‘Dancing with the Stars’ 2011: Season 13 cast speaks out (photos) — Announced last night on ABC, the 12 brand new cast members of Season 13’s Dancing with the Stars are now free to talk about their upcoming participation in the televised dance competition. Contestants, from HLN’s tough legal analyst Nancy Grace to Emmy Award-winning fashion expert Carson Kressley, are sharing their news with fans and already throwing down challenges to their fellow contenders.
First, the lineup. Season 13’s cast, as reported here last evening, is made up of the following:
- Carson Kressley — Emmy Award-winning fashion expert
- Nancy Grace — HLN legal analyst; attorney, former prosecutor
- Ricki Lake — talk show host; actor
- Chaz Bono — activist
- Chynna Phillips — singer
- David Arquette — actor
- Elisabetta Canalis — Italian model
- Hope Solo — soccer athlete
- J. R. Martinez — veteran; soap opera actor
- Kristin Cavallari — TV reality show personality
- Rob Kardashian — TV reality show personality
- Ron Artest — NBA player, L.A. Lakers
Taking to her Twitter account, Nancy Grace wrote to her fans, “I’ve been dying to tell you guys that I am on #DWTS. Can’t wait to share the journey with you!” During the announcement on ABC, Ms. Grace answered a question about her involvement. She said it may be more difficult to be part of the story rather than reporting on and analyzing stories as she normally does on HLN.
Carson Kressley, who could not get from New York to Los Angeles for the live announcement due to Hurricane Irene, posted several comments on Twitter. He has already issued a challenge, “I’m going to kick nancy graces butt.” To his fellow cast members he wrote, “so excited to be on with you.”
Chaz Bono also posted a comment, “I[‘m] so happy to finale [finally] confirm that I am doing DWTS this season and I couldn’t be more excited about it.” The activist, who recently completed a book tour for the story of changing from a woman to a man, is listed on ABC’s DWTS website as the “most unexpected” contestant.
Talk Show host Ricki Lake took the time to make a home video to talk with her fans about her new job. “I’m hoping to channel Kirstie Alley,” she tells her fans after breaking the news. “She was a big inspiration for me last season.” She also appeared with actor David Arquette on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday to talk about her excitement at being part of the show. “I’m really nervous,” she said during the interview. “I’m going to give it my all, and I did not come to be second. I usually get what I want.”
David Arquette told GMA they have just started to learn their first dances. “It’s all an unknown language to me. I’ve always wanted to learn to waltz.” He said that learning the Viennese waltz is already difficult and full of detail.
Soccer star Hope Solo has a reason to compete on the show that goes beyond the dance floor. She wrote to her fans via Twitter, “Thx everyone 4 your support. I’m excited for this challenge but most importantly to try and raise awareness 4 women’s soccer.” Meanwhile, reality TV personality Kristin Cavallari commented via Twitter that she is “Already having so much fun.”
Now that the “stars” of DWTS have been announced for the fall season, ABC has yet to let the public know which professional dancers are returning and what the pairings of pros and amateurs will be. According to the network, this announcement will be made on Good Morning America on Wednesday.
Dancing with the Stars will premiere on Monday, September 19, at 8 p.m. ET with a two-hour show.
PHOTOS: See a slideshow of the Season 13 cast of Dancing with the Stars here or in the left-hand column of this page.