Tampa-raised ESPN star Erin Andrews, Kate Gosselin and Pamela Anderson lead new cast of ABC's Dancing With the Stars
ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews was announced Monday as a contestant in the latest cycle of ABC's unscripted competition Dancing with the Stars.
But the Tampa-raised sports journalist's father, Steve Andrews, is a longtime investigative reporter for area NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8 (in a bit of a warning, ABC also noted she was also a member of the University of Florida Gators' basketball dance team from 1997 to 2000).
Something tells me he's going to be sneaking a lot of long looks at the competition.
Andrews joins a list of celebrities which includes former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star Kate Gosselin, ex-Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, Olympian Even Lysacek, comic actress Niecy Nash and onscreen bad girl Shannen Doherty.
So far, it looks like bad news for the guys, who are a lot less famous than their female competition.
Fortunately, producers abandoned the cast-of-thousands approach tried last year, which led to the show starting with a whopping 16 celebrities. A big cast may have sounded like a good idea at ABC's executive retreat, but in practice, it meant sitting through long weeks while mediocre wannabes like Debi Mazar, Ashley Hamilton and Tom "Wild Thing" DeLay made viewers' eyes hurt.
I nearly missed the announcement of the cast, because ABC chose to reveal it during the finale of its latest cycle for The Bachelor -- another reality show which makes my brain hurt.
But Dancing's obvious loads of female fans may prove the guys' biggest asset, providing an opportunity for their charm and good looks to snatch votes away from the strongest lineup of female competitors the show has fielded in a while.
Click below to read whose dancing with whom when the show returns March 22.
Buzz Aldrin, Legendary Astronaut (right)
Aldrin will be partnered with dancer Ashley Costa (formerly DelGrosso), who returns for her fourth season.
Pamela Anderson, Actress and Model
Anderson joins professional dancer Damian Whitewood, who makes his "Dancing with the Stars" debut this season.
Erin Andrews, ESPN Host
Andrews teams up with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who returns for his eighth season.
Shannen Doherty, Actress
Doherty will dance with two-time "Dancing with the Stars" champ Mark Ballas, who returns for his sixth season.
Kate Gosselin, TLC Star (right)
Gosselin teams up with Tony Dovolani, who returns for his ninth season.
Evan Lysacek, Olympic Figure Skating Champion
Lysacek will dance with Anna Trebunskaya, who returns for her fifth season.
Niecy Nash, Comedienne and Host
Nash joins Louis Van Amstel, who returns for his sixth season on "Dancing With the Stars."
Chad Ochocinco, NFL Star (left)
Ochocinco will hit the dance floor with two-time champion Cheryl Burke, who returns for her ninth season.
Jake Pavelka, "The Bachelor" Star
Pavelka joins Chelsie Hightower, in her third season.
Nicole Scherzinger, Pop Star
Scherzinger teams with Season 7 champ Derek Hough, who returns for his sixth season.
Aiden Turner, Soap Star
Turner will partner with Edyta Sliwinska, the only pro to compete in all ten seasons of "Dancing with the Stars."