The pairing of celebrities with professional partners is crucial to the success of the couple. The star is dependent upon the professional partner to learn as much as possible about ballroom dancing as quickly as is humanly possible. The professional has to be able to teach and communicate with the star in a way that the celebrity can learn from, not always an easy task. And they need each other in order to be able to stay on the show as long as possible. Here are this season’s pairings.
Anna Trebunskaya -Trebunskaya made the finals in season 2 but hasn’t come close since. Her husband, Jonathon Roberts, is sitting this season out. She is paired with Olympic medalist Evan Lysacek. Past celebrity partners include Albert Reed, Steve Guttenberg and Chuck Liddell.
Ashly Costa – Formerly Ashly DelGrosso was a professional for the first three seasons of Dancing with the Stars. She left to get married and now has 2 boys. She returns as partner to Buzz Aldrin.
Chelsie Hightower – Now in her third season, Hightower is partnered with Jake Pavelka, the Bachelor who just proposed last night on the finale of The Bachelor.
Cheryl Burke – Burke, a two-time champion on Dancing with the Stars will try to repeat her earlier success with football great Emmett Smith when she pairs with Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals. Burke has also taken several partners to the finals and semi-finals proving she is one of the best partners a star can get.
Damian Whitewood – A rookie on Dancing with the Stars, Whitewood comes from Australia where he has been a champion in ballroom and Latin dancing and been with the show Burn the Floor since 2000. He is teamed up with Pamela Anderson and will have his hands, eh, full.
Derek Hough – Hough is partnered with Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls. A past winner and frequent finalist or semi-finalist, Hough and Scherzinger should do well together if they have chemistry.
Edyta Sliwinska – Married to fellow Dancing with the Stars professional Alec Mazo, who is not appearing this season, Sliwinska has competed in all nine previous seasons without winning. She is paired with soap star Aiden Turner.
Louis Van Amstel – Van Amstel brought Kelly Osbourne to the finals last season and is partnered with Niecy Nash.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy – After the break up with fellow Dancing with the Stars professional Karina Smirnoff, it was rumored that one or the other would not be returning this season. Chmerkovskiy, who has been a regular on Dancing with the Stars since season 2, is back and matched up with Erin Andrews.
Mark Ballas – Ballas, a two-time champ of Dancing with the Stars, is hoping to repeat this season with partner Shannon Dougherty.
Tony Dovolani – Dovolani, also winless since joining Dancing with the Stars in season 2 is hoping to change his luck with over-achiever Kate Gosselin.
There still has been no word on why the roster was cut to 11 or who will be replacing co-host Samantha Harris. While the show is being widely criticized for lacking any real big names this season, I will be watching every week. I’ve learned from watching past seasons that many of the “lesser-knowns” are actually quite interesting to get to know. For more about the cast of stars, read here.
Source: ABC.com, Good Morning America