Katherine Jenkins misses 'Dancing With The Stars' cast reveal, had plans to fly to Afghanistan
Katherine Jenkins, a Welsh Mezzo Soprano singer, was on Tuesday revealed to be a celebrity contestant on the new 14th season of the ABC show "Dancing With The Stars," but could not join her fellow cast members during the announcement on "Good Morning America" because she was set to fly to Afghanistan to perform for UK troops.
The 31-year-old "couldn't divulge her plans for her own safety and security," her spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com. However, Jenkins never made it to the war-torn country. She ultimately learned about her dance partner and fellow contestants through online reports.
"I would have loved to have been at the announcement but as a supporter of military men and women around the world, it was very important to me that I keep my word and be in Afghanistan to entertain the troops," the singer said in a statement. "However, due to technical problems with the plane, I was unable to make it there this time ... but this will not stop me from going again in the future!"
The singer is a patron of the British Forces Foundation and has performed for UK troops in Afghanistan before. During one visit in 2011, a military helicopter that carried her came under fire from insurgents.
"It was pretty scary, but I almost think that the more these things happen, the more they show me how dangerous it is out there, which makes me want to go even more," she told the UK's Radio 5, according to Wales Online.
In December 2010, she and singer James Blun boarded a plane set to travel to Afghanistan, where they were to perform a Christmas concert for troops on the front line. The flight was grounded, which she said was due to weather, according to BBC News. Jenkins then held an impromptu concert for the 160 soldiers on board the aircraft.
"Dancing With The Stars," ABC's hit ballroom dancing series, marks Jenkins' biggest U.S. television gig. She had performed at the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade in December 2011. The Walt Disney Company owns ABC and OnTheRedCarpet.com.
"Via the Internet, I have learnt about the other contestants and my dance partner and I am thrilled," Jenkins said in her statement. "I cannot wait to take part in a program I have long admired."
On "Dancing With The Stars," Jenkins has been paired up with pro dancer Mark Ballas, who has in the past been paired up with contestants such as Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol and Disney Channel star Chelsea Kane.
The singer joins the likes of Jaleel White, who played Steve Urkel on the sitcom "Family Matters," Melissa Gilbert of "Little House on the Prairie" fame, "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd and NFL star Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers ( Check out photos and more details about the cast of "Dancing With The Stars" season 14.)
Season 14 of "Dancing With The Stars is set to premiere on March 19.
White's partner, Kym Johnson, told OnTheRedCarpet.com that the actor "is a natural" when it comes to dancing. Shepherd said White was her competition and also showed off some of her own dance moves.
"I have my professional dance partner - my mirror. I do take dance lessons," she added. "I drop it like it's hot for my husband all the time."
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, who produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).