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The Republican Convention speaker list is filled with D-list celebrities, Trumps, and pro athletes

Businessmen, fringe officials, sheriffs, and Trump’s friends and family make up what looks like a Republican-themed Coachella.
Photo by Justin Lane/EPA

Donald Trump swore that this year's Republican National Convention was going to be different.

Instead of the typically "boring" aesthetic of past conventions, Trump repeatedly promised that next week's gathering in Cleveland will be a glitzy, glamorous affair filled with A-listers — or in other words, it will be Great Again.

On Thursday, the Republican National Committee finally released the speaker's list for the convention. Although it was not exactly a rundown of rising leaders in the Republican party, the lineup confirmed Trump's promise that this year's event will indeed be anything but boring.


The list — made up of businessmen, fringe Republican officials, sheriffs, professional athletes, and Trump's personal friends and family — looks like the lineup from a Republican-themed Coachella.

The list includes Newt Gingrich and Governor Chris Christie, two of the top candidates being considered for Vice President. But perhaps even more interesting were the names left off the list — most notably Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who is now the frontrunner in the vice presidential race. Also left out were former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Tim Tebow, the NFL quarterback who Trump hinted would be attending.

Every good party needs a theme and Trump's convention is no different. The schedule is split into four differently themed nights, the first being "Benghazi night," the second focused on the economy and the last two still undetermined, reported the New York Times. Potential future first lady, Melania Trump, is slated to speak on "Benghazi night," for reasons that are not immediately clear.

Here's a rundown of some of the highlights on the speaker list.

Celebrities…sort of
It should surprise no one that Trump is getting not one, but two, soap opera stars to speak at his convention.

Antonio Sabato, Jr. is an actor best known for his role on General Hospital and for having a reality show called My Antonio, "in which various women competed to become his girlfriend," according to his brief Wikipedia page. Actress Kimberlin Brown, who is known for her roles on "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," will also make an appearance.


Elected Republicans
Despite spending much of the past year eviscerating the GOP, Trump managed to get some major elected Republicans to come to Cleveland. These included the two most powerful Republicans in Congress; beleaguered House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Also on the list are senators Jeff Sessions, Tom Cotton, and Joni Ernst, some of Trump's lone allies on Capitol Hill.

Governors Rick Scott of Florida, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Mary Fallon of Oklahoma will also be speaking, all of whom have also been supportive of Trump.

People who wanted to be president this year
After bulldozing 16 primary opponents on his rampage to the nomination, Trump managed to get four of them to speak at the RNC. These include Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Chris Christie and Governor Scott Walker. Carson and Christie have been loyal surrogates to Trump but Cruz and Walker are not exactly friends with him, so it remains to be seen what their speeches will entail.

People whose last name is Trump
All four of Trump's adult children, in addition to his Slovenian immigrant wife, will be speaking for him at the convention. Or in other words, the number of people with the last name Trump is the same number of sitting senators who are speaking, as the Washington Post pointed out. His kids Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. have become familiar faces on the campaign trail but his 22-year old daughter Tiffany is a fairly new and lively addition to the world of politics.

Pro athletes
Trump said in June that he was "thinking about getting some of the great sports people who like me a lot" to speak at the convention, floating names like Tim Tebow and Tom Brady. They're not coming after all, but Trump did manage to pull some other figures from the world of sports. Professional golfer Natalie Gulbis — who is ranked 484th in the world of golf but also posed on the cover of Sports Illustrated — will be there. So will the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship Dana White, and Pat Smith, a former beauty pageant queen and ex-wife of a Dallas Cowboy football player. The director of the National Rifle Association Chris Cox will also be speaking.

Some of Trump's rich friends agreed to fly their private jets to Ohio next week. Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel will be speaking at the RNC, as well as casino mogul Phil Ruffin and private equity investor Thomas J. Barrack Jr.

Men of faith
Even though Trump might not be known for his piety, he still managed to get the support of religious leaders. The president of Liberty University Jerry Fallwell Jr. will be there, after being a surrogate for Trump on the campaign trail. Evangelical pastor Mark Burns is also on the list, as well as Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who converted Trump's daughter Ivanka to Orthodox Judaism.

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @oliviaLbecker