something new ... a YouTube superstar, TMZ has learned.
We got a hold of the 'DWTS' producers wish list -- the celebs they're gunning to get for Season 19 -- and it includes 'Bachelorette' Andi Dorfman, ex-UFC fighter Randy Couture, "American Ninja Warrior" contestant Kacy Catanzaro, Olympic track star Lolo Jones and Antonio Sabato Jr.
Our 'DWTS' sources tell us they're also trying to land a female YouTube star ... who we're told has tens of millions of followers. It's a smart ploy for a veteran show with aging viewers to pull in fresh, younger viewers.
We're told some of the celebs are already negotiating their 'DWTS' contracts. The one thing still missing though ... a really big traditional TV or movie star. The full cast will be announced Sept. 4.
Rescue Kitten Trapped In Car Engine!!
8/21/2014 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Cat-astrophe avoided at "Dancing With the Stars" -- when a stowaway kitten that had been stuck inside a car's motor was rescued by two PAs -- who heard the engine purring -- literally.
Production sources tell us ... the PAs heard noises from a random vehicle on the lot. They walked up to the car and heard the meows ... then discovered a kitten trapped under the hood.
Interesting Fact: Cats are known to climb near car engines to stay warm at night.
Back to the story ... The PAs tried luring the critter out with tuna ... when that didn't work, one of them crawled under the car, reached into the engine compartment and snatched the kitty.
The most amazing part ... the heroes believe the stray was inside the engine when the driver took the car from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood.
The DWTS wardrobe dept. is now caring for the cat ... which they've named Steve ... and he's feel-ine fine.
Returns to DWTS
As a Judge
8/19/2014 12:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Julianne Hough has learned a hard lesson about the movie biz ... it ain't that easy, so she's returning to "Dancing with the Stars" but this time as a judge ... TMZ has learned.
Sources connected with the show tell us ... they've made an offer to Julianne to become the 4th judge ... the other 3 are coming back. We're told the 2 sides are in negotiations and are expected to make the deal.
Julianne left the show years ago to pursue an acting and singing career, but it's been rough going ... particularly "Rock of Ages" and "Footloose."
We're told her commitment to DWTS is only a couple of hours a week, so she'll still pursue acting.
'DWTS' Star Cheryl Burke
I'm Not Dying
7/11/2014 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Dancing with the Stars" star Cheryl Burke looks dramatically different these days ... but she says she's NOT deathly ill ... hasn't had plastic surgery ... and she's pissed at all the trash talk.
Burke -- who recently dropped a sizable amount of weight -- posted this pic on Facebook ... and got bombarded with comments from people saying she looks anorexic. Someone even suggested she's dying of AIDS.
One person wrote, "Those Botox lips need there [sic] own FB page, gross" ... and another said she should delete the pic before it ends up on TMZ.
Burke is especially upset because she believes the same people who are trash-talking her now are the ones who called her fat before.
Burke -- who was once a regular on the club/party circuit -- tells TMZ there's absolutely nothing wrong with her ... she recently turned 30 and decided to stop drinking and hard partying. She says she's living healthy ... and that what you see is the result of hard work.
Burke tells us, "I didn't have plastic surgery and I don't have an eating disorder. I'm just actually happy."
Totally With JLo
6/25/2014 12:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Talking Jennifer Lopez ...
'It's Going Great'
6/24/2014 9:46 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced around the question ... is he banging Jennifer Lopez?
We got Maksim in NYC and asked him about the pic we posted Monday ... showing him and JLo hanging out in Connecticut Saturday night ... definitely looking cozy.
Our photog was pretty direct, and Maksim very cleverly deflected the questions.
Yeah, they're totally together.
JLo and Maksim
Hooking Up, Maybe
6/23/2014 4:36 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jennifer Lopez and Maksim Chmerkovskiy say they're just friends, but they could smell each others pheromones judging from this pic ... obtained by TMZ.
JLo and Maksim were at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut Saturday night after her show. They hit up the Shrine nightclub and were certainly close.
They say they're just friends with a common interest ... dancing. Interesting ... she said on a TV show recently that dancers were better in the sack than actors. It's a compliment to Maksim and a diss to you know who.
But it looks like they're into some serious Rumba.
Taken to Hospital
After Bad Car Crash
6/16/2014 4:08 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mark Ballas was in a bad car accident Monday afternoon and ended up in an L.A. hospital ... TMZ has learned.
We're told Mark was driving on an L.A. street, in the process of turning right, when another car was speeding in his lane, couldn't stop in time and slammed into his back right side.
Mark complained of whiplash and back pain. His girlfriend took him to Cedars-Sinai Medial Center where doctors examined him and prescribed some pain meds. Doctors told him the pain would get worse tomorrow, which isn't great news because Mark is scheduled to perform this week where he'll have a guitar strapped to his body as he sings and dances.
