'DWTS'partners paired

Mark Dacascos of "Iron Chef" boogies with Lacey Schwim- mer, her third go on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."
Mark Dacascos of "Iron Chef" boogies with Lacey Schwim- mer, her third go on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

Season 9 gets Irvin, Mazar, DeLay dancin'.

Posted: August 25, 2009

The stars have aligned for Dancing With the Stars.

Anna Demidova, who won the Season 8 professionals' competition, will team with Philadelphia favorite - not! - Michael Irvin in the new season of Dancing, which begins Sept. 21.

DWTS fans, especially those in Philadelphia, may remember how Eagles fans cheered when then-Dallas Cowboys star receiver Irvin lay motionless on the Veterans Stadium turf with a neck injury 10 years ago. He's all better now and raring to go with his hot partner, who has won more dancing championships than Dallas and the Eagles and even the Steelers, put together, have won Super Bowls.

ABC announced all the partners yesterday:

Not-so-disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (do you think his hair will stay on with all the fast-action dancing?) gets two-time champ Cheryl Burke.

Ashley Hamilton (George's son, Shannen Doherty's ex) teams with the only nine-episode veteran pro, Edyta Sliwinska.

Model Joanna Krupa gets Derek Hough, who squired Brooke Burke to the winner's circle in Season 7. Everybody's favorite teenage witch, Melissa Joan Hart, teams with Mark Ballas, who took gymnast Shawn Johnson to victory last spring.

The show, which feels a little like a Western Wonderland for Eastern European professional dancers and a swamp of spelling errors waiting to happen, also announced the following pairs:

Singer Aaron Carter with Karina Smirnoff, swimming champ Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo, Iron Chef star Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer, singer Macy Gray and Jonathan Roberts, model Kathy Ireland with Tony Dovolani, ultimate fighting champ Chuck Liddell with Anna Trebunskaya, Debi Mazar (one of TV's coolest actresses) with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, one-named singer Mya and two-named dancer Dmitry Chaplin, Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel, Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson (I'd rather see Osbourne and Osmond try to dance together), and world-famous (or at least Vermont-famous) professional snowboarder Louie Vito with Chelsie Hightower.

The numbers crunchers at Bodog.com have installed Carter as the 3-1 favorite, with (surprisingly) Macy and Donny close behind. DeLay, not surprisingly, is tabbed the most likely loser.


Contact television critic Jonathan Storm at 215-854-5618 or jstorm@phillynews.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/jonathanstorm.

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