A one-legged golddigger… the “fat one” from an old boy band… a TV thug and real-life girlfriend abuser… a weirdly-bearded Olympian… a boxer named Ali who’s not that boxer named Ali… a Miss USA who’s not the wild one who was sent to rehab… a country rock star once accused of being a former Chippendale dancer… a star of Beverly Hills 90210 who’s not in your first five 90210 choices… a basketball legend whose Olympic team’s nickname was appropriated by OJ Simpson’s lawyers… a long-in-the-tooth supermodel… and a former tabloid TV host.
Yes, ABC this morning announced the competitors for the fourth season of the definition-of-”star”-stretching Dancing with The Stars. And after the above description, we really don’t need to name the lucky eleven. But we will:
Yes, it’s true, amid her brutal fight for more millions in her divorce from Paul McCartney, the very unpopular (in Britain) former porn model, alleged call girl and amputee Heather Mills will attempt to kickstart a Stateside career with her underdog entry. This could spur McCartney to steal her thunder by appearing as a judge on American Idol…
Joey Fatone, the “fat one” (get it?) from the motley boy band ‘N Sync and actor who’s been campaigning for the gig since he saw what the show did for boy banders Joey McIntyre and Drew Lachey;
Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore: still getting lots of mileage out of his former Sopranos role, veteran of the D-list Celebrity Fit Club who pleaded guilty to roughing up his galpal;
Apolo Anton Ohno:the Prince-like Olympic speed skater who won two gold medals (and at 24, the youngest Dancing competitor);
Laila Ali: a daughter of Muhammad Ali who obviously hasn’t looked to closely at what boxing did to her dad since she became a boxer herself;
Shandi Finnessey: Miss USA 2004 and Chuck Woolery’s cohost on GSN’s Lingo;
Billy Ray Cyrus: former mullet-headed country rocker whose Achy Breaky Heart sparked a dance craze and revived astories that he once danced with a Chippendales-style troupe (ahe denied it) and father of kiddie pop star “Hannah Montana”;
Ian Ziering: former star of Beverly Hills 90210 who gave a name to the stunning (ex-wife) Nikki Ziering and whose own name is pronounced annoyingly “EYE-an,” not “EE-an”;
Clyde Drexler: former NBA star, member of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team and Basketball Hall of Fame, whose acrobatic style earned him the nickname “Clyde the Glide”;
Paulina Porizkova: former supermodel and wife to the gangly former rock star Ric Ocasek;
and Leeza Gibbons (this season’s Jerry Springer?), the talk show host who always surfaces somewhere.
The new season debuts March 19, dancing as far from Idol as possible. It will run on the Idol-less Mondays at 8–and Tuesdays at 9–after Idol. The finale is May 22.