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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 6

ABC reveals 'Dancing with the Stars' pro pairings, initial schedule


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/19/2008 

ABC has revealed the professional partner pairings and initial scheduling format that Dancing with the Stars' sixth season will use when it premieres on Monday, March 17 at 8PM ET/PT.

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Dancing with the Stars sixth-season professional partner cast consists of reigning two-time mirror ball trophy winner Julianne Hough; fellow two-time mirror ball trophy winner Cheryl Burke; Mark Ballas; Tony Dovolani; Derek Hough; Kym Johnson; Jonathan Roberts; newcomer Fabian Sanchez; Edyta Sliwinska; Karina Smirnoff; Anna Trebunskaya; and Louis van Amstel.  All six of the female professionals also competed during Dancing with the Stars' Fall 2007 fifth season.

The 12 celebrity two-steppers competing on Dancing with the Stars 6 -- first revealed during last night's live Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Anne finale broadcast -- are actor and R&B singer Mario Barrett; radio personality and former The Man Show co-host Adam Carolla; telenovela actor and ABC-billed "Latin American heartthrob" Christian de la Fuente; American Pie actress Shannon Elizabeth; Penn & Teller: Bullshit! magician Penn Jillette; Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin; actress and Elvis ex-wife Priscilla Presley; nine-time Grand Slam winning professional tennis player Monica Seles; popular 1980s actor Steve Guttenberg; NFL star Jason Taylor; Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur;  and Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

Julianne will be paired with Carolla, who will have some big shoes to fill.  Although she only joined the show two seasons ago, Julianne has won Dancing with the Stars' last two editions.  She won the the series' Spring 2007 fourth season with Apolo Anton Ohno and its fifth season with Helio Castroneves.

Julianne's older brother Derek -- who finished fourth with Jennie Garth during the show's fifth installment -- will be paired with Elizabeth for his second Dancing with the Stars season.

Taylor will be paired with Sliwinska -- the only professional dancer to appear in all six Dancing with the Stars installments. 

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 in the fourth, when her original partner, The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore, quit the competition and she was instead paired with Cheers actor John Ratzenberger. She was paired with Cameron Mathison for Season 5 and finished fifth.

Sliwinska's husband Alec Mazo will not be participating in the sixth season.  After winning Dancing with the Stars' inaugural season with Kelly Monaco, Mazo didn't participate in the show's second and third seasons.  He was then part of the first team eliminated from the show's two most recent installments -- cut during the fourth season with Paulina Porizkova and the fifth season with Josie Maran.

Burke will be paired with de la Fuente.  Burke won the series' second season with Drew Lachey and its third season with Emmitt Smith but hasn't been able to reclaim the mirror ball trophy since.  She was paired with Ian Ziering for the show's fourth season and Wayne Newton during last season.

Smirnoff will be paired with Mario, who will be the second Mario she's danced with in the competition.   Smirnoff made her Dancing with the Stars' debut during the third season and was the runner-up with Mario Lopez, whom she has been dating ever since.  She was then paired with Billy Ray Cyrus for the fourth season and Floyd Mayweather for the fifth season.

Roberts will be paired with Seles.  He was partnered with Rachel Hunter during the show's first season and Giselle Fernandez during the second season. Roberts then took the third season off before being partnered with Heather Mills for the fourth season and finishing third with Marie Osmond last season. 

Trebunskaya, Roberts' wife, will be paired with Guttenberg.  Trebunskaya finished second with Jerry Rice during the show's second season and did not participate in the third and fourth installments. She was paired with Albert Reed last season.

Winokur has also landed a Dancing veteran in Dovolani. He was paired with Stacy Keibler during the show's second season; Sarah Evans during its third; Leeza Gibbons during its fourth and Jane Seymour last season. 

Jillette will dance with Kym Johnson.  Johnson, who won the second edition of Australia's Dancing with the Stars program, made her American debut with Jerry Springer during the ABC show's third season.  She finished as Dancing with the Stars' fourth-season runner-up with Joey Fatone, and was paired with Mark Cuban last season.

After being surprisingly ousted last season with celebrity partner and current girlfriend Sabrina Bryan, Ballas will return for his second Dancing season.  He'll be paired with Yamaguchi.

Returning to the ballroom after a two-season hiatus is van Amstel, who will be paired with Presley for the sixth season.  He was paired with The Bachelorette star Trista Rehn in the first season, Lisa Rinna during the second season, and Monique Coleman in the third season.

At the time, van Amstel had cited tall female celebrities and the fact that he was only 5 feet 8 inches tall as the reason for his absence from Dancing with the Stars' fourth season.  However according to an Access Hollywood report that cited sources close to the show, diva-like behavior on the show's live tour was the real reason why he hadn't been asked back.

While he also didn't receive a partner for the fifth season, van Amstel has still been choreographing the North American tours that follow each season.

Matlin will be paired with Sanchez, the only professional dancer who will be making his Dancing with the Stars debut during the sixth season.  Sanchez is the 2006 World Mambo Champion; a four-time Fred Astaire National Champion and the United States Rising Star; and the 1999 American Rhythm Champion.

As was previously reported, professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy "just needs a break" and is skipping Dancing with the Stars' Spring 2008 installment.

Chmerkovskiy was partnered with Tia Carrere for the show's second edition; finished sixth with Willa Ford during its third installment; finished third in the fourth season with Laila Ali; and suffered a similar fate last season, finishing as the runner-up with Melanie Brown.

The sixth-season professional partner pairings were announced by Presley and van Amstel on this morning's Good Morning America broadcast.

Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli will all return to judge Dancing with the Stars' sixth season.  Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris will also reprise their hosting duties.

Six Dancing with the Stars sixth-season couples --  presumably the six male or six female celebrity pairs -- will perform during the show's 90-minute premiere on in its regular Mondays at 8PM ET/PT time period.  The other six couples will perform the next night during another 90-minute broadcast beginning at 8PM ET/PT.  Home viewers will be able to cast their votes immediately following both broadcasts.

On Monday, March 24 at 8PM ET/PT, all 12 couples will perform a second routine during a two-hour broadcast, after which home viewers will once again be able to vote. 

ABC will then air Dancing with the Stars' first sixth-season results show broadcast on March 25 in its regular Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT time slot -- however for the first time in the show's history -- two couples will be eliminated by viewer votes during a double elimination.

The 12 celebrity participants are scheduled to appear on a Dancing with the Stars-themed episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show on Thursday, February 21.  They'll be joined by Monaco, Lachey, Smith and Castroneves.  Winokur will also appear as a guest on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night.



(Photo credit ABC)


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