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POP NEWS: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Announces All-Athlete Cast For Season 26!

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Sure they can tackle, but can they tango? Can you hit a home run and do the running man? How can you give up an ice skate for jazz shoe? There are so many questions to be answered in the 26th Season of Dancing With The Stars. The show, which has become a household staple, has jazzed up the traditional lineup this season by exclusively featuring athletes. The twist intensifies the competition as history has proven that athletes tend to fair well and usually cha cha their way to the top. Athletes make excellent candidates for the show, since they are accustomed to lengthy practices, and intense physical challenges. Let’s take a look at the star athletes who are eyeing the Mirror Ball trophy this season:

Arike Ogunbowale with Gleb Savchenko

Arike Ogunbowale is a junior at Notre Dame and member of the women’s basketball team, who recently won the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. She was also named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player this year. She is a five-time USA Basketball medalist with four gold and one silver.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Lindsay Arnold

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a six-time NBA champ and the league’s only six-time MVP. Before he left office, President Barack Obama awarded Kareem the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The 70 year old, yes 70, is still taking on new challenges as he gives dancing a whirl.

Jennie Finch with Keo Motsepe

Softball star Jennie Finch Daigle started pitching at age eight, with her father as her personal coach. In 2004 at the Olympics in Athens, her ASA team dominated their competitors and won the gold. Sports Illustrated hailed them as the greatest team of all time. She is known for her pink and black signature outfitting, which will be fun to see as she dazzles on the dance floor.

Johnny Damon with Emma Slater

A Major League Baseball star for 18 seasons, Johnny Damon was one of the most outstanding, respected and durable players in the game. After winning the 2004 World Series with the Boston Red Sox, Johnny signed with the New York Yankees in 2006. He joined Babe Ruth as the only full-time, everyday players to achieve World Series rings with both the Red Sox and Yankees. Let’s see if can earn a grand slam amongst the judges this season.

Mirai Nagasu with Alan Bersten

Mirai Nagasu was one of the youngest figure skaters to win a national title in 2008 and earned a spot to represent the U.S. in the 2018 Olympics at the age of 24, where she made history by becoming the first American woman to land a triple Axel in an Olympic Winter Games. She performed the difficult three-and-a-half revolution jump, helping Team USA win a bronze medal in the Olympic team event. Can she pirouette her way to a Mirror Ball trophy?

Chris Mazdzer with Witney Carson

In PyeongChang, South Korea, Chris made history becoming the first-ever American athlete to win a medal in the Men’s Single Luge event. Not just beauty and brawn, Chris has a degree in Business Administration/Finance, and when he’s done with his athletic career, he aspires to be a financial consultant. The double threat is looking to become a bonafide triple threat, by dancing his way into America’s homes.

Jamie Anderson with Artem Chigvintsev

Jamie Anderson is one of the top female snowboarders in the world and has won a record 15 X Games medals since she was 15 years old. Jamie led the U.S. medal sweep with a gold medal at the first-ever Olympic Slopestyle competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and successfully defended her gold medal in Slopestyle at the 2018 Winter Olympics Games in PyeongChang. Can she slide to victory with this new challenge?

Josh Norman with Sharna Burgess

Josh Norman became the highest-paid NFL cornerback in 2016 upon signing with the Washington Redskins after spending his previous four seasons with the Carolina Panthers. As he enters the seventh season, he proves to remain one of the most elite athletes at his position. Josh gives back to his South Carolina hometown community and provides academic enrichment opportunities for youth through his foundation, Starz24. I think we are all excited to see how he tackles this competition!

Adam Rippon with Jenna Johnson

One of the most dramatic figure skaters on the planet, Adam won the hearts of America and the world at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In addition to his recent team bronze medal in PyeongChang, Adam has garnered nine medals on the international circuit over the last four years, including the 2016 U.S. men’s championship title. The buzz is that he is already a fan favorite, but will that be enough to keep him at the top?

Tonya Harding with Sasha Farber

Tonya Harding won her first skating competition at the age of five. In 1991, at Senior Nationals, Tonya became the first American woman to attempt and land the extremely difficult Triple Axel. Her life story was recently depicted in the award-winning film I, Tonya. Her appearance on the show is causing a bit off controversy as some fans wonder if she should be allowed redemption after her troubled past. Perhaps this is the second chance Harding needs to finally get back in the country’s good graces.

Will this season bring the franchise a home run or a strikeout? I predict several strong competitors to come out of this lineup, with a close call in the final round. There are definitely some fun characters amongst the cast, so I am sure fans will also enjoy the personalities they typically tune in for.

Dancing With The Stars: Athletes premieres on April 30th on ABC.

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Can’t Go Out? Here’s Six Ways You Can See The World Right From Your Very Own Home

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Turns out there are plenty of ways to beat the boredom blues!

Countries around the world are being asked to practice social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Most businesses, attractions, theaters and museums have been closed down to help prevent the spread of the virus. Just last night here in the U.S., it was announced that the self-quarantine guidelines are to remain in place until April 30th of this year. Another month at home doesn’t have to mean another month of carb-loading and channel flipping though! There are actually quite a few ways to keep your brain stimulated during these unprecedented, sedentary times. Below you will find six ways to experience the world from your very own house…and don’t worry, I wouldn’t put anything on this list that would require changing out of your comfy sweats.

Virtually experience the happiest place on Earth.

Safe to say we can all use a little happiness during these troubling times so why not turn to the home of happiness itself, DisneyWorld. YouTube channel, Virtual Disney World, offers dozens of 360 degree videos that allow you to virtually experience DisneyWorld attractions, shows, hotels, monorails, trains, boats, park areas and more. These videos are fully immersive meaning you simply pan your VR-headset, phone or tablet in any direction to experience all of the excitement happening around you. Now, you can relive the magic you’ve loved your whole life anytime from anywhere! *Giant turkey leg smell not included….unless you’re actually cooking turkey legs while watching these videos, in which case I applaud your commitment.

