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Chaz Bono, LGBT rights advocate and the only child of Sonny and Cher, will compete on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC announced Monday night.
Other headline-grabbing names in the mostly non-surprising lineup included Nancy Grace, the loudly opinionated legal commentator on HLN; David Arquette, actor and frequent Howard Stern guest; and Ricki Lake, former talk show host and star of “Hairspray.”
Filling in the quintessential reality star slots: Rob Kardashian, introduced as “younger brother of Kim” (and that’s all you really need to know). Plus, Kristin Cavallari, star on MTV’s “The Hills” after Lauren Conrad jumped ship.
And the athletes, who always manage to do quite well in these competitions? Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers, along with Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the U.S. women’s soccer team.
From the ABC-Disney family is actor J.R. Martinez, the Iraq war veteran who appears on the network’s soap “All My Children.”
Singer Chynna Phillips was also confirmed to join the cast, along with Italian TV host Elisabetta Canalis, best known for being George Clooney’s ex-girlfriend.
Fashion expert Carson Kressley, who gained fame after appearing on Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” was the one cast member not in attendance during the big “cast reveal,” sandwiched in between segments of the last half of ABC’s “Bachelor Pad.”
Before they had to throw back to “Bachelor Pad,” host Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke tossed a few questions to the contestants, and even let some press members speak up.
“David Arquette...what made you realize the thing lacking in your life was a mirror ball trophy?” asked Tom Bergeron, reminding us of how much we love Tom Bergeron.
“I’m really looking for positive things in my life, and dancing makes me happy,” Arquette responded. “It helps ground me and provides grace in my life and those are all the things I’m looking for.”
“I’m not joking,” Arquette quickly added, just in case anyone didn’t believe dancing makes him happy.
Also learned: Nancy Grace thinks it will be harder to cover news than to “be” the news. Chaz Bono finds the competition “daunting.” And Ricki Lake doesn’t want anyone thinking just because she once danced in “Hairspray” means she has an advantage.
“Oh, come on. You’re kidding,” Lake scoffed to the People Magazine reporter who asked the question. “I was 18 years old. That was 1988. I was 200 pounds and I was faking it....I assure you, I do not have an edge here.”
The new season of “DWTS” starts Sept. 19.