'Dancing with the Stars' letting viewers select new professional dancer
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/21/2009
ABC has announced home viewer votes will determine the identity of a new professional participant for Dancing with the Stars' ninth season and revealed the identities of the six dancers who will be competing for the spot.
"Ever wonder how we pick our pro dancers? Well, starting tomorrow night the choice will be yours," said Bergeron. "Six incredible young dancers will compete for your votes over the next few weeks. Your winner will be awarded a guaranteed spot as a pro, paired with one of our stars, next season."
The Pro Dancer Competition will begin during tonight's live results show, with each of the six dancers -- three men and three women -- performing for home viewers, who will then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite either online or over the phone.
The female and male dancers who receive the lowest number of home viewer votes will then be eliminated, and the four remaining contestants will once again perform during next week's eighth-season results show broadcast.
After that, the dancer with the fewest votes, whether male or female, will then be eliminated and the three remaining dancers will compete in a third round in which one of them will once again be eliminated based on home viewer votes.
The final two will then face-off for home viewer votes to determine which will receive the spot on Dancing with the Stars ninth-season professional roster.
The Pro Dancer Competition's six contestants are Mayo Alanen, Brent Borbon, Afton Delgrosso, Anna Demidova, Genya Mazo and Snow Urbin.
Alanen was born and raised in El Paso, TX and started dancing when he was 13 years old, He attended Brigham Young University, where he danced as a member of their world-renowned formation team.
Alanen is trained in the American Smooth and International Standard styles and currently works and trains out of Rogers Dancesport Center in Fairfield, NJ.
Borbon was born and raised in Alief-Houston, TX, where he began dancing at the age of 14. He is trained in the International Latin style and has previously performed on Star Search and during the Super Bowl half-time show. Borbon currently resides in Las Vegas and performs at Le Reve at Wynn Las Vegas.
Delgrosso was raised in Utah and began dancing with her siblings at a young age. She dances in the Ten Dance style and currently resides in Las Vegas, where she works as the dance captain at Le Reve. She also previously performed at the 2002 Winter Olympics and was featured as a principal dancer in High School Musical.
Demidova was born in Moscow, Russia and started dancing at 6-years-old. After claiming a few junior championships as a teenager she moved to New York City to pursue her dancing career. Demidova is trained in the International Standard style and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she competes with Igor Mikushov.
Mazo is the brother of Dancing with the Stars professional Alec Mazo, who won the show's first-season title with Kelly Monaco and appeared in several other installments but was not part of the show's eighth-season cast.
Mazo was born in Gomel, Belarus and started his dance career at the age of 3 -- winning Belarus' national pre-teen championship at 6. He immigrated to the U.S. with his family at 10-years-old and continued to compete in various international ballroom championships. Mazo is trained in the International Latin style and currently resides in Los Angeles, where he works at his family-owned Genesis Dancesport studio.
Urbin was born in Siberia, Russia and competed on the first season of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance reality series in 2005. She has also been featured in several music videos, the Disney film Enchanted, and has previously appeared on the Dancing with the Stars - The Tour.