Other celebs who will compete on the ABC hit show include actor William Levy aka the Spanish Brad Pitt who also appeared on the Real housewives of Miami, legendary singer Gladys Knight, singer Gavin DeGraw, and actor Jaleel White aka Steve Urkel from Family Matters.
Below is the full list of the 12 celebrity contestants this season as well as their pro partners:
The View’s Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy
Actress Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Extra Reporter Maria Menounos and Derek Hough
Actor Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya
Cuban Actor/Model William Levy and Cheryl Burke
Music legend Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus
Actor Jaleel White and Kym Johnson
Singer Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani
NFL receiver Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
Disney Actor Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower
Singer Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
The new season premieres March 19 on ABC.
[Photos Credit: WENN]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE NEW DWTS CAST? ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON?
If you recall, Karina, 30, and Brad, 33, got engaged back in October 2010, but signs of trouble began to emerge this year when they decided to postpone their wedding two months ago. At the time, the couple claimed they were “still together, but [had] conflicting schedules.”
“They are just two different people,” a source tells E! of the split. Karina, who was in Las Vegas this weekend for a promotional appearance, reportedly did not want to make a big deal about her break up so she would wear her engagement ring during photo ops, but removing it when cameras were off.
Maksim had always been tight lipped about what went wrong with Karina, but on his stint on the Ukraine version of The Bachelor earlier this year, he opened up a bit stating she really hurt him and would lie about other men. His family also alleged Karina lied about being pregnant in order to keep Maksim. Wowzers.
Speaking to Good Morning America a humble and excited J.R. still couldn’t believe he won! “It’s amazing. We’ve all been putting over three months of work into this. To be able to hold that [mirror ball trophy] up was a tremendous honor.”
J.R.’s partner Karina Smirnoff, who landed her first win on the show, also could not believe it! “I think I was screaming so loud, I lost my voice. It is an amazing feeling,” she said of learning they won. “And what a person to share it with.” Awwww… I love them together!
“I’m just so grateful that I was able to be part of the journey to help get her first mirror ball trophy. She deserves it. She should be in the elite category of people who’ve won on this show,” J.R. told The Hollywood Reporter about his partner.
The duo credits their win to non-stop grueling practices; even beyond the work some of their co-competitors put in! “We’d take a break but instead of going to sit down, we’d go to everyone else’s rehearsal. Just trying to keep everyone’s energy up,” J.R. explained. “That was the cool thing about it. It was never competitive among us. It was all fun and we cheered everybody on.”
Rob Kardashian echoes that sentiment and despite his second place finish he is proud of his performance. “I literally couldn’t have asked myself to have done any better. I went as far as I could go,” Rob revealed “J.R. deserved that trophy.”
Even though J.R. was a total prankster on set; even hiding Rob’s phone and Cheryl Burke’s shoes! “For two hours he didn’t rehearse because he was looking for his phone,” J.R. laughs. So that was his secret!
Rob admitted he loved participating in the show because he was able to escape his annoying sisters; particularly working with Cheryl. “I genuinely did like kind of learning a new dance,” he revealed. “You start over every single Wednesday, that’s the worst part of the week and then you have to learn a whole new dance again in four days, but I enjoyed it.”
Third place finalist Ricki Lake explains the show is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time; adding that the weight-loss benefits weren’t bad either!
“This really is putting everything on the line. Your body is at its limit. You get emotionally caught up in it. You want to win. You know, it’s very scary to do these moves in front of 20 million people,” Ricki described.
J.R. won more than just the hearts of the American public; he impressed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as well!
The Iraq war veteran received a special shout out, congratulating him for both his win and the message he sent to other veterans! “Your strength and spirit captivated the nation, and your victory sends a strong message about the strength and resilience of our wounded warriors,” Panetta wrote in a letter reported by the Washington Post. And apparently Panetta would like to personally speak to J.R.!
Hopefully J.R. will be able to fit Mr. Panetta into his busy schedule! Because following his win J.R. will be co-hosting CNN’s Heroes: An All-Star Tribute on Dec. 11 and also participating in CNN Heroes: Where Are They Now? special which airs this Thursday.
Congratulations J.R. and Karina! I, for one, think you definitely deserved the win not only for your dancing, but your hard-work, class and showmanship!
[Photo Credit: DJDM/WENN.com]
THOUGHTS ON J.R. AND KARINA’S POST-WIN INTERVIEWS? ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS?
Admittedly, I didn’t think I would get as caught up in Dancing With The Stars’ final three as I actually did. Embarrassingly, I didn’t think I’d be this happy for Rob Kardashian finally doing something that didn’t involve his sisters, and he’s clearly improved tenfold throughout the season. Don’t get me wrong… I still love J.R. Martinez and I have serious respect for Ricki Lake. At least I won’t be (too) disappointed if my favorite doesn’t win the “coveted” mirror ball trophy!
