Carson Kressley “The Fashion Guru”
Pro Partner: Anna Trebunskaya
Emmy-winning television star, celebrity stylist, author and fashion designer, Carson Kressley is currently starring in Carson-Nation, a one-hour reality show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN. In Carson-Nation, Carson travels to small towns throughout the U.S., transforming lives one person at a time.
Previously, Kressley helmed Lifetime’s critically-acclaimed show How to Look Good Naked, and earned a primetime Emmy for his role on Bravo’s breakout hit series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Kressley hosted ABC’s True Beauty, from executive producers Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher, the WB series Crowned ,and Your Own Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star on OWN. He was a frequent style contributor on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He co-starred in Universal’s The Perfect Man and opposite John Goodman in NBC’s The Year without a Santa Claus.
Kressley was the host of the 2008 True Colors tour with Cyndi Lauper and the B52′s which raised awareness and promoted equality for the LGBT community. Kressley is a New York Times best-selling author with three books to his credit including the children’s book You’re Different and That’s Super, a children’s book promoting diversity and tolerance.
A strong supporter of many philanthropic causes, Kressley has worked with The Trevor Project, The Human Rights Campaign, The Empire State Pride Agenda, LIGALY, GLSEN, AIDS WALK, and the Al D. Rodriguez Liver Foundation. He is the founder of Manhattan’s Ali Forney Center’s “Styled For Success” program, which provides career wardrobes for formerly homeless youth and he was the founding donor of the first scholarship program for LGBT youth in his hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
When Kressley is not working, he can be found on one of his American Saddlebred show horses, with which he has achieved World Champion status.
Chaz Bono “The Most Unexpected”
Pro Partner: Lacey Schwimmer
If you just know him as the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher, then you don’t know Chaz Bono!
Chaz is an LGBT rights advocate, three-time author, speaker and Chaz’s decision to come out as a lesbian in 1995 prompted his public work in support of LGBT rights and social justice. He has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and, in 1996, became the Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Day spokesperson. Chaz also served as Entertainment Media Director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and has spoken at dozens of universities and LGBT events.
An acclaimed author, Chaz has written three books including Transition, his groundbreaking and candid account of a 40-year struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body. He shared his life and experiences in the three-time Emmy nominated documentary, Becoming Chaz. Premiering to standing ovations at this year’s Sundance Festival, Becoming Chaz had its world television premiere in May of 2011 on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Chaz continues to create visibility, cause awareness and impact change for LGBT issues. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his fiancée, Jennifer Elia. She’ll surely be cheering Chaz on as he tries to tango to the top of the leaderboard each week on Dancing With The Stars.
Chynna Phillips “The Pop Princess”
Pro Partner: Tony Dovolani
Wife, mother, singer/songwriter, actress, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Chynna Phillips has been surrounded by Hollywood since…well…forever!
Born to musicians John and Michelle Phillips of famed 60′s group The Mamas and The Papas, Chynna began her acting career appearing in John Hughes’ hit teen flick Some Kind of Wonderful. She followed up with roles in Caddyshack II, Say Anything…, and played Roxanne Pulitzer in the TV biopic Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer.
As you probably know, Chynna, along with childhood friends Carnie and Wendy Wilson, formed the trio Wilson Phillips. In 1990, the group released their self-titled debut album which would go on to sell ten million copies worldwide, go 5x multi-platinum, with three #1 singles. Billboard declared them the best-selling female group of all time, breaking the record previously set by The Supremes. Wilson Phillips was nominated for five Grammy Awards, an American Music Award and won a Billboard Music Award (for “Hold On” and “Release Me”, written by Chynna).
Taking a break from the group, Chynna released a successful solo album entitled Naked & Sacred while also filming and starring in the lead role of the television remake of famed Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie. That same year she also married husband and fellow actor William Baldwin. She then took time off to focus on her family and had three children while also reclaiming herself and becoming a Christian.
In 2004, Chynna reunited with Wilson Phillips as the group released its 3rd album California, which paid homage to West Coast musicians from the 1960′s and 1970′s. In 2009, she teamed up with singer/songwriter Vaughan Penn to form the Christian pop duo Chynna & Vaughan. They put out an album titled One Reason. Shortly thereafter, Wilson Phillips also released their first Christmas Album Wilson Phillips Christmas in Harmony.
In 2011, Chynna announced that Wilson Phillips would be reuniting again for an original album to celebrate their 20 years together as a musical group. The group was also featured in the blockbuster comedy film Bridesmaids.
Chynna works with the charity Los Angelitos Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, which is devoted to helping children who are displaced by the constant violence in the city and to creating a warm and loving environment for the kids.
