ABC reveals 'Dancing with the Stars' eighth-season celebrity cast
By John Bracchitta , 02/09/2009
ABC has revealed the identities of the 13 celebrities who will be heating up the dance floor when Dancing with the Stars eighth season premieres with a two-hour performance episode on Monday, March 9 at 8PM ET/PT.
Dancing with the Starshost Tom Bergeron revealed the identities during ABC's All Night Name Drop segments which aired during the network's Sunday night broadcasts of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters.
The 13 celebrity two-steppers who will compete for Dancing with the Stars' eighth-season mirror ball trophy will be rapper Kimberly Denise "Lil Kim" Jones, former Jackass and Dr. Steve-O star Steven "Steve-O" Glover, Access Hollywood co-anchor Nancy O'Dell, former NFL superstar Lawrence Taylor, Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Shawn Johnson, country singer Chuck Wicks, Sex and the City star Gilles Marini, actress Denise Richards, The Go-Gos singer Belinda Carlisle, Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, comedian and actor David Alan Grier, champion bull rider Ty Murray and singer Jewel Kilcher.
In addition to Steve-O, many of the other celebrity dancers also have previous reality ties -- including Lil Kim, who starred in BET's Countdown to Lockdown; O'Dell, who hosted Nashville Star's first two seasons; Richards, who stars in E!'s It's Complicated; Carlisle, who formerly served as a judge for MTV's Rock the Cradle; Wozniak, who previously dated MyLife on the D-List star Kathy Griffin and appeared on last year's season of the Bravo reality series; Murray, who has hosted Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge and participated in Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling on CMT; and Jewel, who has hosted and starred on Nashville Star's fifth season.
ABC has yet to reveal each celebrity's professional partner, however they have disclosed that Wicks will be dancing with Julianne Hough, who he began dating when they were both participating in country star Brad Paisley's tour last summer.
In addition, ABC also revealed that last season's "team dance" faceoff will also return for Dancing with the Stars' eighth-season and the competition's first weeks will feature a new "Dance Off" twist that will determine which of the week's two bottom couples will be eliminated.
This morning, ABC surprised Richards with the news that she'll be dancing with Chmerkovskiy during an appearance on Good Morning America.
"Maks is here [and] he is your new partner," Good Morning America co-anchor Sam Champion said.
"He is?" Richards said as Chmerkovskiy walked out to introduce himself. "I'm so excited."
According to Chmerkovskiy, he also only learned of the pairing this morning.
"[I learned] just now," Chmerkovskiy told Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer. "Yesterday we were still on the tour so up until [this] morning we had nothing to do with Dancing with the Stars so we heard things from production and little rumors on the Internet... [but] I just found out now."
According to an ABC spokesperson, the remaining professional pairings will be announced on Thursday after the rest of the celebrity cast has had a chance to meet their new partners.