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US hero of French train attack joins 'Dancing with the Stars'

03 september 2015, 11:51
0

He overpowered a gunman on a speeding train. But can he dance?

National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, one of three Americans hailed as heroes last month for thwarting a Moroccan assailant on an Amsterdam-Paris train, has joined the cast of "Dancing with the Stars", AFP reports.

Skarlatos was the last contestant unveiled Wednesday ahead of the ABC reality show's September 14 season kick-off that will also feature Australian teenage conservationist Bindi Irwin, daughter of late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, and US actor Gary Busey.  

"Let's give #AlekSkarlatos a hero's welcome!" the show said on Twitter.

Also eyeing the Mirror Ball trophy are "Queen of Funk" Chaka Khan and celebrity chef Paula Deen, who has slowly returned to the public eye following a damaging 2013 scandal over racist remarks.

Victor Espinoza, the jockey who rode American Pharoah to the Triple Crown in 2015, will also be part of the mix that includes a total of 13 contestants, each paired with pro dancers.

Busey, nominated for an Oscar for 1979 "The Buddy Holly Story," announced his participation late Tuesday on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," raising eyebrows when he rode into the studio on a horse.

Skarlatos, his two friends and a British consultant have been awarded France's Legion of Honor, the country's highest honor, for their role in subduing the train attacker.

Skarlatos -- a member of the Oregon National Guard who had recently completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan -- will also receive the US Army's highest honor for non-combat activities.  


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