Dancing with the Stars All Stars: Bristol Palin, Apolo Ohno, Kirstie Alley

Eleven of the dozen stars announced made it to the finals, and six of them are former Mirror Ball Trophy winners. Fans get to choose the final star in an online vote. Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, July 27, 2012 –  The new “Dancing With the Stars” cast includes the usual array of sports heroes, music stars, actors and actresses and a controversial name or two. But for Fall 2012, all the names should be familiar to fans, because they are all former competitors from past seasons. All but one made it to the finals, and six are former champions.

The first ever “Dancing With The Stars All-Stars” edition was announced today by ABC on “Good Morning America.” For ABC it’s one of the few ways the network will get even the slightest bit of attention until after the Summer Olympic Games are over.

The new/old batch of twelve contestants on ABC’s hit dance competition show includes two former Olympic gold medallists, and both were winners of their season: speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Two additional former champions comes from sports: Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith (Season 3), and Indy car driver Helio Castroneves.

Competitors coming back for Season 15 of Dancing With the Stars include (back row) Drew Lachey, hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke, Helio Castroneves, and Gilles Marini; (front row) Pamela Anderson, Kelly Monaco, Melissa Rycroft, and Bristol Palin. Photo: ABC.

The show’s very first Mirror Ball Trophy winner is back seven years later to have another shot at the prize: soap opera actress Kelly Monaco.

Fan favorite Kirstie Alley is back, who placed second much to everyone’s surprise in Season 13. Also back for another try is “Baywatch” actress Pamela Anderson, ended up in sixth place in season 10.

“Bachelor” reality star Melissa Rycroft will return. She was a last-minute substitution in Season 10 and turned out to be competitive and a fan favorite. Now she’ll get to start on even footing with the rest of the stars.

Actor Gilles Marini fills the ladies’ man heartthrob category. He came in second in Season 8 to Shawn Johnson by one percent of the vote, a decision that didn’t sit too well with a lot of fans and critics who felt he was the clear winner.

Former boy band singers Drew Lachey, winner of Season 2, and Joey Fatone, second in Season 4 will return. Fatone has been performing for several months six nights a week in the Las Vegas stage production version of “Dancing With the Stars.” He should be in exceptional condition if he kept practicing after the show closed in mid-July.

And it wouldn’t be Dancing With the Stars if there wasn’t at least one polarizing, controversial name. Be thankful for this: It’s not Kate Gosselin, and it’s not Cloris Leachman.

Back for another try at the Mirror Ball Trophy is Bristol Palin, daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Bear in mind the competition will be taking place at the same time as the last few months leading into the presidential election. Don’t think it won’t somehow play in or be acknowledged.

One last competitor will be chosen by the fans from a ballot of three: Season 14 competitor Carson Kressley; Season 10 Disney actor Kyle Massey; and Season 2 Disney actress Sabrina Bryan. All three have been performing along with Fatone in the Las Vegas stage version the past few months, and should be well-trained and ready to hit the dance floor. This is important because the results of the vote won’t be announced until August 27 on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Fans can vote online for their choice at ABC’s website.

Among those announced, we have six previous winners, including the winners from the first five seasons: Monaco, Lachey, Smith, Ohno, Castroneves; and Shawn Johnson of Season 8; and three second place runners-up, Fatone; Alley and Marini. There are two third place participants; Melissa Rycroft of Season 8 and Bristol Palin of Season 11. The only competitor of the named group who was not a finalist is Pamela Anderson, who placed sixth in Season 10, a fairly generous result.

The professional dancers the contestants draw can make a big difference. They will be announced on August 13. Show producers know the fans like certain dancers more than others, and will vote for them and their star partners even if they don’t perform all that well in a given week. If you draw Derek Hough (three time winner), Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke, or Kym Johnson (two-time winners), you’ve got a leg up.

If the producers intended to pair the all-stars with their former pro partner, there are several conflicts. Lachey, Smith and Marini all danced with Cheryl Burke. Mark Ballas danced both with Johnson and Palin. Ohno and astoneves both danced with Julianne Hough, who is no longer on the show. Switching things up will be entertaining for the devoted fans.

Think ballroom dancing will ever be included in the Summer Olympics? The next Games are in Rio. Perfect.

“Dancing With the Stars” debuts Monday night, September 24, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, and airs on Monday and Tuesday nights on the ABC Television Network.


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


 Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.   




Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group


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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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