Look out, 'Dancing With the Stars' fans: Here comes Tom DeLay
Meet the contestants of the fall 2009 edition of 'Dancing With the Stars' — including Michael Irvin, Kelly Osbourne, Macy Gray and ... Tom DeLay?
Seattle Times movie critic
'Dancing With the Stars'8 p.m. Mondays on ABC.
Tonight in Prime Time
Gather 'round, fellow "Dancing with the Stars" fans, and let us mourn: Gilles Marini is no longer on the show, and none of the new contestants are slinky Frenchmen.
Regardless, everyone's favorite guilty-pleasure, ballroom-dancing-with-the-C-list reality show is back, to steal our Monday nights and remind us of some of the great mysteries of life: namely, sequined pants, orange spray-tans and Samantha Harris.
Here's the lineup of contestants and partners for the season premiere, which airs at 8 p.m. Monday night on ABC.
Who? 21-year-old pop singer, Backstreet Boy relative (brother to Nick Carter) and former reality-show participant ("House of Carters").
Any hope? Sure; pop singers generally know how to move.
Partner: The fabulously named Karina Smirnoff, in her seventh season.
Who? Olympic gold medalist in swimming, in 2004 and 2008.
Any hope? Olympic gold medalists tend to walk away with this competition; just ask Shawn Johnson, Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Anton Ohno.
Partner: Season 1 champion Alec Mazo.
Who? Actor, martial artist and "Iron Chef" regular, as the Chairman.
Any hope? Well, he'll give judge Bruno a chance to use a lot of food metaphors.
Partner: Lacey Schwimmer, she of the ill-fated Steve-O duo last season.
Who? Former Republican congressman and House majority leader (resigned after indictment on charges of violating campaign-finance laws).
Any hope? 62-year-old DeLay is in the Steve Wozniak slot. To paraphrase the title of another popular show: No one thinks he can dance.
Partner: The great Cheryl Burke, whose tough-love rehearsals can turn any man into a dancer. So far.
Who? Grammy Award-winning R&B singer.
Any hope? Hmm. See below.
Partner: Jonathan Roberts, who's had bad luck lately (his last two partners were the wooden-footed Monica Seles and leaden-legged Belinda Carlisle, both instantly eliminated).
Who? Actor/musician, but better known for being George Hamilton's son and Shannen Doherty's momentary husband.
Any hope? Let's hope he does better than his famously tan father did on the show (in Season 2).
Partner: The marvelously slinky and frequently near-naked Edyta Sliwinska.
Melissa Joan Hart
Who? Actress, best known for the TV series "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "Clarissa Explains It All."
Any hope? She's got a fan base, and it's definitely in the DWTS demographic.
Partner: Smoothie Mark Ballas, usually seen guiding Olympians to the mirror-ball trophy.
Who? Model, fashion designer, author and Sunday-school teacher.
Any hope? We haven't seen this particular combination of talents on the show; perhaps the Sunday-school connection will help.
Partner: Tony Dovolani, he of the bright teeth and equally blinding chest.
Who? NFL Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboy; now a sports-radio host.
Any hope? Football players do well on this show; maybe it's the big feet.
Partner: Anna Demidova, winner of last season's professional competition.
Who? Model, best known for one of those "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" PETA campaigns.
Any hope? Um, who?
Partner: Hold the phone — she's dancing with the marvelous Derek Hough.
Who? Martial artist, Ultimate Fighting champion and memoirist.
Any hope? Well, sure, um ... where do they find these people, anyway?
Partner: Anna Trebunskaya, who made the finals with Jerry Rice back in Season 2.
Who? Actor who's appeared in numerous movies, perhaps best known as Spice in the ill-fated "Batman Forever."
Any hope? Based on the above, you've got to root for her.
Partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who should have won Season 5 with Mel B. Apparently I'm not over this yet.
Who? Single-monickered, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter.
Any hope? With a dance background, she's the ringer — watch her moves in the movie "Chicago."
Partner: Dmitry Chaplin, last seen gamely steering Holly Madison around the floor.
Who? Famous reality-show daughter; also singer and actor.
Any hope? Well, we know she's comfortable around cameras.
Partner: Louis van Amstel, one of the show's more accomplished choreographers.
Who? Famous singing sibling (did you have to ask?).
Any hope? If he can refrain from fainting (as sister Marie famously did on the show), he's probably got a shot.
Partner: The ever-snappy and swivel-hippy Kym Johnson.
Who? Professional snowboarder and 2010 Olympic hopeful.
Any hope? An odd wild card. Shouldn't he be training for the Olympics by, you know, snowboarding?
Partner: Chelsie Hightower, who made her DWTS debut last season with Ty "Lap Dance" Murray.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or email@example.com
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
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