It’s not so easy topping a lightning rod like Bristol Palin so ABC decided to steer clear of politics with the new cast of Dancing With the Stars. It’s doubtful this round of amateur hoofers will rally the Tea Partiers to park their butts in front of the TV but hey, stranger things have happened on the ABC competition show that returns March 21.
Here’s the full cast:
Ralph Macchio, 49, the baby-faced star of three Karate Kid movies and My Cousin Vinny
Kirstie Alley, 60, starred in Fat Actress, Veronica’s Closet, and, of course, Cheers
Petra Nemcova, 31, a Czech model who’s been linked to James Blunt and Sean Penn
Wendy Williams, 46, a frank talk-show host
Sugar Ray Leonard, 54, the Olympic gold-medal-winning boxer who, as a pro, famously claimed world titles in five weight divisions
Psycho Mike, a.k.a. Michael Catherwood, 31, a popular deejay for KROQ in Los Angeles
Chelsea Kane, 22, best known for playing Stella on Disney Channel’s Jonas L.A.
Romeo, 21, once known as Lil Romeo, is a rapper, actor, and son of past DWTS participant Master P
Kendra Wilkinson, 25, the former star of E!’s The Girls Next Door and the current star of her own eponymous reality show
Chris Jericho, 40, a pro wrestler who won 23 championships in the WWE
Hines Ward, 34, an NFL Pro Bowler from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the third wide receiver to appear on DWTS
EW also picked up some intel about the new season from exec producer Conrad Green. We can expect more theme weeks like last season’s tributes to rock & roll and TV, as well as those nail-biting instant dances. Just don’t think Dancing voting will suddenly be transparent simply because Palin prompted talk of a ballot-rigging conspiracy.
“It kills the suspense of the show,” Green told EW. “If you know how people are voting, it will skew things massively. We’re happy to explain how the voting works, but most people’s eyes just glaze over.”
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