Mark's car was towed away. We're told 5 guys in the car that hit him jumped out and accused him of causing the crash, but an eyewitness came forward and told cops it was not Mark's fault ... the other driver was speeding.
'Dancing with the Stars'
$70K of Food Porn for Everyone
... Except the Champs
5/21/2014 2:24 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis from "Dancing with the Stars" are huge losers ... 'cause even though they won the disco ball thingy ... they missed out on a ridiculously over-the-top feast at the wrap party.
After the finale, 'DWTS' threw the bash featuring a $70K menu designed by a bunch of TV chefs -- from "MasterChef" and "Top Chef." Some of the gut-busting highlights included:
-- Beef cheeks over pureed cauliflower
-- Bacon grilled cheese served w/ chilled heirloom roasted red & yellow tomato soup
-- Louisiana pan fried chicken
-- Andouille and sausage gumbo w/ cornbread
Go ahead and drool through the gallery ... which includes the kick ass dessert -- a dance floor made of 200 chocolate and strawberry infused cupcakes, all whipped up by Blendtec.
Champs Meryl and Maksim had to hop a plane to NYC right after the show, so ... yeah. Big mistake. Huge.
'Dancing With the Stars' Is Rigged
... Claim Disgruntled Fans
5/20/2014 8:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
James Maslow's fans are fuming mad he got kicked off "Dancing With the Stars" this week ... claiming a glitch in fan voting might have cost James votes ... TMZ has learned.
Maslow and his partner Peta Murgatroyd got the ax on Monday's show, despite not finishing with the lowest score from the judges (that would be Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas).
Several fans have voiced outrage over Facebook voting, claiming votes for James and Peta were instead counted for Meryl and Maxim (see below).
But a rep for ABC claims despite the automated Facebook response ... the votes were all counted correctly. The rep blew off the apparent error as a "caching anomaly" that only affected a small amount of users.
Tell that to James and Peta.
'DWTS' Amputee Amy Purdy
I'm Dancing On Hydraulic Feet!
3/20/2014 6:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Purdy -- the double amputee competing on "Dancing with the Stars" -- is using low rider technology to give her a competitive edge on the show -- she's testing out prosthetic feet that are powered with hydraulics.
The U.S. Paralympic snowboarder tells TMZ she's pushing the boundaries of technology and creativity by experimenting with different kinds of artificial feet to enhance her dancing abilities ... including a pair with hydraulic ankles.
We're told Southern California Prosthetics in Orange County sent over several sets of feet for Amy to try out this week with her partner, Derek Hough. Amy says she wants to try out different types of feet for different dances -- for example, she wants feet with high heels to do the samba.
But she's also testing out the hydraulic gams that allow her ankles to move in different directions -- rather than being stuck at a 90 degree angle -- which means she can extend her foot off the ground or land gracefully on the tips of her toes if she's doing a contemporary dance routine.
And you were worried about your own two left feet.
'DWTS' Has Stripped Me Of My Privacy
3/14/2014 3:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Cody Simpson has lost his right of privacy while doing "Dancing With the Stars." He cannot remove his mic while he's on the phone, while he's talking business, while he reveals his most inner thoughts. The only exception -- taking a dump.
The contract Cody signed makes the NSA look like child's play. We got a copy because Cody's only 17 and the doc has to be filed with the court.
Cody agrees to wear a mic during rehearsal's and training, with only a bathroom break out.
The Australian singer gets a guaranteed $125K ... which goes up the longer he stays on the show. It caps out at $50K per week if he's in the finals.
And, "DWTS" cleverly figured out a way to block Jimmy Fallon from hijacking ABC stars. Cody specifically agreed to appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Good Morning America," and "The View."
Here's how onerous the deal is ... "DWTS" has final cut on Cody's hairstyle.
Best Plea Bargain Ever
In Domestic Violence Case
2/21/2014 3:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Aiden Turner -- like the 1980 US Hockey Team -- now believes in miracles ... because his lawyer just got him an unbelievable plea bargain in his domestic violence case.
The former "All My Children" star was charged with 2 counts of domestic violence with injury and 2 other related charges. He allegedly chucked a remote at his live-in girlfriend and gave her a black eye and bruised her elbow.
Enter criminal defense attorney Mike Cavalluzzi. He scored a plea where ALL of the charges were dropped and Aiden pled no contest to misdemeanor disturbing the peace.
Aiden -- who you may remember from "Dancing with the Stars" -- must complete 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling. After 1 year the plea is reduced to a mere infraction -- like a traffic ticket.
Remember that name ... Mike Cavalluzzi.