David Arquette “King of the Big Scream”
Pro Partner: Kym Johnson
David Arquette is an actor, writer, director, producer and, now, a competitor on Dancing With The Stars!
In 1997, David was discovered at Sundance for his role in johns. Since that time, he has acted in dozens of feature films, including the Scream flicks, Hamlet 2, The Grey Zone, Dream with the Fishes, Never Die Alone and The Darwin Awards. This year, David reprised his role as Deputy Dewey Riley in the much anticipated fourth installment of the Scream films. David also joined the cast of the Disney Television interactive series Jake and the Never Land Pirates, where he lends his voice as Scully, a lookout pirate parrot who helps Jake and his crew of kid pirates.
In January of 2003, David formed a production company, Coquette Productions, with Courteney Cox. Through their company, he wrote and produced his directorial debut, The Tripper as well as The Butlers in Love, in which he serves as executive producer and director. Also under the Coquette banner, David was a producer for the F/X drama, “Dirt” and ABC’s Cougar Town. Up next, Arquette will direct the 3D psychological thriller Glutton for Remember Dreaming Productions and will executive produce through Coquette.
As busy as David is, we’re glad he found time to compete for that coveted Mirrorball trophy on Dancing With The Stars!
Elisabetta Canalis “The Italian Beauty”
Pro Partner: Val Chmerkovskiy
Known for her gorgeous figure and striking expressions, Elisabetta became an instantly recognizable figure in the world of high fashion and advertising. Now we get to see her center stage on Dancing With The Stars!
Elisabetta has worked with some of the world’s greatest fashion icons, including Roberto Cavalli, and has graced numerous magazine covers such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Cosmopolitan. Born in Sassari, Sardinia, Italy, her mom and dad enrolled Elisabetta in the elite school Liceo Azuni where she studied throughout her high school years.
After graduating, Elisabetta moved to Milan to study foreign languages at the prestigious Universita Statale. It was there Elisabetta made the bold career decision to pursue acting rather than foreign languages studies, and her passion for her craft landed her a series regular role on the infamous Italian television drama Striscia la Notizia for three years. Sounds like that bold career choice was for the best.
The exposure and critical acclaim she received presented Elisabetta the opportunity to work in American and Italian film and TV. She has since appeared in the comedies Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo and Virgin Territory. In Italy, she appeared in the films La Seconda Volta Non Si Scorda Mai, La fidanzata di papa, A Natale mi Sposo, as well as Christmas in NY.
On television, Elisabetta has appeared in Italian series Carabinieri and the sitcom Love Bugs. Elisabetta has also demonstrated her impressive dramatic capabilities in America with a recurring role on TNT’s smash hit Leverage. Her drive for success and passion for music united when she hosted the Italian version of Total Request Live as well as Italy’s annual music festival, Festivalbar 2007. Recently, she co-hosted the 61st edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, which is considered to be the most prestigious television event in Italy.
Elisabetta is also known for her great philanthropic endeavors. Combining her deep love of animals and her passion for modeling, Elisabetta recently participated in an upcoming anti-fur campaign with PETA. An avid equestrian for the past 10 years, she says that her opposition to animal cruelty began as a young girl. Her work with PETA solidifies her determination to end all forms of animal abuse and neglect.
Elisabetta currently resides in Los Angeles and Milan but she loves returning to Sardinia, the island she was born and where part of her family lives. Wonder if any of her relatives will fly in to cheer her on as Elisabetta takes center stage on Dancing With The Stars!
Hope Solo “The Soccer Superstar”
Pro Partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Soccer superstar Hope Solo will be getting her kicks in a whole new arena as she brings her competitive spirit to the Dancing With The Stars stage.
Hope Solo is widely considered the best goalkeeper in the world and has been the starter for the United States Women’s National Team since 2005. She scored 109 goals as a high school forward before moving to goal at the University of Washington near her hometown of Richland.
At the 2011 World Cup, Hope recorded two shutouts in group play and then, in what is considered one of the greatest soccer games in history, made a save on a penalty shootout against Brazil in the quarterfinal, helping the Americans advance to the semis. The U.S. reached the finals, falling to Japan in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw.
Hope was awarded the Golden Glove by FIFA as the tournament’s top goalkeeper. She was also the starting goalkeeper for the United States in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where the U.S. women’s team won the gold medal by defeating Brazil 1-0 in extra time. This was in no small measure due to Hope’s performance as she stopped an energetic Brazilian attack, making save after save.
Hope began her Women’s Professional Soccer career playing for Saint Louis Athletica and was named Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009. Since then, she has played for the Atlanta Beat and currently plays for MagicJack as the starting goalkeeper and is a two-time WPS All Star. Not bad. Not bad at all.
