Dancing With the Stars Season 21 Premiere: 5 Things to Expect, From Paula Deen's Tears to Sexual Tension

Paula Deen and Bindi Irwin will be competing on Season 21 of DWTS. Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin(2)

Turn the lights down, polish the Mirrorball Trophy, and slip on your dancing shoes, because Season 21 of Dancing With the Stars premieres on Monday, Sept. 14 on ABC. 

The highly anticipated installment of the hit reality competition series features top stars from TV, music, and more, including Bindi Irwin, Paula Deen, Nick Carter, Chaka Khan, and Kim Zolciak paired up with everyone’s favorite dance pros. 

Here are just a few things to expect out of tonight’s premiere: 

1. Paula Deen’s Tears

Though we rarely assume, it seems like a safe bet to predict that Paula Deen will be getting emotional during the Monday night premiere. The infamous chef has had a tumultuous few years, making headlines for her racism scandal and subsequent court case in 2013. The butter lover also shed around 40 pounds, which inspired her to join the ABC show. A chance at redemption plus a whole new physique seems like a recipe for waterworks. Hey, she is what she is. 

2. Bindi Irwin’s Transformation

Who’s that girl? It seems that animal activist Bindi Irwin has blossomed before fans’ eyes, going from a child grieving the tragic loss of her dad, Steve Irwin, to a stunning teen in a committed relationship. Throw in her first pair of heels and some passionate dance moves, and it’s clear this Aussie will be the next adolescent to transform before our eyes. Previous makeovers include Sadie Robertson and Zendaya Coleman.

3. Lack of British Accents

What are DWTS fans supposed to do without Len Goodman? From mocking male stars who “forgot” to wear their shirts to offering to show his “bum in the supermarket,” the outspoken British judge has been a staple on the show since its inception in 2005. But after 20 seasons, Goodman stepped down to spend more time with the competition series’ British counterpart, Strictly Come Dancing, and with his family. In his wake will be a rotating seat of guest judges to help out Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Julianne Hough. But we’re sure to miss Len and his bum. 

4. Kim Zolciak’s Post-Six-Babies-Body

In addition to rocking some intense wigs, Kim Zolciak is also known for her tiny frame after giving birth to six — that’s right, six! — kids (four in the last four years). But this proud mama and Bravo-lebrity is never afraid to show off her fit body. We’re predicting some racy cutout costumes in her near future.

5. Sexual Tension

It wouldn’t be DWTS without a little sexual tension (and a hookup or two). This season’s hottest couple seems to be Backstreet Boys hunk Nick Carter and Aussie dance pro Sharna Burgess, but since most of the contestants (including Carter) are married (two to each other!), chances are there will only be onstage steam to squeal over. 

Dancing With the Stars Season 21 premieres on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

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