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'Dancing With the Stars': Meet the Season 9 contenders (none of whom are named Paula Abdul)


Cycle 9 of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" is about to get underway, and this season's contestants, announced this morning on "Good Morning America," are as diverse as ever, including an Osbourne daughter and an "Entourage" actor, another Osmond sibling and (in a first for the series) a former House Majority leader.

But first: Paula Abdul is not going to compete despite rumors to the contrary. (She's not going to guest star on ABC's "Ugly Betty," either, but TMZ is reporting that the network is still looking to get in the Abdul business and is considering a number of other options, including a variety special.)

So who will be vying for the ballroom's top prize? Kelly Osbourne, daughter of Ozzy, pop singer and former reality star, will find out if her theater experience gives her an advantage. In 2007, she starred as Mama Morton in a West End production of "Chicago." But she'll likely face some stiff competition from R&B singer Mya, who began her career as a professional dancer. It should be interesting to see what dynamic another musical artist, raspy-voiced Macy Gray, adds to the race.

Donny Osmond will make his "Dancing" debut to see if he can outlast sister Marie, who came in third during the show's fifth season.

Among the season's actors-turned-movers-and-shakers are "Entourage's" pushy publicist Debi Mazar; former teen witch Melissa Joan Hart; Ashley Hamilton, son of George Hamilton (and ex-husband of Shannen Doherty); and Polish model-actress Joanna Krupa, who most recently competed in ABC's summer reality series "Superstars."

Keep an eye on what kind of fancy footwork former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay has to offer. DeLay was indicted for money laundering in 2005. (Could this be a Rod Blagojevich move? Ex-politician turns to reality TV for a little image rehab? Perhaps.)

As is tradition, several pro athletes also will try on their dancing shoes: Swimmer Natalie Coughlin, who has 11 Olympic medals under her belt; former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and football Hall of Famer  Michael Irvin; professional snowboarder Louie Vito; and former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell.

And rounding out the competition are Aaron Carter, younger brother of the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter; former supermodel Kathy Ireland; and the chairman of "Iron Chef America," Mark Dacascos.

Early winner (or first to go) predictions? Let's hear them below.

-- Denise Martin


PHOTOS: 'Dancing With the Stars' season 9 contestants

(Photos courtesy EPA, ABC and Getty Images)

Comments () | Archives (32)

Tom DeLay will definitely be the first to go. I think Mya could be a favorite to win.

What "stars"? All I see is yet another list of D, E and F list celebs desperate for attention. And the small possibility of blowing out an ACL or two during practice.

Mya is a beautiful and talented black woman, therefore she'll never win, (see Laila Ali & Melanie Brown). I'm thinking all those former Donny O teeny-bobbers will vote him to the trophy.

Do not count Mark Dacascos out! He may not be an A-list actor, but he knows how to follow choreography, instruction, and is in great shape. Look for him to be the dark horse of this season!

i think mya is the favorite off the bat. mark dacascos was a martial artist so he does have a lil grace and agility. chuck liddell will probably look pretty stiff. i just cant wait to see mya in those hot outfits.

I think Chuck Liddell will be the first to go. I'm guessing Donny Osmond will win.

It's about time they had an extreme sports star on! I'm in Louie Vito's corner, all the way - I've been pushing him for DWTS since I found he tried out last year, and will continue to do so! Come on X Games fans - let's give the mirror ball to Little Louie!

My guess would be Mya or Donny...both with dancing experience.

Why do you think it is necessary to always have a clumsy NFL player and a clown that won't make it past the 3rd week? Also, after last years choice of a so called celebrity who was merely one of many "Ladies" that slept with the bachelor to see who was the best lay, you seem to have changed the status from celebrity to contestant. Good move.

