ABC announces pro dancer partners for celebrities on Dancing with the Stars
Though news has been leaking all last week, ABC finally revealed today the professional dancers who will guide their largest-ever cast of competitors through the next edition of Dancing with the Stars.
Besides Tom DeLay landing Burke and Debi Mazar getting Chmerkovskiy, pretty boy past champion Derek Hough joins model Joanna Krupa, nine-time Dancing veteran Edyta Sliwinska got celebrity offspring Ashley Hamilton and last season's champion Mark Ballas winds up with actress Melissa Joan Hart.
Earlier this year, I asked Chmerkovskiy about that moment when the dancer meets their celebrity: Do they know, in an instant, whether they're winning the competition?
"The show is produced, at times heavily, so it leaves little room for reality," he said. "But one of those real moments is when we meet our celebrity partners. We literally don’t know until a half hour before (the filming)…we drive to the studio and see this person walk through the door.
"To me, it’s not a big deal – unless somebody walks through the door is 80 something years old, or something (laughs). I try and teach the first step; that’s when, in the first five or 10 seconds, you know whether your life is going to be great or very, very hard.”
Click below to see the pairings; do you own math on whose life will be very hard when the show debuts Sept. 21:
• AARON CARTER, pop star, teams with KARINA SMIRNOFF (left), who returns for her seventh season.
• NATALIE COUGHLIN, Olympic champion swimmer, teams with Season 1 champion ALEC MAZO, who returns for his fifth season.
• MARK DACASCOS, “Iron Chef” star, joins LACEY SCHWIMMER, who returns for her third season.
• TOM DELAY, former House Majority Leader, teams up with two-time champion CHERYL BURKE, who returns for her eighth season.
• MACY GRAY, Grammy Award ®winner, teams with JONATHAN ROBERTS, who returns for his seventh season.
• ASHLEY HAMILTON, actor and comedian, teams with EDYTA SLIWINSKA, who is the only pro to compete in all nine seasons of “Dancing with the Stars.”
• MELISSA JOAN HART, actress, teams up with reigning two-time “Dancing with the Stars” champ MARK BALLAS, who returns for his fifth season.
• KATHY IRELAND, entrepreneur and model, teams with TONY DOVOLANI (left), who returns for his eighth season.
• MICHAEL IRVIN, NFL Hall of Famer, teams with Season 8’s Professional Dancer Competition winner ANNA DEMIDOVA, who makes her debut.
• JOANNA KRUPA, model, teams with Season 7 champ DEREK HOUGH, who returns for his fifth season.
• CHUCK LIDDELL, Ultimate Fighting Champion, teams with ANNA TREBUNSKAYA, who returns for her fourth season.
• DEBI MAZAR, actress, teams with MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, who returns for his seventh season.
• MYA, award winning singer, teams with DMITRY CHAPLIN, who returns for his second season.
• KELLY OSBOURNE, reality star, teams up with LOUIS VAN AMSTEL, who returns for his fifth season.
• DONNY OSMOND, showbiz legend, is paired with KYM JOHNSON, who returns for her seventh season.
• LOUIE VITO, professional snowboarder, joins CHELSIE HIGHTOWER, who returns for her second season.