'Dancing With the Stars': The celeb-pro pairings!

Maksim-Dancing-Kirstie-AlleyImage Credit: Everett Collection; Maksim Chmerkovskiy: ABCWell, well, well. I’m sure you’ve been on the edges of your sequined armchairs waiting for my reaction to the new DWTS cast. Sorry about the delay — I had to spend the entire day figuring out who the hell these people are. Just kidding! Google is easy. No, I spent much of the day seeking out the rumored Star-Pro pairings for season 12.

Sadly, Enthusiastic Activia Lady Jamie Lee Curtis could not find time in her busy schedule of eating yogurt and crafting paper bracelets to answer my late November prayers. WTF, EAL?

The couples in the running for season 12’s COVETED MIRRORBALL TROPHY…. are…. coming up, after the break!


Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff

Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya

WWE star Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke

E! boobmonger Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel

Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani

Rapper Lil Romeo and Chelsie Hightower

Disney actress Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas

Footballer Hines Ward and Kym Johnson

“Psycho” Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer

Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin (Welcome back!)

ABC’s official announcement is tomorrow.

I’m most excited about Kirstie and Maks. The Fat Actress and TV’s Ukrainian Bachelor have now both carried shows on their own, so I expect this to be a totally insane weight loss/sitcom/soap opera/reality show wrapped up very ungracefully into a low-fat sun-dried tomato pita. For a preview of what to expect from Kirstie in the spotlight, watch all 13 episodes of HBO’s The Comeback and then imagine Valerie Cherish eating her feelings for 15 more years. Boom.

Even though this stable of extra-fringed My Little Ponies has less star power than we’ve seen in some other seasons, I’m pretty much cool with anyone at this point. My DWTS enjoyment is never really dependent on the Stars, anyway. For me, it’s about the things that will never ever change: our fearless hosts Tom and Boobs, the crazy set, Bruno’s salacious verbal warfare, inexplicable song choices, assorted sparkly ridiculata, and — of course — Our Pros. They could throw in a toasted Ritz cracker into the mix and I’d be amused. (Oh wait, they did, in season 2.)

In fact, my general reaction to this cast has been best summed up by esteemed gem-hunter JH, who commented: “People complain like this every year the cast is revealed. I don’t know much about them, sure, but I’ve still at least heard of eight out of the 11. And you know what? I don’t care anyway. I enjoy getting to know the personalities I might not otherwise be exposed to. I’d never heard of Kyle Massey last year, and look what a joy he was to watch! I really like that there seems to be no obvious frontrunner in the bunch. I’m looking forward to the show, Annie’s recaps, and gem hunting! Bring it on!”

Oh, it’s already been buh-rought-en.

The Fringe Fairy

P.S. The Photoshopped image is Maks’ face over Patrick Dempsey’s from 1989’s Loverboy, because why wouldn’t I do that?

[Rumors via TMZ]

Read more:
‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 12 cast revealed
‘DWTS': Annie’s 30 Finest Hidden Gems of 2010
Departing pro Derek Hough’s best Hidden Gems
EW.com’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Central

Follow EW’s ‘Dancing’ queen Annie Barrett on Twitter

Comments (183 total) Add your comment
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  • C Lo

    What kind of Photoshopped picture is that of Kirstie and Maksim?

    • hr


      • whatevs

        Actual celebrities have better things to do than this. That’s why it’s always been comprised of has-beens and never-weres.

      • liserocks


      • Jo

        Of course not. Listen…at this point are people really tuning in to watch A STAR. No.

      • nan

        I am in Air Force and seek ing someone .I need a woman who can love me back …I also got a username mason66 on UniformedMate.Com It’s the largest and best club for seek ing Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Police Force, and the admirers of those who wear the uniform.I just hope you don’t mind me being a soldier …Please Check it out!I’m serious..

      • jp

        Charlie Sheen will soon be available.

    • hr


      • awe

        Poor Tony. He will need a forklift.

    • james

      i’m so happy that kirstie got max, at least she’s gonna have a chance, i totally thought she’d be paired with tony dovolani. I like the pairings. Finally karina has a great partner. Go karate kid!

      • Brenda Barrett

        Karina may have a great partner, but Ralph does NOT. I already was planning not to watch; this affirms my decision.

      • Flanders

        You forget…he was absent the day they taught graceful.

    • Ann

      where in the world is Derek Hough? did i miss something…did he leave?

      • Fishpaw

        He announced a couple of weeks ago that he was taking this season off. Filming a movie I think

      • lostidol

        Gone, thank Christ. I wish he had taken Mark Ballas with him.

      • awe

        Finally. the ham is gone.

      • Sammy

        I hate him.

      • ron

        He is certainly the main reason I watch!

      • kross

        Thank God the camera hog is gone!

    • Jackie

      Ha ha, love it! I don’t actually watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’ because I kind of find all reality TV ridiculous, but I clicked on this article for the AWESOME photoshopped picture from the movie ‘Loverboy’ :) I think they just took the scene if Kirstie Alley dancing with Patrick Dempsey and photoshopped this guy’s head onto it.

      • bhemmig

        Good call on the photo. The minute I saw it, I knew there was something wrong with it. She doesn’t look that good as of lately…

    • dharma swan

      I thought the same thing about the pic. This is clearly photoshopped (and not exactly well done I might add.) Kind of a ridiculous pic.

    • Rich

      LOL That’s a funny comment!

