Tuesday, November 15, 2005

New 'Stars' Waltzing In

Names of probable contestants on the next "Dancing with the Stars" — including former NFL great Jerry Rice — are starting to leak out.

Robert Wagner, soap star Lisa Rinna and Nick Lachey's younger brother, Drew, are among the stars said to be on board already.

Kevin Nealon, the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian, says he's been asked to join the new cast but hasn't decided yet.

"It's like when I play 'Celebrity Poker Showdown,' " he told the Kansas City Star over the weekend. "I don't want to be the first one out. I don't want to look like an idiot. Or clumsy."

The sensation of last summer, "Dancing with the Stars" partners celebrities with real ballroom-dancing champions in an "American Idol"-like competition.

Each week, the couples create and perform a dance routine before a panel of eccentric judges.

A voting formula that combines judges' scores with results of viewer phone-ins decides which couple is eliminated each week.

In July, "General Hospital" star Kelly Monaco won the first "Dancing with the Stars" competition, beating John O'Hurley (J. Peterman of "Seinfeld") in a controversial finale.

The dance show's second run starts Jan. 5.

ABC has made no official announcement of the new cast.

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