As to be expected, there was a lot of fluff on last night’s finale show, but that always happens when ABC tries to drag out forty-five minutes of content into two hours of programming. It’s almost as bad as the engagement episode of any Bachelor/Bachelorette season. Each of the final three’s Monday performances are highlighted. Rob goes into the final night three points ahead of both Ricki and J.R. Rob and J.R. both managed to wrangle perfect 30s as well. Before getting into tonight’s portion of the competition, Lady Antebellum (love!) performs a song off their latest album.
Each contestant will hit the dance floor one more time to perform what they believe to be their strongest dance of the season. First, Ricki and partner Derek Hough perform their tango. Len Goodman calls it one of the most memorable dances of any season, while Bruno Tonioli proclaims it “unforgettable.” He’s so dramatic! Carrie Ann Inaba continues with the love fest and Ricki seems to have had a very strong finish.
Rob and Cheryl Burke are dancing the foxtrot at Rob’s request. He wants to improve upon the dance from the first time they performed it. As the Kardashian Klan watches on – Kris is even krying! — he proves he really has come a long way in this competition. Rob has a (very) minor slip-up… so minor, in fact, that I had to rewind to see it after host Tom Bergeron congratulated him on his “nice recovery.” Carrie Ann says she’s so proud of Rob, while Len gushes — yes, GUSHES! — about how Rob does some of the best footwork of any male contestant he’s seen on the show. Ever. That is quite some praise!
J.R. and Karina Smirnoff decide to revisit their jive, although they must tweak it a bit to appease the judges critiques of the dance the first time around. Carrie Ann calls him a “catalyst of joy” before citing his sloppiness in the middle of the routine. She also professes to miss the lift they eliminated from the dance because she penalized them for it their first go-round. Huh? Len spends most of his speech recognizing the wonderful band and singers, but seems to feel the same way everyone else feels about J.R. You can NOT smile when you see him dance. Bruno exclaims that he “LOVED IT!”
For the judges, Ricki is in the top spot earning 30 points, with J.R. garnering 28, and Rob in third with 26. After adding the point to Monday’s scores, Ricki leads, Rob is in second and J.R. is in third, although only one point separates each competitor from the next. In another filler moment that lasts far too long, a blooper reel of the judges is shown. Seriously, this whole finale really only needs to last an hour.
One couple will be eliminated before the final dance of the evening. After lots of dramatic pauses, WHAT? Ricki and Derek are eliminated. I did NOT see that one coming. She’s been such a fan and judge favorite. J.R. and Rob look totally shocked. I swear Rob has tears in his eyes. True to form, Ricki goes out like the total class act that she is.
After highlighting some of the season’s shocking moments, some of the first “stars” to be voted off return to dance again. Metta World Peace and Elisabetta Canalis perform with their partners followed by Kristin Cavallari. Chyna Phillips returns for another shot at the dance that sent her home after she froze on stage and forgot her routine. The always entertaining Carson Kressley vogues, and Nancy Grace shakes her medieval groove thang. Chaz Bono and David Arquette take to the dance floor again before another performance from Lady A, singing their hit Need You Now. A less sour Hope Solo and a less combative (I hope) MaksimChmerkovskiydance again as well.
It’s time for the final dance for J.R. and Rob, competing with a quick instant Samba to unknown music. J.R. and Karina dance first with a strong routine, but Rob and Cheryl are equally (dare I say more?) fierce. Len gives a rare standing ovation for both couples. Bruno believes both contestants are “brilliant” while Carrie Ann declares them both as winners. The judges give three perfect 10s to both J.R. and Rob. It’s all up to the viewer votes now! I love that Rob and J.R. seem to have become really good friends. After a long and entertaining season, the mirror ball trophy goes to…
J.R. Martinez!!! Woohoo!! I am beyond thrilled. What an amazing guy and I am so happy to see Karina’s first DWTS victory.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FINALE? DO YOU THINK THE RIGHT PERSON WON? HOW GREAT WAS IT TO SEE THE COMRADERY AMONG THE CONTESTANTS?
Us Weekly is reporting that staffers on the popular show are “livid” over Maksim’s unruly behavior this season! “He’s a poor sport,” the insider informs Us. “People are suggesting he get anger management!” Many crew members also believe “Maks’ antics reflect poorly on the show.” You mean antics like saying “F—k Carrie” backstage, referring to judge Carrie Ann Inaba, on a family-friendly show? Yeah, I would say so!
However, another insider Maks tells the mag he is working hard to rebuild his image after a rocky season as well as make amends on set. Even going so far as to work things out with Derek Hough! “Maksim and Derek have patched things up after their big feud,” the second source reveals. “They are fine with each other now.”
