Air Date: Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Time Slot: 9:00 PM-10:00 PM EST on ABC
Episode Title: (#101-60) "Episode 101"
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]


Let the Competition Begin, as Trista Sutter ("The Bachelorette"), Supermodel Rachel Hunter, Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, Joey McIntyre (Formerly of New Kids on the Block), John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld"), Soap Star Kelly Monaco ("General Hospital") and Their Professional Ballroom Dancing Partners Dance in a Live, Knockout Event!

"Dancing with the Stars" is a totally unique and original series that pairs a celebrity with a professional dance partner as they train and then compete in front of a studio audience in a televised dance competition. The pairs will be judged by a panel of experts and also by viewers at home, with one couple being eliminated each week. "Dancing with the Stars" debuts WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) in a live broadcast!

"Episode 101" -- In the first round of competition, each couple will demonstrate how well their training and rehearsing has paid off, by performing a choreographed cha cha cha routine or a waltz. This Latin style of dance (cha cha cha) allows the female professional dancers, Edyta, Charlotte and Ashly, to lead their celebrity dance partners, Evander, John and Joey. In the ballroom style (waltz), the male professional dancers, Louis, Jonathan and Alec, lead their partners, Trista, Rachel and Kelly.

At the end of each performance, judges will give each couple a score. At the end of the broadcast, viewers will be instructed on how to call in and cast their vote for their favorite couple. The highest scores (from the judges and the audience) will be combined. At the conclusion of next week's episode, one couple will be eliminated.

"Dancing with the Stars" has broad appeal, offering viewers dazzling costumes, dancing, celebrity gossip, behind-the-scenes training and contemporary music performed by a live 15-piece band. The format has already been an international hit in several countries.

The following pairs will compete:

Trista Sutter and Louis van Amstel - As the star of the romantic reality series, "The Bachelorette," Trista is no stranger to televised competition: She met and married her husband of 17 months on television. Trista comes to the competition with some dance experience, having performed with the Miami Heat dancers at NBA games. She admits that hip-hop dancing is very different from ballroom-style dancing. Luckily her dance partner, Louis van Amstel, is a legend in the dance world, particularly in the style of Latin dance. He holds several titles, including the United States Professional Latin Champion and World Professional Show Dance Champion, and he directed and produced "Latin Fusion" on Broadway.

Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts - Since 1989, when she posed for the cover of Sports Illustrated, Rachel Hunter has become one of the world's most recognizable faces. She has posed for hundreds of magazines, including Vogue and Elle, and has represented such cosmetic lines as Revlon, Covergirl and Pantene. Recently she's moved into the acting arena with appearances on "Suddenly Susan" and

"The Drew Carey Show," and in one of last year's most popular music videos, "Stacey's Mom," by the Fountains of Wayne. She will be led by Jonathan Roberts, who brings ten years of dance experience to the competition. Jonathan is the 2004 USA Rising Star Latin Champion and the twice-undefeated USA Pro-Am 10 Dance Champion. He continues to compete and represent the USA in several Pro-Am competitions.

Evander Holyfield and Edyta Sliwinska - Evander Holyfield became the Heavyweight Champion of the world in 1990 and has won the title four times. As a professional boxer, he has faced numerous legends in the ring, including George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. His dance partner is Edyta Sliwinska, who took first place in both the 2001 International Grand Ballroom Competition and the 2001 Holiday Ball. Edyta is currently dating her dance partner and another competitor, Alec Mazo (Kelly Monaco's dance partner).

Joey McIntyre and Ashly Delgrosso - As a former member of the one of the original boy bands, New Kids on the Block, Joey McIntyre grew up dancing and singing -- but never ballroom! As an adult he transitioned into acting and recently starred on Broadway, first in "Tick Tick Bom" and then in "Wicked." He has also appeared on FOX's "Boston Public." His dance partner is Ashly Delgrosso, who has danced for her entire life. With her former dance partner and ex-husband, she has won several Amateur Ten Dance titles.

John O'Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen - Best known for his role as charismatic catalogue king J. Peterman on the hit series "Seinfeld," John is an all-around entertainer. In addition to his numerous television credits, he has many stage credits. He also runs a busy company and performs comedy. His partner, Danish beauty Charlotte Jorgensen, has been dancing since the age of ten. She has held several titles, including 1999 U.S. Open Champion and 1998 Japanese Open International Ballroom Champion. Charlotte was Richard Gere's dance instructor as he prepared for the film "Shall We Dance."

Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo - Currently starring on the ABC Daytime drama "General Hospital," Kelly also starred on the network's other daytime drama "Port Charles," for which she received her first Daytime Emmy nomination. She has also appeared on "Spin City" and a variety feature films. Her partner, Alec Mazo, began dancing at age five in his native Russia. He was the Emerald Ball Latin Champion and placed first in the 2001 International Grand Ball and the 2001 Holiday Ball. He also runs the largest and most successful dance studio in Southern California. Alec recently began competing professionally with his girlfriend of four years, Edyta Sliwinska, who is partnered with Evander Holyfield for this competition.

In addition to learning precise movements and maneuvering in extravagant costumes, the pairs must maintain their focus, grace and composure during extremely high-pressured competition. Will they remain compatible during the process? The couples have already embarked on intense training in preparation for the first live show. During the live shows, judges will give a score based on several factors, including technical execution. But the judges' scores alone do not decide a couple's fate. Viewers at home can call in and vote for their favorites. The scores from viewers are combined with the judges' for an ultimate score that determines each couple's ranking. At the end of the evening, the couple with the lowest score is eliminated (although no couple will be eliminated in the first show). When the final two couples remain, the ultimate dance-off will determine who wins the trophy.

"Dancing with the Stars" is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, "Strictly Come Dancing." This version is produced in America by BBC Worldwide. Richard Hopkins (UK) and Conrad Green (USA) are executive producers. Izzie Pick is supervising producer. Alex Rudzinski directs. This program carries a TV-PG parental guideline.

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