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[03/02/11 - 07:14 AM]
ABC Announces Celebrity and Professional Pairings for Season 12 of "Dancing With the Stars," Premiering March 21 on ABC
All 11 couples will dance for the first time on Monday, March 21, with couples either performing the Foxtrot or the Cha Cha Cha.

[via press release from ABC]

ABC ANNOUNCES CELEBRITY AND PROFESSIONAL PAIRINGS FOR SEASON 12 OF "DANCING WITH THE STARS," PREMIERING MARCH 21 ON ABC

The season 12 star-studded cast and their professional partners get ready to break in their dancing shoes on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" for the long awaited two-hour season premiere, MONDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. In alphabetical order, with their professional partners, the 11 stars making their dancing debut are:

· KIRSTIE ALLEY, television and movie star, joins MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, who is back for his tenth season.

· "PSYCHO" MIKE CATHERWOOD, radio personality, partners up with LACEY SCHWIMMER, who is back for her fourth season.

· CHRIS JERICHO, WWE star, teams up with two-time champ CHERYL BURKE, who is back for her eleventh season

· CHELSEA KANE, Disney star, teams up with two-time champ MARK BALLAS, who returns for his eighth season.

· SUGAR RAY LEONARD, boxing legend, joins ANNA TREBUNSKAYA, who returns for her seventh season.

· RALPH MACCHIO, movie star, teams up with KARINA SMIRNOFF, who returns for her eighth season.

· PETRA NEMCOVA, supermodel, partners with DMITRY CHAPLIN, who returns for his third season.

· ROMEO, rapper and actor, teams up with CHELSIE HIGHTOWER, who returns for her fifth season.

· HINES WARD, Super Bowl MVP, teams up with Season 9 champion KYM JOHNSON, who returns for her ninth season.

· KENDRA WILKINSON, reality star, partners with LOUIS VAN AMSTEL, who returns for his eighth season.

· WENDY WILLIAMS, talk show host, joins TONY DOVOLANI, who is back for his eleventh season.

All 11 couples will dance for the first time on live national television on MONDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), with couples either performing the Foxtrot or the Cha Cha Cha. The couple with the lowest combined judges' scores and public votes for their performance will be sent home the following week on the season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars the Results Show," TUESDAY, MARCH 29 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET).

Hosted by Tom Bergeron ("America's Funniest Home Videos") and Brooke Burke ("Dancing with the Stars" Season Seven Champion), the celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned Ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday night during and up to 30 minutes after the "Dancing with the Stars" performance shows. AT&T customers may also text message their votes by texting the word "VOTE" and entering the number that corresponds to the team they want to support (message and data rates may apply). AT&T will also offer customers exclusive mobile video footage of weekly backstage highlights to keep fans connected to some of their favorite couples all season long. Viewers may also vote online at www.abc.com starting from the opening of each episode on the East Coast with voting closing at 8:00 a.m. ,PT/11:00 a.m., ET on Tuesday mornings.

"Dancing with the Stars" is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, "Strictly Come Dancing." This version is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Conrad Green serves as executive producer and Ashley Edens-Shaffer and Joe Sungkur are co-executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs. "Dancing with the Stars" is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

About BBC Worldwide Productions:

BBC Worldwide Productions is based in Los Angeles and develops and produces scripted and non-scripted projects for U.S. cable and broadcast networks, as well as digital platforms. The production company is responsible for the smash hit "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC), "Top Gear" (HISTORY), "What Not to Wear" (TLC) and "Torchwood: Miracle Day" (Starz). BBC Worldwide Productions is one of seven core businesses within BBC Worldwide, the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).





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· DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)





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