Unfortunately, Maks’ bad attitude may have rubbed off on his partner Hope Solo! New reports are calling out her diva behavior on set! An insider tells HollywoodLife, that the cast and crew were glad Hope was eliminated because of her negative attitude!
“Everyone is overjoyed that Maks and Hope were eliminated,” the source comments. “There was way too much drama between them both. A bunch of people were scared J.R. [Martinez] might be the one, but he was safe.”
“Hope was humbled by getting the boot,” the source continues. “But we’re sure she’ll be back to her not so cheery self for the finale, since the past contestants are always brought back for the final show.”
While Maks may be attempting to have better relationships on “his” show — that doesn’t include everyone! He recently told the New York Post he hasn’t spoken to his ex-fiancé, Karina Smirnoff since they broke up in 2009! Despite working together for the past two years. “I will never speak to that person again,” he said about Karina. “And I never have. It has been years now. But I am not bitter.”
It’s “not easy” he concedes, “but I just go about my business and do my thing. It is very hard.” See – I call that bitter. Whether or not Maks likes Karina, he has nothing but praise for her partner J.R. – who is Maks’ pick for the win!
“If J.R. doesn’t win, there is something fundamentally wrong with America,” Maks remarked. Adding J.R. “deserves it… It is his right to walk into ‘Dancing With The Stars’ and walk away with the trophy. But on top of all of that, he is a great dancer.” I hate to say it, but I agree – J.R. deserves the win; for his classy attitude, for his dancing skills, and for his hard work on and off the stage!
[Photo Credit: Josiah True/WENN.com]
DO YOU BELIEVE MAKS HAS ISOLATED EVERYONE ON SET? CAN YOU BELIEVE HE HASN’T SPOKEN TO KARINA IN OVER TWO YEARS? ARE YOU SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT HOPE’S ATTITUDE?
It’s time for the results yet again on Dancing With The Stars, and the evening starts out with the female pros performing a very pro-ladies dance. It makes me wish I was much more coordinated than I am — what talent!
Of course, we resume with the highlights from Monday night and let’s be honest; Rob Kardashian has been doing an amazing job since the news that sister Kim’sdivorce became public. I think he just needed his own spotlight after years (and years and years and years) of being in the shadow of a certain group of ladies that share his DNA. Likewise, Hope Solo’s shining performance — her best dance of the season per the judges — is revisited. Then, of course, the results show reminds us of the first perfect score (of two!!) of the season for J.R. Martinez’s waltz. Love. Him. If he doesn’t win, I will be very sad.
The show wastes some time with a mildly funny skit with the man who made me love this show… Jerry Rice. It’s the previous three dancers who are on the chopping block, and (duh) J.R. is deemed safe. Hope joins the winner J.R. in the semi-finals and poor Rob finds himself in unwarranted jeopardy. The show continues what it believes to be a funny NFL commentary sketch with Len Goodman playing an unconvincing Jim Nantz.
Andrea Bocelli performs, and as talented as he is, I am more a Bieber (read: I wouldn’t know timeless singing if it hit me in the face) fan. There is more Super Bowl-esque humor and critique. Really? ABC had nothing else to fill the time than this silly faux football discussion? I remember thinking it was dumb last year. Glad to see they brought it back. I take that back… it’s better than the crew having Len imitate Hope Solo’s nude ESPN magazine cover.
Tonight’s Macy’s Stars of Dance doesn’t highlight one individual, but instead focuses on a troupe from Cirque du Soliel performing to Michael Jackson hits. Sign me up and buy me ticket, please. Following that amazing performance is a number by Flo Rida. I’ll admit it; I still have his cell number in my phone from when he published it in an article to get “closer to his fans.” He’s yet to answer, but there’s something about getting to hear a rapper’s voicemail message.
The next two “stars” are up for judgment: Nancy Grace and my favorite (runner up) Ricki Lake, who didn’t live up to her past expectations with Monday’s performance. Of course, Ricki is safe and Nancy, once again, heads to the bottom. Dare I say she’ll be safe? It’s a tough call. She promotes herself constantly on her own show, clearly she has a fan base. Rob, not so much, but he does seem to come from a family America can’t seem to ignore (unfortunately), love them or loathe them. I know who I think deserves to keep dancing, but I think he’ll be trumped by Nancy’s massive following. We shall see after the commercial break.
Rob looks stoic and Nancy seems smug as they take their place for the results. WHAT? I was wrong and for once I’m kind of happy about it. Nancy is not going to the semi-finals. She exits with class,and her partner, Tristan, exits with even more class. He’s awesome.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE FINAL FOUR? WERE YOU SHOCKED TO SEE NANCY LEAVE? WHO DO YOU WANT TO WIN DWTS?
It’s getting down to the wire on Dancing With The Stars and the five remaining stars put on their strongest performances yet on Monday night!
