‘Dancing With the Stars’: Meet the Season 9 contenders (none of whom are named Paula Abdul)


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Cycle 9 of ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is about to get underway, and this season’s contestants, announced this morning on ‘Good Morning America,’ are as diverse as ever, including an Osbourne daughter and an ‘Entourage’ actor, another Osmond sibling and (in a first for the series) a former House Majority leader.

But first: Paula Abdul is not going to compete despite rumors to the contrary. (She’s not going to guest star on ABC’s ‘Ugly Betty,’ either, but TMZ is reporting that the network is still looking to get in the Abdul business and is considering a number of other options, including a variety special.)


So who will be vying for the ballroom’s top prize? Kelly Osbourne, daughter of Ozzy, pop singer and former reality star, will find out if her theater experience gives her an advantage. In 2007, she starred as Mama Morton in a West End production of ‘Chicago.’ But she’ll likely face some stiff competition from R&B singer Mya, who began her career as a professional dancer. It should be interesting to see what dynamic another musical artist, raspy-voiced Macy Gray,adds to the race.

Donny Osmond will make his ‘Dancing’ debut to see if he can outlast sister Marie, who came in third during the show’s fifth season.

Among the season’s actors-turned-movers-and-shakers are ‘Entourage’s’ pushy publicist Debi Mazar; former teen witch Melissa Joan Hart; Ashley Hamilton, son of George Hamilton (and ex-husband of Shannen Doherty); and Polish model-actress Joanna Krupa, who most recently competed in ABC’s summer reality series ‘Superstars.’

Keep an eye on what kind of fancy footwork former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay has to offer. DeLay was indicted for money laundering in 2005. (Could this be a Rod Blagojevich move? Ex-politician turns to reality TV for a little image rehab? Perhaps.)

As is tradition, several pro athletes also will try on their dancing shoes: Swimmer Natalie Coughlin, who has 11 Olympic medals under her belt; former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin; professional snowboarder Louie Vito; and former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell.

And rounding out the competition are Aaron Carter, younger brother of the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter; former supermodel Kathy Ireland; and the chairman of ‘Iron Chef America,’ Mark Dacascos.

Early winner (or first to go) predictions? Let’s hear them below.

-- Denise Martin


PHOTOS: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 9 contestants

(Photos courtesy EPA, ABC and Getty Images)