A Go-Go, an Olympic champion, an NFL Hall-of-Famer, a singing-bullriding couple and a two-time champ’s crooning boyfriend are among the 13 contestants announced for the new season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
ABC unveiled the “Dancing with the Stars” contestants throughout the network’s Sunday (Feb. 8) lineup in an effort to distract viewers from the Grammys.
Many of the names had already been rumored for some time. Ashton Kutcher, for example, pretty much outed legendary Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor on his Twitter feed last week, while “Wild Things” and “Starship Troopers” star Denise Richards had been linked to “Dancing” for days.
Still, there are plenty of fresh names and relationships for the show to exploit.
At 17, Olympic balance beam champ and three-time silver medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson will be the youngest-ever “Dancing with the Stars” competitor.
And for the first time, a real life couple will be going head to head, with rodeo icon Ty Murray competing against his wife, chanteuse Jewel (engaged pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff will also be competing).
And, for the first time, a star will be dancing with their real-life partner, as country singer Chuck Wicks teams with his girlfriend, two-time “Dancing with the Stars” champ Julianne Hough. Or maybe we should say that this will be the first time a star and dancer were involved before they began dancing together, since the “Dancing with the Stars” process has proven to be an aphrodisiac in the past.
Other contestants include standouts from the worlds of music (Belinda Carlisle, Lil’ Kim), comedy (David Alan Grier), stud-muffinery (Gilles Marini, from the “Sex and the City” movie), self-abuse (Steve-O), celebrity journalism (Nancy O’Dell) and business (Apple innovator Steve Wozniak).
The new season of “Dancing with the Stars” won’t premiere until Monday, March 9, with a two-hour episode. Two-hour Monday episodes will air through Monday, March 30, shifting to a 90-minute format on April 6, to allow ABC to premiere the Bob Saget comedy “Surviving Suburbia.”
The first “Dancing with the Stars” results show will air on Tuesday, March 17.
The two-hour season finale of “Dancing” is set for Tuesday, May 19.
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