In fact, in a season first, a contestant finished the night with two perfect scores! Yes, war veteran J.R. Martinezearned a 30, not once, but twice alongside partner Karina Smirnoff. First J.R. earned three 10s for his flawless waltz. “It was like a musical Valentine card,” said judge Bruno Tonioli. “You dance with your heart on your sleeve. It was divine.” Moments later, J.R. earned another 30 for his insta-jive! “There’s nobody coming close to you tonight,” gushed judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
Showing a definite improvement last night was soccer star Hope Solo as she tied for second place with Ricki Lake! Perhaps it was all due to her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiywho promised to take a kinder, gentler approach with Hope. “I will take responsibility for being overly rough,” said Maks during rehearsals about being too hard on Hope last week. It appeared to work as the duo received their highest score of the season — a 27 for their light and breezy quickstep. They ended the night with a total score of 52!
Coming in last was news anchor Nancy Grace, finishing the night with a combined score of 44. “It’s midnight, and it’s time to go home,” judge Len Goodman said to Nancy after comparing her to Cinderella. Ouch!
So three minutes into last night’s Dancing With the Stars Results Show, I am already in hog heaven. Justin Bieber? Thank you, ABC, because I didn’t get enough of his cool hair and teen angst on today’s episode of Ellen. Honestly, I didn’t. I think he’s presh, and I may even own a couple of his ditties on iTunes. Don’t judge. Never Say Never. Bieber Fever and all that jazz. Wait, what am I writing about? Oh yeah, the results for the DWTS’s Halloween Extravaganza…
Carson Kressley is back, and in a more comfortable role as correspondent for Monday night’s show. He interviews fans, audience members and the adorbs Coco Arquette. The judges want to see Team Paso Doble for the evening’s encore dance, so Hope Solo, Ricki Lake and a recently bro-in-law-lessRob Kardashian hit the dance floor. I’m sure it’s been said before, but Ricki looks ah-mazing.
The first round of “stars” is highlighted. Rob Kardashian had his best dance to date, according to the judges (and he did a pretty good job I’ll say), but Nancy Grace (deservedly) found herself in the bottom two after being last on the leaderboard. I guess Kardashian fans weren’t too distraught over Kimmie’s divorce news to text in their votes! Brooke Burke-Charvet reminds Nancy that she has a 50/50 chance of going home and she tells Rob he could possibly be this season’s dark horse. J.R. Martinez, a consistent leader who dropped in points this week, parodies the Biebs.
Seventeen-year-old Victoria Rose Viren is spotlighted as the night’s breakout dancer. At fourteen, she collapsed during ballet practice and doctors discovered she had a brain tumor. After surgery, she was in a wheelchair and had to teach herself to walk through rigorous physical therapy. Two months later, she was performing in the Nutcracker. On the DWTS’s stage she executes a beautiful routine while Christina Perri performs a song I will most definitely be adding to my iTunes. What an amazing night for Victoria Rose — and I bet she gets to meet little Justin Bieber too!
Derek Hough has choreographed a very intense number that he performs with a partner, but I think it’s just an excuse for gratuitous shirtlessness on his part. I am too distracted by his constant counting to appreciate the complexity of the dance. Next up, J.R.’s Monday night ghost bust is highlighted, which Len Goodman called sub-standard. Ricki Lake’s performance rightfully wowed the judges once again. It’s no surprise that both Ricki and J.R. (woo hoo!) are deemed safe and will be sticking around to dance another week.
The Biebs sings once again… and no surprise it’s a song from his “Under the Mistletoe” holiday album that was coincidentally released yesterday. It’s not very Christmas-y, but that’s okay as we just had Halloween and I can’t start with the holiday merriment quite yet. What I can start with is remembering how much I love Boyz II Men. Motown Philly, anyone? I am way on board for this collaboration and I am officially declaring this elimination episode a giant upgrade from last week’s snooze fest.
We revisit Monday night for the final two contestants. Hope Solo receives some very positive reviews from the judges, but I am reliving the awkwardness of her trying to garner the same from partner Maks Chmerkovskiy. While he may not be the one to beat, David Arquette always seems to have fun on the dance floor and was praised for his improvement. Hope and Maks are safe, which means David must head to the bottom two with Nancy Grace.
Ultimately, Nancy Grace must say her final good-bye. CURSES! I always type out my prediction during the final commercial break, and up until now, I’ve always been right. I hate to see David go. He really seems to enjoy himself. True to form, he goes out with a laugh, making fun of Maks’ outburst from last week. Cheers to you, Mr. Arquette!
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S ELIMINATION SHOW? WERE YOU SAD TO SEE DAVID ARQUETTE GO? WILL YOU BE BUYING THE BIEB’S HOLIDAY ALBUM?