Tour a national park on Google Earth.

Take a hike…well sort of. Hiking is a fun activity that can be done alone or with very few others, remember we are in socially distant times, but making your way to a trail might be a challenge these days. Public transportation schedules have been drastically altered and even if they weren’t, a crowded train or a bus just sounds like the breeding ground for some heinous germs right now. You could try to carpool but again…germs! You can avoid any viral risk by simply checking out one of the 30+ virtual hikes on Google Earth. Last year, Google Earth released virtual tours of some of the most beautiful parks in the country. Grand Canyon National Park, Redwood National Park, Everglades National Park and so many others are featured in this exciting experience. On your “hike” you will see some of the most breathtaking trails and views these parks have to offer. Best part? You don’t need bug spray.

Google Earth

Check out some of NYC’s finest street art.

It’s hard to feel particularly cultured when you’re wiping the crumbs from your second lunch off your overly worn pajamas. With that being said, we should not let our love for the arts fade like our flannels have. Instead, check out some of New York’s coolest street art via Google Arts and Culture. Their online experience 9 Amazing Street Art Murals In New York provides a fully immersive, virtual tour of some amazing art. In this tour you will see stunning artwork from prolific artists such as Eduardo Kobra, Keith Haring, Banksy and more. No need for a MetroCard to see these murals which is great because now you can put that $2.75 towards your next Seamless order.

Sing along while streaming your favorite Broadway shows.

Broadway has taught us all how defy gravity but now it’s helping us defy boredom too! Theater has been the perfect vehicle for escapism since it’s inception and now you can escape without even leaving your home! BroadwayHD is a streaming service that began broadcasting beloved Broadway shows back in 2015. With over 300 shows in their catalog, you can belt along to all of your favorite shows without having to worry about being escorted out of a theater. The platform is currently offering a free 7-day trial along with a very affordable $8.99/month plan. A one-year subscription is still cheaper than tickets to just one broadway show!

BroadwayHD

Virtually wander through some of the most impressive museums.

Staring at the same four walls of your apartment for weeks on end definitely won’t keep your mind stimulated, trust me I know. Combat the brain laze by learning about some of the world’s most fascinating arts and histories. Many of the world’s finest museums are offering virtual tours that provide users with a fully immersive experience. Never made it to that dream trip to Paris? Tour the Lourve from your couch! Embarrassed by how out of breath you were when you finally climbed all of those stairs getting into The Met? Skip the stairs and see it all online! Never perfected that English accent? That’s ok, no one will hear you on this virtual tour of The National Gallery in London! There are dozens of museums providing these tours and you can find most of them through a quick internet search. I listed a few below because this is the most brain stimulation I plan on having today.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Musei Vaticani, Vatican City

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Natural History Museum, London

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Go to a house party.

NOT LITERALLY!!! We all know with the social distancing guidelines the last thing we should do is host a house party. To remedy our social urges is the new digital platform called HouseParty, which allows users to throw virtual parties with their friends. Like on many other live-streaming apps, HouseParty allows you and your friends to simultaneously FaceTime. What makes this app special, however, is its gaming feature. With HouseParty you and your friends can choose from a variety of party games to play all while maintaining a safe distance. The app is available for iOS, Android, macOS, and Chrome and is truly putting a new twist on classic pajama parties.

HouseParty Icon

Be sure to try something new today otherwise you might just go crazy. We are living in unprecedented times so we might as well try some unprecedented ways of entertaining ourselves. Stay safe out there and stay socially distant…only physically of course!

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AWWW: A Rescue Team Of 9 Was Needed To Rescue 1 Adorably Chubby Rat

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Over in Bensheim, Germany a rotund rodent got herself into a jam when she tried to squeeze through a hole of a manhole cover only to get stuck…and honestly, I can relate. When I was 8 years old I tried to squeeze my thunder-thighs-in-training into a children’s swing and it took my dad and three other grown men to get me out. I am the German fat-rat!

Volunteer firefighters were called when a young girl noticed the fat rat was stuck and no time was wasted to help the poor critter. Eight firefighters and at least one animal rescuer appeared on the scene to safely extract the chubby critter. Animal rescuer Michael Sehr told BBC “She had a lot of winter flab and was stuck fast at her hip. There was no going forward or back.” When asked why anyone would even want to save something so many are repulsed by Sehr said “Even animals that are hated by many deserve respect.”

Alls well that ends well! Hopefully no authorites will be needed to help me shimmy out of these skinny jeans I thought looked cute this morning…in the meantime, check out the entire rescue below!

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Elton John And Taron Egerton Performed A Fantastic Duet Of ‘Tiny Dancer’

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The dancer may be tiny but the talent on stage was massive! Taron Egerton and Elton John gave a fantastic performance of “Tiny Dancer” last night at the 27th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.

If you’ve been looking for a reason to toss on your bedazzled cape and brightly colored sunglasses then boy do I have good news for you. An “epic musical fantasy” about Elton John’s life, entitled Rocketman, is expected to hit theaters in May 2019. Taron Egerton, from Robin Hood fame, plays the musical legend and judging by his performance last night, we are all in for a treat. The audience of the charity event felt like a candle in the wind when Taron suggested an off-the-cuff performance of “Tiny Dancer.” There isn’t even a pun creative enough to embody what the audience must have felt when Elton John himself volunteered to accompany Taron on the piano!

In addition to a truly moving performance, the 27th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raised more than $6.3 million for an effort to end AIDS.

Click below to take a look at the magical performance from last night!

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