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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 8

ABC reveals 'Dancing with the Stars' professional partner pairings


By John Bracchitta, 02/12/2009 

ABC has revealed the professional partner pairings for Dancing with the Stars' eighth season, which will premiere with a two-hour performance episode on Monday, March 9 at 8PM ET/PT.
 
Dancing with the Stars' eighth-season professional partner cast features eleven professionals who have previously competed on the show: two-time mirror ball champions Julianne Hough and Cheryl Burke; reigning seventh-season champion Derek Hough; sixth-season champ Mark Ballas; Jonathan Roberts; Kym Johnson; Lacey Schwimmer; Tony Dovolani; Maksim Chmerkovskiy; Edyta Sliwinska; and Karina Smirnoff. With the exception of Roberts, all of the returning professionals competed in last fall's seventh Dancing with the Stars edition.

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Two new dancers will round out Dancing with the Stars' eighth-season professional partner cast: 2006 U.S. National finalist Dmitry Chaplin and 10 Dance Youth National champion Chelsie Hightower.

Chaplin and Hightower will likely be familiar to many reality dance competition viewers -- similar to Schwimmer, who competed on So You Think You Can Dance's third season in 2007, Chaplin (Season 2) and Hightower (Season 4) also both previously competed on the Fox dance competition.

The 13 celebrity two-steppers -- who were first revealed 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 -- competing on Dancing with the Stars' eighth season are 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.

Derek Hough will be paired with Lil' Kim as he seeks to defend his championship and equal his sister's number of victories on the ABC reality dance competition. Julianne Hough will have more than her share of moral support while on the show as she looks for her third championship, she will be partnered with Wicks, whom she has been dating since last summer.

Taylor will be paired with Sliwinska -- the only professional dancer to appear in all eight seasons of Dancing with the Stars.

Chmerkovskiy will be paired with Richards as he competes against his new wife-to-be Smirnoff, who will be paired with Wozniak.

The season's two new professional dancers will both be thrown into the season's other husband vs. wife competition, as Hightower will be partnered with Murray and Chaplin will be partnered with Murray's wife Jewel.

Burke, who won the competition's second season with Drew Lachey and its third season with Emmitt Smith, will be paired with Marini as she looks for her third mirror ball trophy. Ballas will attempt to to win his second trophy with Shawn Johnson.

Kym Johnson, won the second season of Australia's edition of Dancing with the Stars, will be partnered with Grier.  Johnson made her American debut with Jerry Springer for the show's third season and most recently competed with Maurice Green last fall.

Roberts, who last appeared on Dancing with the Stars' sixth season with Monica Seles, will be partnered with Carlisle.

Dovolani, who appeared on last fall's edition with Susan Lucci, will be partnered with O'Dell, while Schwimmer, who made her Dancing with the Stars with Lance Bass last fall, will face a much more rambunctious partner in Steve-O.

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

ABC also revealed earlier this week 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.

Dancing with the Stars' eighth season will begin with two-hour performance shows for its first three weeks, before switching to 90-minute performance episodes on Monday, April 6 at 8PM ET/PT until May 11. One hour results shows will air on Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT beginning on March 17 until the show's penultimate round on May 12.

Following final one-hour performance show on Monday, May 18 at 8PM/ET, Dancing with the Stars' two-hour eighth-season finale will air on Tuesday, May 19 at 9PM ET/PT.

(Photo credit ABC)


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