The suspense is over, gang, it’s time to tango!
Co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke revealed the cast for the new season of “Dancing with the Stars” Monday night, and as usual, there were some surprises–in one corner we have a Playboy playmate, in another corner we have a boxing great.
While much of the “casting formula”–athletes, hotties and has-beens–remains the same for Season 12, producers did boot a few usual suspects out of the ballroom: There isn’t a politician-type, a sentimental favorite (ie, an elderly person) or a musically-inclined-frontrunner-with-an-unfair-advantage (“I only took ballet lessons as a child, I swear!”) in sight.
Here are the 11 celebrities competing this season on “Dancing with the Stars”:
~Former Welterweight Champion of the World Sugar Ray Leonard aka the legend
~Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and tsunami survivor Petra Nemcova aka the hottie
~The “original” ”Karate Kid” Ralph Macchio aka the nostalgia factor…Sweep the leg! (couldn’t resist)
~Rapper Romeo, aka the only musician and the son of (notoriously bad) Season 2 contestant Master P
~Disney “dream girl” Chelsea Kane (“Jonas“) aka the young one
~NFL wide receiver Hines Ward, or as Burke called him, the “Super Bowl Steeler” aka the next “DWTS” NFL Hall of Famer (please see Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Kurt Warner, Warren Sapp, Chad Ochocinco…but not Lawrence Taylor, let’s forget about that season)
~Six-time WWE wrestling champ Chris Jericho aka the tough guy
~Playboy Playmate Kendra Wilkinson aka the reality star hottie…let’s hope she’s less Barbie-robotic than her fellow “Bunny Next Door” Holly Madison, who appeared on Season 8
~”Cheers” star Kirstie Alley aka the outrageous, unpredictable one — who said she didn’t know why she was there and thought the “DWTS” press conference questions were “hard.” Sample question: “Kirstie, why did you want to do the show?”
~Daytime talk-show host Wendy Williams aka the funny one
~Co-host of “Loveline Radio” Mike Catherwood, aka “Psycho Mike” aka the “Who?” entry
All of the contestants, who have just three weeks to prepare for their first dances, were on hand for the live announcement during “The Bachelor,” with the exception of supermodel Petra Nemcova–who was “speaking at the UN” and unable to attend the big reveal.
The celebrity-pro dancer pairings will be unveiled Wednesday morning on “Good Morning America.”
The two-hour season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” airs Monday, March 21 on ABC.