Three new pros will make their “Dancing with the Stars” debuts when the show begins its 13th season on September 19.
All add to the already international flavor of the competition. New Zealand native Peta Murgatroyd will team with L.A. Laker forward Ron Artest. Ireland’s Tristan MacManus pairs with HLN and former “Swift Justice” host Nancy Grace. Ukrainian born Valentin Chmerkovskiy, brother of “Dancing with the Stars” series pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, is partnered with Italian actress and model Elisabetta Canalis. Canalis was most recently better known as George Clooney’s ex-girlfriend.
Three time Mirror Ball champ Derek Hough returns to the program after taking the last season off. He’s paired with talk show host and actress Ricki Lake.
The other pairings with the pro listed first:
Kym Johnson and David Arquette: Johnson returns to defend the “Dancing with the Stars” championship she won with Hines Ward last season. Johnson previously was the Mirror Ball trophy winner in season 10 with Donny Osmond
Lacey Schwimmer and Chaz Bono: Schwimmer made an early exit last season when paired with L.A. personality Mike Catherwood. A lot of press attention might be focused on this duo with Bono as half of the team. Will we see Cher in the audience?
Cheryl Burke and Rob Kardashian: Two time “Dancing with the Stars” champ Burke was partnered with ex-WWE champ Chris Jericho last season. Kardashian follows sister Kim in competing on the program.
Anna Trebunskaya and Carson Kressley: This should make for a fun pairing. Trebunskaya was eliminated early in last season’s show with partner Sugar Ray Leonard. The verbal interaction between Kressley and “Dancing” judge Bruno Tonioli will be a treat, too.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Hope Solo: At the 2011 Espy Awards, Chmerkovskiy told People magazine that Solo “would be his dream partner” for the upcoming” Dancing” broadcasts. Chmerkovskiy and partner Kirstie Alley finished third last season.
Karina Smirnoff and J.R. Martinez: Some speculated Smirnoff would not be welcomed back on the show following her Playboy spread earlier this year. That turned out not to be the case, and she’s teamed with “All My Children” actor and military veteran Martinez. Smirnoff will wed Detroit Tiger pitcher Brad Penny in January.
Tony Dovolani and Chyna Phillips: Dovolani danced with talk show host Wendy Williams last season. He’s yet to take home the Mirror Ball trophy.
Mark Ballas and Kristin Cavallari: Ballas and partner Chelsea Kane came in third during Season 12. Ballas won “Dancing with the Stars” championships with Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson.
This season’s celebrities were previously announced during an episode of ABC’s “Bachelor Pad” reality series.
“Dancing with Stars” web page, ABC.com.
“Dancing With the St Season 13 Cast Revealed!” by Natalie Finn, E! Online.com, 8/29/11.