I've yet to watch a whole episode of this show but it's hard to not hear about it when it seems to be in the news even when it's NOT on the air. But I will definitely not be watching this year since they have elected to cast Tom DeLay, the crookedest, least ethical and slimiest politician in the recent memory. He was indicted and nearly convicted on campaign finance violations and there was probably many more things he did that they didn't catch him at. I guess this is someone's idea of image rehab. What a shame.

Tom Delay played a key role in helping exploit the Asian workers who were practically imprisoned in Micronesia garment factories. www.msmagazine.com/spring2006/paradise_full.asp

DWTS was a favorite of mine, but if it's going to be used as a tool to rehabilitate this criminal's record, it should be boycotted.

K Caine

Without a doubt Mark Dacascos. He has a fiery spirit, can-do attitude, desire for excellence, and a lithe body that shows a real capacity for moves not just confined to the backflip on Iron Chef. First to go? I'd stake a bet on Kathy Ireland.

I think this season might be the most interesting of them all..though not especially for the field of entertainers.but simply because the previous shows have laid the foundation work and garnered the audience,this is really interesting stuff...but my pick for the first to go will be the politician or former as the case may be.though he has someexperience in dancing over the public..lol he doubtfully has any real ability to dance,which is the point of the show..to choose a winner is difficult because we don't know if they have the ability to learn and adapt,nor do we know the ability of the pros to teach.other than cheryl burke she is awesome..but even a pro can only do so much...remember steve-o but for entertainment value its a great show..though you know as welas I do that shawn and mark did not really win the dance contest the fans gave it to them merely on personality we KNOW who the BEST dancer was gilles...so its nothing more than a popularity contest..btw whats the point in having judges that are useless no matter how they vote? its the fans and they are NOT always right..see gilles..so for entertainment I give it a 10 for actual value based on dancing skills and improvement I give it 3..there you have it..

Donny Osmond - no black woman will ever win on DWTS.

well dang it all.I just wrote a fantastic response to the question ok starting over
the first one to go will be the politician though he does have experience"in dancing on the public".lol ok maybe it wasn't that funny..my point is this for entertainment value its a great show.but you gotta remember its foundations were laid on previous dancing contestants...we know too that shawn and mark did NOT win the dance contest gilles owned it all the way,which leads me to my next point.it isn't about the dancing as much as it is a popularity contest.we all know this is true..why else would the fans be involved again think about lil kim and derek in my humble opinion the judges are useless no matter how they vote.so why pretend that they matter..let the fans vote on each dance session live.no need to try to fool us that these judges are all that worthy..also and I will close with this last observation..it is difficult to pick a probable winner because we don't know how well the stars can adapt to learning something nor how well the pros can teach example steve-o no hope for him at all so after the dances are finished leave it in the hands of the fans..who btw probably don't know anything about the nuances of dance especially the tango,foxtrot,paso doble hell any of them dos this seem fair to the star that learns and develops the most .no I don't think so..nuff said

on a lesser note for entertainment value I give the show a 9..
on actually getting the right dancer to win I give it a 3
on the judges value I give thema 2

but if you ask I will explain why...lol

Proud to say that there will be two contestants with Filipino roots - Mark Dacascos and Natalie Coughlin - joining with dancer Cheryl Burke, who also has Pinay blood. Mabuhay Pilipinas!

"Why do you think it is necessary to always have a clumsy NFL player and a clown that won't make it past the 3rd week?" -- Excuse me, Emmitt Smith won, remember? You never know what the NFL guys are capable of!

I hope Tom DeLay is booed off stage the first night.

I'm going for the sleeper, Natalie Coughlin, to win!

Ahh, more race arguments, and this time it surrounds the serious topic of a dancing reality show.

It's nice to see we are finally willing to have a rational discourse about the issue of race in America without stooping to snippy comments that do nothing but deepen the wounds.

Oh, wait. That's the exact opposite of what we are doing now. Classy.

ABC having Tom DeLay initiated my boycotting DWTS this season. They obviously either believe in his politics or looking for a stir to increase viewers. Either way a vote just say no to DWTS.

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