    • Shiny

      That’s a picture of Kirstie Alley and Patrick Dempsey in Loverboy, circa 1989. C’mon, EW; I know my 80’s rom-coms! Nice one tho, Kirstie never looked better.

    • Rita

      @ CLo My sentiments exactly..

  • Adam

    @ LOL – You are Obviously unaware of the Queendom of Annie Barrett.

    OFF With your unglittered Head!

    • LOL

      This is TV for people who hate humanity.

      • awe


  • Msmandee

    I have a feeling Romeo will be good… Hopefully, this will allow for Chelsie to stick around way longer than she did with Michael Bolton. This IS whateverland, MIchael!

  • Adam

    @ C Lo – An OLD one obviously. Kristi hasn’t been that size since Star Trek!

  • Mary

    I have always liked Hines Ward, Sugar Ray on the show should be fun.

    • awe

      Again Mark gets an agile youngster. Must be in his contract. Guppy will be around a while.

      • Fridge

        Yeah, but can you imagine how odd he’d look with Wendy Williams or Kirstie Alley? He’s a pretty small guy, there’s no way he’d be as effective a partner with either of them. As much as people like to think that certain pros get ringers, I think they try to match the “stars” with the pros as best they can physically.

  • gigi

    Shooo! Those nasty rumors about Maks not being on this season are now squashed! I just hope he and Kirstie are around for a while. Hidden Gem gold this couple!

    • Anita Mann

      Yes, I’d heard that about Maks, too. At least Christine O’Donnell isn’t on, what with it being an actual job and all, she turned it down.

  • Kate

    I actually thought they made us wait for this for a little longer after they announce the cast (or is that just for the fall season because there is a longer break so they draw it out?). For the first time in a while, I don’t see any punishment coupling either (you know, where you just know that one of the pros annoyed someone, so they get stuck with the real odd ball). I am glad that Chelsie gets someone good this year (this is sad I know this, but Romeo got a basketball scholarship to college and is in better shape than probably most of these people, and while he isn’t tall, he might not be eye to eye with her). And..Dmitry!!!

    • Shiny

      Kate, you think not? My heart sank for poor Tony when I saw the list. There’s no way this can end well.

    • Chris

      I hope Chelsie sticks around longer than, too…BUT Hines Ward and Chris Jericho are professionals as well so i’m sure they are in shape, too.

  • Marie

    Why does Tony always get set up with the weird people that never do well??!!

    • Kat

      Hey, he had Stacy Keibler. Like, forever ago, but still.

  • JAM

    Why do they hate Tony?

    • Karikata

      Poor Tony! Wendy talked a lot of smack when he was paired with Kate Gosslin saying she was stiff etc. She better do better or risk looking like an idiot. Karma is a beotch.

  • Jenn

    Oh man… I really wanted to cheer for Ralph Macchio but I can’t stand Karina.. I feel bad for him.. There are some real interesting matches this season and yes I agree Tony got hosed again! I think Kendra and Louis are going to be a very entertaining pair!!! This is a pretty good cast, so should be an interesting season :)

    • katie

      i totally agree with you. karina is so rude!! i never get why they give the people who end up not doing good. i’m cheering for hines ward becasue i’m a steelers fan! go hines!

    • queue55

      ITA! I’m going to have a tough time rooting for the Karate Kid with Karina as his partner…Mr. Miyogi help me!!

  • Lynne C.

    It’s going to be a great season, but I will miss Derek. I also wish that Julianne would come back.

  • jones

    Maks and Kirstie will be a hoot. Calling Petra a “tsunami model” is a bit weird. I realize she is model that is known for surviving the tsunami, but that phrase is weird.

    • the_girl

      Yeah the tsunami model thing sent a weird and vastly unnerving image through my mind. Not very good phrasing. And, ITA with the fact that none of the stars are EVER really *stars* they are all just… “stars”. I’m looking forward to Ralph Macchio and hidden gems. Bring it on!

      • mls

        The “Stars” have mostly ALL been B listers!

    • California

      Didn’t Petra’s boyfriend/fiance/husband get killed in that tsunami?? Seriously weird to call her that!!

  • Stacey

    I am rooting for Ralph. And maybe Romeo because I want Chelsie to have a decent season for once. But I loved The Karate Kid, so I am rooting for Ralph even though Karina is not my favorite pro…That is Cheryl. So we’ll see. No polarizing choices this season. So it will be interesting to watch…

    • Miss Talk

      Me too, Ralph Maccio was my childhood crush lol. I hope he will dance on both “You’re the best” and “The Power of Love”. Great memories indeed *tears*.

  • Kevcogator

    Break out your “Free Tony” shirts. This guy is either unlucky, a masochist, or deeply hated by the producers who coordinate the pairings. I think Sugar Ray goes for the win with Chelsea Kane and Romeo rounding out the finalists.

    • Rita

      Aw, poor Tony..paired up with that gigantic woman!Most See TV!

    • Lori R

      I agree! They must hate him, but he seems so nice! Although, Wendy Williams is a hoot on ‘The Soup’…but c’mon!

  • agtech75

    Glad to see that Kym is back again and she has a decent partner this time– Hines Ward should do relatively well!

    • Allison

      He definitely has a great smile. I’m most excited about him, with Ralph in a very, very close tie.

      • jerseymama

        i totally agree!! love hines (& the steelers ;)) but looking forward to seeing Ralph and kirstie and maks should be good for a laugh-

        also, annie, i love you!!! every time you make me laugh out loud! so excited for dwts to start

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