ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars' Announces Celebrity-Dancer Pair-ups, Premieres 9/21

ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars' Announces Celebrity-Dancer Pair-ups, Premieres 9/21

ABC's Dancing with the Stars has announced the celebrity-dancer pairs for the upcoming season.

The ninth season of the show will feature the largest cast for the show ever, with a whopping 16 celebrities!

The season will see the following pairs:

Donny Osmond (Performer) and Kym Johnson
Aaron Carter
 (Singer) and Karina Smirnoff
Tom DeLay
(Former Republican Majority Leader) and Cheryl Burke
Mya
(Singer) and Dmitry Chaplin
Debi Mazar
(Actor) and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Ashley Hamilton
 (Actor) and Edyta Sliwinska
Chuck Liddell
(Mixed Martial Artist) and Anna Trebunskaya
Natalie Coughlin
(Olympic Swimmer) and Alec Mazo
Mark Dacascos
(Reality TV Star) and Lacey Schwimmer
Macy Gray
(Singer) and Jonathan Roberts
Melissa Joan Hart
(Actor) and Mark Ballas
Kathy Ireland
(Model) and Tony Dovolani
Michael Irvin
 (former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver) and Anna Demidova
Kelly Osbourne
 (Reality TV Star) and Louis van Amstel
Louie Vito
(Professional Snowboarder) and Chelsie Hightower
Joanna Krupa
(Model) and Derek Hough

The ninth season of the hit ABC show premieres Sept. 21.

ABC's Dancing with the Stars recently announced a new twist for the upcoming season. The new season of the ABC hit television show will premiere with 16 celebrities, and pare them down with one particularly "brutal" elimination schedule.

DWTS executive producer Conrad Green recently spoke with Entertainment Tonight to explain the decision, and hint at what's in store for fans of the show.

"This is going to be our biggest-ever cast (...) We are going to start big, and then about halfway through, we are going to do three double eliminations back-to-back. The middle of the season is going to be brutal when half of our cast goes in three weeks," said Green.

Green explained to ET that there are 2 reason for so many competitors this season; they need to fill the two-hour primetime timeslot, and he feels it is important to change up the show from season to season.

ET adds that "there will be more athletes, with some new sports represented, some very big personalities, some slightly eccentric personalities [think Cloris Leachman], and a couple of names where people will go, "What is that person doing dancing?"

To read the entire ET article, click here.

The new celebrity cast for "Dancing with the Stars" will be announced on August 17 on "Good Morning America." Then, the all-new cast of celebrities will hit the dance floor when ABC's Dancing with the Stars returns with two nights of dancing: Monday, Sept. 21st and Tuesday, Sept. 22nd, with the first results show on Wed Sept 23rd.

Last season, Dancing with the Stars returned with new surprises and all the elements viewers have come to know and love. Macy's Stars of Dance, which features some of the most renowned dancers and choreographers of our time returned on Dancing with the Stars the Results Show along with its hugely popular Design a Dance competition. Design a Dance is sponsored by Macy's and made its debut during the seventh season. In addition, couples once again took part in a team dance, group dance and face off as well as perform the Argentine Tango and East Coast Swing; a first in the series.

And in an exciting new twist, the bottom two couples facing elimination had a "Dance Off" to determine who was dismissed in the first weeks of competition. For the Week 1 elimination, the bottom 2 was determined by combining the judges scores from the first 2 weeks with the viewer votes from the first 2 weeks. In the "Dance-Off," the judges scores from the first 2 weeks were wiped out and the judges scores from the "Dance-Off" performance replaced them. The viewer votes from the first 2 weeks were still counted. The new judges scores from the "Dance-Off" and the viewers votes from the first 2 weeks were combined to determine the eliminated couple. In subsequent weeks, during "Dance-Off" the original set of judges scores were be tossed out and the botton two couples performed the same routine again for a new set of judges scores. The new set of scores were combined with their viewer votes and the couple with the lowest combined total was eliminated.

Viewers were allows to cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday nights during and up to 30 minutes after the Dancing with the Stars performance shows. AT&T subscribers could also text message their votes by texting the word VOTE and entering the number that corresponds to the team they want to support (standard text message rates apply). Viewers may also vote online at www.abc.com starting from the opening of each episode on the East Coast and until 12:00 Noon, ET the following day.

Hosted by Tom Bergeron (America's Funniest Home Videos) and Samantha Harris (E! Entertainment), the celebrities performed choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned Ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

Dancing with the Stars is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, Strictly Come Dancing. This version is produced by BBC Worldwide Americas. Conrad Green serves as executive producer and Rob Wade and Matilda Zoltowski are co-executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs. Dancing with the Stars is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound and Spanish audio via SAP.

For more information, visit www.abc.com.