Season 9 of Dancing with the Stars is likely to be one of the most drama-filled seasons to date. Head Judge Len Goodman returns to the judge’s table after battling prostate cancer, professional dancers Maxsim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff recently ended their engagement, and at least six of the season’s contestants have arrest records.
Before the new season airs on September 21, 2009, you should get familiar with the new cast of contestants. This season is the biggest yet, with sixteen celebrity competitors! Check out all of the contestants and their partners, in this Season 9 preview.
* Kelly Osbourne: Kelly Osbourne – daughter of rock legend Ozzy Osbourne, and America’s Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne – has had more stints in rehab, than noteworthy career moves. Who knows, maybe a twirl around the ballroom will be a turning point for the twenty-four-year-old. She is paired with Louis Van Amstel.
* Macy Gray: As a Grammy Award-winning musician, Gray is most known for her song “I Try” (now it’s stuck in your head, right?). She has also appeared in films like Training Day and Idlewild. Gray has been out of the spotlight for awhile, so it will be interesting to see how hard she will have to “try” to impress the Dancing judges, alongside partner Jonathan Roberts.
* Michael Irvin: A three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys, Irvin is now an ESPN radio host. Former NFL athletes have always performed well on the show, but will Irvin follow suit? He is partnered with last season’s Pro Dancer Competition winner Anna Demidova.
Donnie Osmond: He is the second Osmond sibling to hit the ballroom floor. His sister Marie famously fainted after performing during Season 5 of DWTS. Osmond is already an early favorite to win, but will he be able to finish what his sister started? Osmond is paired with Kym Johnson.
Debi Mazar: Mazar is one of those actresses whose face you recognize during one of those “Oh! I’ve seen her in something,” moments, where you cannot quite put a name with the face. Known for her “Jersey”-style attitude, Mazar has had roles in several television shows and films, and is currently starring in the hit show Entourage. She is partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Melissa Joan Hart: This former child star rose to fame on such hit television shows as Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. In recent years, Hart took a leave from Hollywood to focus on her family. The question is, will her return to the spotlight, via the dance floor, be as magical this time around? Hart is partnered with two-time Dancing champion Mark Ballas.
* Aaron Carter: Former child pop star and brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, Aaron Carter had several pop hits, but is more well-known for his dating antics. Carter is rumored to be the cause of the infamous feud between Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan. With his dance background, he could be a dark horse in the competition. Carter is partnered with Karina Smirnoff.
Ashley Hamilton: Known for his famous family – son of George Hamilton and Alana Stewart; step-son of Rod Stewart – and not much else, Hamilton’s name leaves you saying, “Who?” He also had a quickie marriage to Shannen Doherty, and his famously tan father appeared on Season 2 of Dancing. Hamilton’s partner is DWTS favorite Edyta Sliwinska, who was also his father’s dance partner.
Mark Dacascos: The Chairman of Iron Chef America could be one to watch in this competition. He has acting experience, which will help him get into character, and he has studied martial arts, which will help him with strength and agility. Dacascos is partnered with DWTS wild-child Lacey Schwimmer.
Mya: This multi-talented Grammy Award-winning singer has sold millions of albums, acted in movies like Chicago, and even founded a nonprofit organization. Her career in entertainment is a definite advantage in the competition, but will she come out on top? Mya is partnered with Dmitry Chaplin.
Joanna Krupa: Krupa is often said to be one of the sexiest women in the world. She is a model turned actress (big surprise), who recently appeared in another ABC reality show called, The Superstars. Krupa is partnered with former Dancing champion Derek Hough.
* Tom DeLay: As a former House Majority Leader, DeLay’s political career was tarnished after he was indicted on money laundering charges. Now, this Republican has chosen to put on his dancing shoes, for what will likely be yet another poor career move. DeLay is predicted, by many, to be the first contestant booted from Season 9. He is partnered with two-time DWTS champion Cheryl Burke.
Natalie Coughlin: Coughlin is an Olympic gold medalist swimmer, with a total of 11 Olympic medals under her belt. Will she be able to transform her smooth swimming technique, into clean lines and holds in the ballroom? She is partnered with Alec Mazo, who was the first DWTS champion.
* Louie Vito: Another one of Season 9’s athletes, Louie Vito is a professional snowboarder. He is a U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix champion, and will be partnered with Chelsie Hightower, who was paired with Ty Murray last season.
Kathy Ireland: This former model and actress, is a multimillionaire businesswoman whose company, Kathy Ireland Worldwide, grosses more than a billion dollars in annual sales. Watch and see if Ireland can combine her beauty and elegance, with her business smarts to win the competition. Ireland is partnered with Tony Dovolani.
Chuck Liddell: One of many athletes competing this season, Liddell is a mixed martial artist who is often given credit for bringing the popularity of UFC fighting to the masses. Will this former lightweight champion be able to adapt his strength and physicality to the ballroom, and win the coveted mirror ball trophy? Liddell is partnered with Anna Trebunskaya.
Enjoy Season 9 of Dancing with the Stars, and do not forget to vote for your favorite star. It is up to you to decide who wins the mirror ball trophy!
* These contestants have known arrest records.