ABC reveals the identities of 'Dancing with the Stars 4' celebrities
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 02/21/2007
ABC has revealed the identities of the 11 celebrities who will be waltzing their way into primetime when the fourth season of Dancing with the Starspremieres with a special two-hour episode on Monday, March 19 at 8PM ET/PT.
The network has billed the cast for Dancing with the Stars' fourth installment as the reality competition series "most diverse cast to date," as it features three athletes, two singers, a former Miss USA, a talk-show personality, a United Nations ambassador, two actors and a supermodel. Their identities were revealed by former Dancing with the Stars 3 contestant Jerry Springer during Tuesday morning's broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America.
In addition to former N Sync singer Joey Fatone (who had publicly announced that he'd like to appear on the show's next edition way back in December), Dancing with the Stars's fourth season cast will include country singer Billy Ray Cyrus; former Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering; Muhammad Ali's daughter Laila Ali; soon-to-be former Paul McCartney wife Heather Mills; former NBA star Clyde "The Glide" Drexler; 2004 Miss USA winner Shandi Finnessey; former Entertainment Tonight, Extra and Leeza host Leeza Gibbons; two-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno; The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore; and supermodel Paulina Porizkova.
Although ABC had declined to comment on any casting reports, Cyrus, Ziering and Ali's participation had already been rumored since late January and reports that Mills -- an United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and amputee who lost her lower left leg after getting hit by a British police motorcycle in 1993 -- would also be part of the cast had begun circulating last week.
Alec Mazo, the professional dancer who wonDancing with the Stars' inaugural season with Kelly Monaco but didn't participate in the show's next two editions, will also return for the show's fourth season. He'll be paired with Porizkova.
Fatone will be paired with Kym Johnson, the Australian Dancing with the Stars second season champion who made her American debut with Springer last season. Gibbons also received a Dancing with the Stars veteran as her partner. She'll be paired with Tony Dovolani, who danced with Stacy Keibler during the show's second season and Sarah Evans during its third.
Edyta Sliwinska -- the only professional dancer to appear in all four installments of Dancing with the Stars and ended a growing string of unfavorable pairings (George Hamilton, Season 2 and Evander Holyfield, Season 1) when she was paired with when she was paired with Joseph Lawrence during Season 3 -- appears to have once again drawn a short straw of sorts and will partner with the hefty Pastore. Finnessey will be paired with Brian Fortuna while Ohno will dance with Julianne Hough -- two professional dancers who will be making therir Dancing with the Starsdebuts.
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 4's roster is Ashly DelGrosso, the professional partner who had previously been, along with Sliwinski, the only the professional dancer to participate in all three of Dancing with the Stars' first three editions. However there's a good reason for the fan favorite's absence -- she's pregnant and expecting her first child in July.
Following its two-hour premiere on Monday, March 19, the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars will continue on Monday, March 26 with another two-hour special. However ABC said in an effort "to offer viewers two weeks to see the performers in action before the first elimination," Dancing with the Stars first results show will not air until Tuesday, March 27 at 9PM ET/PT.
Beginning on Monday, April 2, Dancing with the Stars 4 will air its performances on Mondays from 8PM-9:30PM ET/PT. Its results shows will air on Tuesdays from 9PM-10PM ET/PT. Like last season, Dancing with the Stars' fourth edition will be broadcast in HDTV.