New ‘Dancing With The Stars’ cast: ‘Dirty Dancing’ with Mrs. Brady, The Situation and Rick Fox’s hair

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We know, we know, most of the ‘Dancing With The Stars’ cast has been already leaked, but now that we can discuss it officially, let’s assess it in its totality.

How did ABC manage to nab The Situation, The Hoff, and The (Bristol) Palin? Not to mention Jennifer Grey, Michael Bolton and Florence Henderson? We refuse to say anything about putting Baby in a corner. And then there’s Kurt Warner and Rick Fox! Hello? And adorable Kyle Massey, beautiful Brandy, hilarious Margaret Cho and unlucky-in-love Audrina Patridge.

We spoke with ‘Dancing With The Stars’ senior producer and head of casting Deena Katz about how she selected her dirty dozen. Among the tidbits she shared: The first two contestants to sign up were Warner and Patridge, she has asked Hasselhoff and Grey to participate on the show every season since the first, and she considered Palin and the Situation longshots, but they were quickly interested.


Details about each contestant follows:

Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino

‘Come on, he’s the biggest reality show star on television right now. I don’t think there’s a single person bigger than him. The idea of dancing the cha cha with The Situation is genius television. He’s going to have the toughest time because he’s still shooting ‘Jersey Shore.’ Everyone else will start training this weekend, and he will not meet his dance partner and start training until Sept. 13, and we go on the air on the 20th. He’s going to be the underdog. His dance partner is going to have to kick it in overdrive. He says he’s been doing his cardio and getting himself ready to go. I don’t think he really needed much more to do in that department. I’m sure he’ll be doing some shirtless dances.’

Audrina Patridge ‘She’s someone I really wanted. She’s a huge fan of the show as well. When she was on ‘The Hills,’ she couldn’t fit it in. I sprung on her immediately after the show ended. I think on ‘The Hills,’ you didn’t get to see all of Audrina, and there were a lot of personalities that took over that show. She’s sweet, she’s beautiful. I’m excited to see her dance.’

Michael Bolton

‘Especially for our audience, I thought it would be a coup. He’s been a fan of the show, and he’s really excited to do the show. I think my mom’s going to be thrilled when she finds out, and I think a lot of women will be very happy to see Michael. He’s got a very dry sense of humor, which I think a lot of people don’t realize about him. He’s a really funny guy.’


‘I’ve been talking to her for a while. Brandy is one of those people that everyone has a soft spot for. Everyone knows her. I think she’s beautiful. She crosses over, and she’s one of those people that you don’t really know but will love when you meet her. And I think she brings a little bit of class to the younger viewers.’

Kyle Massey

‘Kyle has more energy than anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s so funny and so endearing. And he’s a big Disney Channel star. He just lights up a room, and I’ve been talking to Kyle for over a year now and it didn’t work within last season’s cast. So this is perfect timing. I can’t wait to see how entertaining his dancing is going to be. He’s charming and funny, and the kids just love him.’

Florence Henderson

‘She’s one of those people that if you look on a website wish list, everyone wants to see her on the show. I felt like I needed someone who is the mom, the heart of the show. She’s Mrs. Brady. And I think she can dance. She’s so excited. She knows the show almost better than I do. She remembers every single thing and package. As much as it is her dream to be on it, it’s our dream too.’

Rick Fox

‘The problem I’ve always had with Rick is he’s tall. So I was never sure if he was too tall physically. So I finally said, ‘Let’s just try.’ I don’t think there’s a more handsome man around. What I love is that he’s one of those people that everyone’s going to be excited. For women, he’s dreamy, he’s beautiful. But he’s an NBA champion. So he’s one of those people that crosses over. ... He’s been really scared to do it too, but now he’s excited and he says we’re ready to represent the NBA.’

Jennifer Grey

‘Jennifer was one of those people that is our show. If ever there was someone that made sense to be on our show, it’s Jennifer Grey. It’s an honor that she’s finally going to be on it. Because of ‘Dirty Dancing,’ everyone wants to see her on the show. And, honestly, getting to know her, she is one of the best people I’ve ever met. So I’m sure the audience is going to love her, and I’m excited to see how well she ends up dancing. The thing is people think she’s a dancer. And she’s not. So her one hurdle is letting the audience get over that she’s actually not a dancer and has to learn to dance.’

Kurt Warner

‘He was playing until recently, so he couldn’t be on it. Kurt is someone I’ve been dying to have. I’ve been wanting a quarterback from the beginning. But he retired and I said, ‘I’m gonna shoot for the moon and get the MVP Super Bowl champion.’ He was the first one.’

Margaret Cho

‘If you look at female comedians, Margaret is one of the top female comics right now. So I was rather shocked that she could do this and would do this. But she might be more excited than anyone. She’s been out of town, but I must get four or five texts a day from her with ideas and songs and clothes. If you’re a fan of hers at all, she’s giggling about this. She can’t wait to meet her partner and start dancing. She’s what the show is about. You look at her and 60% of her body is tattooed and she’s this funny, blue comedian and yet you’re going to find, like Jerry Springer, there’s another sweet side to Margaret Cho.’

David Hasselhoff

‘He’s The Hoff. I could watch 10 weeks of just him dancing. He’s an icon. He’s known around the world. You just can’t wait to see what he’s going to do. He’s funny, he’s crazy, he’s nice, he’s passionate. He’s in Germany right now and will come home from the tour to start dancing. I’ve been asking him since the first season, and it’s one of those things where I believe that if I stalk you long enough, you’re gonna come around.’

Bristol Palin

‘You know what? You ask and you never know. At the core, these are all really good people. I’ve talked to Bristol a lot, and she’s lovely. She’s this sweet girl-woman. She’s very mature for her age. A lot has clearly happened to her in just a few years. She’s the only person that after I asked her to be on the show, she drove herself from Alaska. It took her five days. She’s totally self-sufficient. She’s not scared. She just moved yesterday. Her son’s moving down here, and I expect her parents to visit, and she’s a great addition to the cast. I don’t think you’ve heard her talk that much. She’s a great 19-year-old girl with her head totally on her shoulders.’

— Maria Elena Fernandez

(Top row, from left)

Jennifer Grey. Credit:

Brandy at the BET awards in June in Los Angeles. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images.

Florence Henderson this month in Los Angeles. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.

Margaret Cho: Credit: VH1.

Audrina Patridge in Los Angeles in this month. Credit: Michael Buckner / Getty Images.

Bristol Palin. Credit: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images.

(Bottom row, from left)

David Hasselhoff this month in Berlin, Germany. Credit: Britta Pedersen.

Michael Bolton. Credit: Richard Drew / Associated Press.

Rick Fox this month in Los Angeles. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images.

Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino in New York City in July. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images.

Kurt Warner at the NFC playoff game in January. Credit: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images.

Kyle Massey in Las Vegas in June. Credit: Jesse Grant / Getty Images.


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