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New 'Dancing With the Stars' cast announced

February 28, 2011 |  7:00 pm

dancing with the stars dwts season 12 kirstie alley kendra wilkinson wendy williams
ABC just has to maintain its presence at the water cooler. First with the Academy Awards. Then with Charlie Sheen.  Now with the "Dancing with the Stars" lineup announcement.

We've all heard rumors. But the wait is finally over. The network announced the new cast during the East Coast airing of Monday's episode of "The Bachelor."

So let’s now (officially) take a look at who will be twirling (and/or fumbling) across the stage this season. Here are the folks likely to take up your time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays:

Dwts-season-12 --Actor Ralph Macchio will revisit the “wax on, wax off” technique ... only he’ll be using his feet to add some sheen to the dance floor. 

--Romeo Miller has dropped the “Lil’ ” from his name, and now Master P’s son is ready to take on the dancing world. Perhaps the training he got as a USC basketball player will help? Given his record ...  maybe not.

-- Playboy bunny Kendra Wilkinson will add sashaying and shimmying (things we’re sure she’s familiar with) to diaper-changing and other mommyhood duties. And we’ll hear that ever-pleasant laugh in yet another forum. 

--Model Petra Němcová will put those long legs to use this season ... and we can hear Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino now, cursing ABC for not waiting to put him on this season.

-- Wrestler Chris Jericho is ditching the mat for the hardwood. Let’s hope he doesn’t accidentally body-slam his partner. 

-- Former “Cheers” star -- and Jenny Craig alum -- Kirstie Alley proved she could take dance instruction from John Travolta in “Look Who’s Talking.” Maybe those skills will transfer over? 

-- Outspoken radio and TV personality Wendy Williams doesn’t mince her words. Can she keep her foot out of her mouth long enough to prance around the floor?

-- Actress Chelsea Kane -- who previously went by Chelsea Staub -- hails from the school of Disney, having appeared on “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Jonas L.A., ” just to name a few. Will her young following be enough to keep her in the game?

-- Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard has sparred with the best of them. Perhaps Evander Holyfield will pass along to him some helpful hints about how to jab with his feet, not fists. Wait ... that might not be such a good thing.

-- Hines Ward, wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is in good company with his fellow footballers-turned-dancers. The show has been good to NFL stars, with Emmitt Smith winning and Jerry Rice, Jason Taylor, Chad Ochocinco, Warren Sapp, Lawrence Taylor and Kurt Warner all competing and  (some of them) doing well. Maybe Kroy Biermann (from the Atlanta Falcons or “Real Housewives of Atlanta, whichever is your pleasure) was busy?

-- If sex is like dancing, does that mean shelling out sex advice will translate to awesome dance moves? Or the opposite? We’ll find out when “Loveline” co-host Michael “Psycho Mike” Catherwood steps on the stage. 

Show Trackers, what do you think of the lineup? Which of the contestants is the one to beat? Who is unlikely to get far?

-- Yvonne Villarreal 

Top photos from left: "Dancing with the Stars" season 12 cast members Kirstie Alley, Kendra Wilkinson and Wendy Williams. Credits: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times; Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images; Charles Sykes / Associated Press

Bottom photo: Ralph Macchio. Credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press. Here are more photos of the new "Dancing with the Stars" cast.