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ABC reveals 'Dancing with the Stars' fifth-season cast identities


By Christopher Rocchio, 08/29/2007 

ABC has revealed the identities of the 12 celebrities -- the show's biggest group yet -- who will be waltzing their way into primetime when Dancing with the Stars' fifth season premieres with a 90-minute performance episode on Monday, September 24 at 8PM ET/PT.

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The fifth-season celebrity cast announcement was made this morning on ABC's Good Morning America by Dancing with the Stars' judge Carrie Ann Inaba, host Tom Bergeron and fourth-season celebrity champ Apolo Anton Ohno

The 12 celebrity two-steppers who will compete for Dancing with the Stars' fifth-season mirror ball trophy are Spice Girl Melanie Brown; former Beverly Hills 90210 actress Jennie Garth; supermodel Josie Maran; Disney's The Cheetah Girls star Sabrina Bryan; entertainer Marie Osmond; actress Jane Seymour; entertainer Wayne Newton; IndyCar racer Helio Castroneves; professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.; billionaire entrepreneur and former The Benefactor star Mark Cuban; All My Children actor and I Wanna Be a Soap Star host Cameron Mathison; and supermodel Albert Reed.

Although ABC had declined to comment on any casting reports, Brown, Newton and Cuban's participations had all been previously reported.  In addition, Garth's publicist had also previously confirmed her participation in the show.

Julianne Hough -- the defending Dancing with the Stars professional partner champion who won the series' fourth season with Ohno -- will return for the show's fifth edition. She'll be paired with Castroneves. There will also be some sibling rivalry during Dancing with the Stars 5, as Hough's brother Derek will make his first appearance as a professional partner.  He'll be paired with Garth.

Alec Mazo, the professional dancer who won Dancing with the Stars' inaugural season with Kelly Monaco but was part of the first team eliminated when he paired with fourth-season participant Paulina Porizkova (Mazo didn't participate in the show's second and third seasons), will return for the fifth installment.  He'll be paired with Maran.

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Mathison will be paired with Mazo's fiance Edyta Sliwinska -- the only professional dancer to appear in all five installments of Dancing with the Stars.  After the unfavorable pairings of Evander Holyfield in Season 1 and George Hamilton in Season 2, she got lucky and did well with Joey Lawrence in the third season.  However lady luck turned a blind eye to Sliwinska last season, when her original partner, The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore, dropped out of the competition and she was instead paired with Cheers actor John Ratzenberger.

Cheryl Burke -- a two-time Dancing with the Stars professional partner champion who won the series' second season with former 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey and its third season with former NFL star Emmitt Smith before finishing fourth with Ian Ziering last season -- will have her toughest test yet.  She'll be dancing with Newton,  Dancing with the Stars' second oldest celebrity ever (behind only Hamilton in Season 2).

Brown will dance with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who was paired with Tia Carrerre in the show's second season; Willa Ford in its third season; and Laila Ali last season.  Seymour will also be dancing with a veteran, Tony Dovolani, who was paired with Stacy Keibler during the show's second season; Sarah Evans during its third; and Leeza Gibbons last season.

Karina Smirnoff -- who made her Dancing with the Stars' debut during the third season and was the runner-up with Mario Lopez before being paired with Billy Ray Cyrus last season -- will also return for the show's fifth installment.  She'll be paired with Mayweather.  Cuban will dance with Kym Johnson, the Australian Dancing with the Stars second season champion who made her American debut with Jerry Springer during the third season and finished as the runner-up last season with Joey Fatone.

Jonathan Roberts -- who paired with Rachel Hunter during Dancing with the Stars first season and Giselle Fernandez during the second season before taking the third season off and pairing with Heather Mills last season -- is back for his fourth season.  He'll be paired with Osmond.  Roberts' wife Anna Trebunskaya -- who finished second with Jerry Rice during the show's second season and did not participate in the last two installments -- will be back for the fifth season.  She'll be paired with Reed.

Bryan will be dancing with Mark Ballas, a professional dancer who will be making his Dancing with the Stars debut during the fifth season.

According to ABC, Dancing with the Stars' producers take several factors into consideration when determining each season's pairings, including height, personality and personal compatibility.

Noticeably absent from Dancing with the Stars' professional roster for the second season in a row is Ashly DelGrosso.  After dancing in the first three installments, she didn't participate in the show's Spring 2007 fourth edition because she was pregnant with her first child -- whom she gave birth to on July 27 -- presumably leading to her absence from the fifth season.

As with a majority of the professional dancers, Inaba and fellow judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli are also scheduled to return for Dancing with the Stars' fifth season. 

While Bergeron will also reprise his hosting role, People reported Wednesday that producers are still looking for a replacement for co-host Samantha Harris once she goes on maternity leave.  Harris had announced she was pregnant with her first child during a fourth-season broadcast and is due in early October.

"My hope is to be there for the beginning of the season for a week or two, maybe three, have the baby and maybe be gone for two, three, four weeks," she told People.  "If I'm lucky enough to have a quick recovery, [I'll] be back on the show for the rest of the season."  

Dancing with the Stars 5 will debut with two 90-minute performance episodes on Monday, September 24 and Tuesday, September 25 that will both air at 8PM ET/PT.  In a twist from previous seasons, People reported that the six female celebrity participants will compete on Monday night, with their six male counterparts doing the same on Tuesday. 

"[The decision to split the cast was deliberate] so you can actually get to know the people and see them all over two nights," executive producer Conrad Green told People.  "There are a lot of stories to tell - what they have been through, how they got here, their backgrounds, their motivations for doing it."

The following night, ABC will cap off the show's fifth-season premiere week with a special Wednesday at 8PM ET/PT broadcast of Dancing with the Stars 5's first one-hour results show, which will send one celebrity contestant and his or her professional partner home.

Dancing with the Stars' fifth season will settle into its regular time periods the following week, with 90-minute performance episodes airing Mondays at 8PM ET beginning October 1 and one-hour results shows airing Tuesdays at 9PM ET beginning October 2.

(Photo credit ABC)


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