Last week's second-season premiere of ABC's Dancing with the Stars (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET; results show on Friday at 8 pm/ET) saw a record number of viewers tune in and ESPN talking head Kenny Mayne ushered out. Who of this year's remaining hoofers has what it takes to waltz their way to the top? TV Guide offers a roundup.
Lisa Rinna & Louis van Amstel
Ignoring her gut instinct, Rinna, 42, turned down the first season of Dancing with the Stars. Her agents and hubby Harry Hamlin worried that it was just another cheesy reality show. But when it debuted last June, "I wanted to kill myself! I thought it was brilliant," Rinna says. Now the self-professed "workout fiend" is getting a second chance. "My body is ready for this, but I'm tired mentally," she says. "The mental part is very hard."
Tia Carrere & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Just three months after giving birth to her first child, Wayne's World babe Carrere put on her Dancing shoes. "If you can give birth without drugs," she says, "you can do anything." That doesn't mean dancing doesn't hurt. Other than one big-screen tango with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1994's True Lies, Carrere, 39, has no formal dance training. And she's feeling it now in her glutes, thighs, knees everywhere. "I don't know what hurts more," she says, "my boobs or my feet."
Jerry Rice & Anna Trebunskaya
Recent NFL retiree Rice, 43, made his amazing footwork on the field look like dancing. The three-time Super Bowl champ is the NFL's all-time leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns. And he's already got the competition sweating. "What I'm worried about is his work ethic," says rival dancer Drew Lachey. "Lord knows he is just gonna work until he gets it."
Stacy Keibler & Tony Dovolani
Watch out: The 26-year-old World Wrestling Entertainment star has some serious moves beyond the mats. Keibler started dancing when she was 5. Ballet, tap, jazz, you name it. But even she's been floored by the challenge of ballroom dance. "Last week at practice I said to Tony, 'I don't know if I can dance today. My body is so sore. I'm a wreck.'" She begged him to allow her to practice in her tennis shoes. No sale. "He said, 'How elegant will that look with your ballroom gown?'"
Giselle Fernandez & Jonathan Roberts
The former network newswoman has powerful dancing genes: Giselle's father, the late Jose Fernandez, was an acclaimed flamenco dancer. But Giselle took few lessons. "I was more like the chubby kid," she says, "and he was a perfectionist." Now, at 44, Fernandez is in tip-top shape, running 5 to 10 miles a day. She carries her father's rosary beads for luck. "Wouldn't it be great if he was up in heaven doing pirouettes and smiling down at me?"
George Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska
The suave and perpetually tanned Hamilton, 66, considered backing out of Dancing after a recent fall left him with four broken ribs. But his chiropractor suggested that he use the dance training carefully for rehabilitation. Hamilton, who now refers to himself as "Seabiscuit" (the broken-down racehorse), doesn't care about the toughness of his competitors he just wants to feel better. "It isn't about winning," he says. "It's about surviving."
Master P & Ashly Delgrosso
The dad steps in when the son gets hurt. Originally, 16-year-old rapper Romeo was supposed to bust some moves on the dance floor. But an injury on the basketball court Romeo's other passion left Delgrosso without a partner. Then came the news that his father, rap artist and mogul Master P, 37, would take the challenge. It should be fascinating: Master P has sold more than 75 million records, none of which are compatible with the waltz.
Tatum O'Neal & Nick Kosovich
Oscar winner O'Neal gets a lot of strange offers, so she "wasn't shocked that a somewhat kitschy show would want someone with my history," she says. That history includes a serious drug addiction and a tempestuous six-year marriage to tennis star John McEnroe. "John and I never danced," says O'Neal, 42. "But my dad [Ryan O'Neal] and I danced a lot. When I was a kid, he would take me to discos. That's how I learned."
Drew Lachey & Cheryl Burke
Older brother Nick may soon have to share the limelight. Former 98 Degrees member Drew, 29, jumped at the chance to compete on Dancing with the Stars after watching fellow boy-bander Joey McIntyre during Season 1. "I only watched the show until Joey got kicked off," Lachey says. He thought his two years of public-school dance training would give him a leg up. "But my feet are killing me," he says. "It's not the actual dancing it's the shoes. For the Latin dances, you have to wear these two-inch heels." Ouch!