Kellie Pickler, D.L. Hughley
Will it be two times the fun on the 16th season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars, which begins March 18? Producers are trying to make up for the lackluster ratings of last season's All Stars by spiking the cast (announced Feb. 26 on Good Morning America) with a double dose of Olympians, country stars and comedians.
The big names include ice-skating legend Dorothy Hamill, 56; singer Wynonna Judd, 48; and...
Tom Bergeron, Brooke Burke
Dancing With the Star: All Stars host Brooke Burke-Charvet entered the ballroom Monday night on Tom Bergeron's arm, then walked over to Carrie Ann Inaba, who was seated at the judges' table. As the studio audience clapped, the two exchanged a prolonged, wordless hug.
But after that, you would never have known that Burke-Charvet, 41, had revealed in a blog post last week that she has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and is facing life-saving surgery. There's no word yet on when and where the surgery will take place, but ABC confirms that she will continue to co-host the show through the finale, which airs the last week of November. Says one rep, "She'll probably release more videos, in her own time, to explain what's going on."
Backstage, the dancers said Burke-Charvet's diagnosis put their own struggles with injuries and the relentless demands of the show in perspective.
Melissa Rycroft, Tony Dovolani
On Monday night, Melissa Rycroft mounted the stairs to the skybox after all the couples were introduced for the opening segment of Dancing With the Stars: All Stars. "How are you feeling?" she was asked by someone in the crowd. Rycroft shrugged, making the best of a bad situation. "I'm here."
Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
They're not newcomers — the 13 Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars contestants have been to this rodeo before. You wouldn't expect them to be all that nervous, but on Monday's season premiere, they were.
So nervous that Joey Fatone says he panicked a little when he found out that he and partner Kym Johnson would be dancing first. "It was so nerve-wracking," says Fatone. "When you're first out of the gate, there's a level of expectation. And you hope that you meet that expectation, but literally, today, I was thinking, 'What did I get myself into again?'"
George Lawrence II and Tiffany Maher
Yes, they can dance, but will they be able to stand up at the end? With its relentless weekly schedule, signing up for So You Think You Can Dance "is like getting shot out of a cannon," says Season 2 runner-up-turned-choreographer Travis Wall. Here's a day-by-day glimpse into what it takes to become America's Favorite Dancer.
Peta Murgatroyd, Donald Driver
William Levy's 6-year-old son, Christopher, was inconsolable. The minute Dancing With the Stars ended, Levy made his way through the throng of dancers, stars and judges congratulating the new champ, football star Donald Driver, to get to his son. Levy picked him up, rubbing his back and talking to him quietly, trying to explain that daddy was not a loser, but rather, "that we were all winners," says Levy.
Peta Murgatroyd and Donald Driver
There is only one thing that everyone wants when they're watching a Dancing With the Stars freestyle: Great big goosebumps. And on Monday night, the only star who goosed everybody in the ballroom was the Green Bay Packers' Donald Driver.
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
It's the best four semi-finalists we've ever seen. Graceful, powerful, athletic — and, except for one, broken. The level of competition this season on Dancing With The Stars is so high that the winner may be whoever still has two good working legs next week.
Karina Smirnoff and Mario Lopez
Extra host Mario Lopez may have let the cat out of the bag last month on Live! With Kelly, but now Dancing With the Stars insiders are quietly buzzing about plans afoot to make next fall's show, Season 15, into Dancing With the Stars: All Stars.