When not playing soccer, Hope enjoys reading, basketball, beach volleyball and other outdoor activities. She loves traveling the world and gives back through community service projects. We’re pretty sure she’ll also love the challenge of trying to win it all on Dancing With The Stars!
J.R. Martinez “Soap’s Real-Life Hero”
Pro Partner: Karina Smirnoff
J.R. Martinez is an Iraq war veteran, motivational speaker and actor on ABC’s All My Children. In April 2003, at 19 years old, he was serving as a Humvee driver for the U.S. Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine. He suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body.
J.R. was immediately evacuated and sent to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio where he spent 34 months in recovery. Since his injury, he has undergone 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. While in recovery, he started speaking to other burn patients within the hospital, sharing his experiences and listening to theirs. News of his story and efforts to help others quickly spread, first on a local level and then to national circuits, leading to appearances on Oprah, 60 Minutes, CNN and more.
Bilingual in English and Spanish, J.R. has traveled the country since 2004, spreading his message of resilience and optimism. Today he is a sought-after motivational speaker and has shared the stage with many notable individuals. In October 2008, J.R. joined the cast of ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama All My Children as combat veteran Brot Monroe.
Born in Shreveport, LA, he moved to Hope, AR, where he and his mother lived until he was 17. They moved to Dalton, GA, just prior to his senior year, the place J.R. proudly calls his hometown. J.R. continues to balance his motivational speaking engagements and charity work with his acting. He is also busy working on his memoir. We’re thinking he should leave that last chapter open for now until he finds out just how far he goes on Dancing With The Stars!
Kristin Cavallari “The Reality Sweetheart”
Pro Partner: Mark Ballas
There was a time when you had to head for The Hills to see Kristin Cavallari. Now all you have to do is go back to the ballroom as this TV and big screen beauty takes the stage on Dancing With The Stars!
Born in Denver, Colorado, Kristin moved to California as a high school junior when the first season of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County began production for MTV. She made her presence known instantly, as she was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in 2006 for Choice Reality Star.
After completing two successful years on the hit MTV show, Kristin switched gears to focus on a career in acting. She starred in such films as Van Wilder: Freshman Year, Green Flash, Spring Breakdown and Wild Cherry. Next, she scored a guest role on CSI: NY and, most recently, she got some laughs on ABC’s The Middle.
Other credits include Veronica Mars, the lead role in Teddy Geiger’s For You I Will (Confidence) music video and Gavin DeGraw’s video for his single In Love with a Girl. In May 2009, Kristin joined the cast of MTV’s reality series The Hills.
Currently serving as ambassador of the children’s charity One Kid One World, Kristin joins the fight to aid underprivileged children around the globe. In 2010, she traveled to El Salvador where she dedicated personal time towards rebuilding schools in local communities. Continuing her humanitarian efforts, Kristin made her way to Kenya in early 2011 for another project for One Kid One World.
Most recently, Kristin combined her passion for fashion and love for charity. She teamed up with Shoe Dazzle to design a spring shoe with proceeds benefiting One Kid One World. Her new spring shoe, named Bardot, was slated for release in the summer of 2011. But right now, Kristin is focusing on the fall of 2011 as she tries to win it all on Dancing With The Stars!
Nancy Grace “The Courtroom Queen”
Pro Partner: Tristan MacManus
An outspoken, tireless advocate for victims’ rights and one of TV’s most respected legal analysts, Nancy Grace is the powerful force behind HLN’s top-rated show that bears her name. Now she hopes to make an equally powerful impact in the ballroom on Dancing With The Stars!
A former prosecutor with an unparalleled record of success, Nancy’s life changed forever in 1979 when her fiancé, Keith Griffin, was shot and killed. Nancy abandoned plans to become an English professor and turned to criminal justice.
Nancy’s first book, Objection!, became an instant New York Times bestseller, as did her two subsequent novels, The Eleventh Victim and Death on the D-List. A television movie adaptation of The Eleventh Victim is currently in development.
Nancy Grace initially came to TV from the Atlanta Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, where she served over a decade as a felony prosecutor of violent crimes. Known for her authentic sensibility and her firebrand take on the justice system, she was tapped to co- host Court TV’s Cochran and Grace and, later, the live daily trial coverage program, Closing Arguments. Nancy, her husband and her twins reside in Atlanta and New York City, and all of her earnings from Dancing with the Stars will benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Ricki Lake “Daytime’s Darling”
Pro Partner: Derek Hough
Poised to return to daytime television with an all-new talk show in the fall of 2012, Ricki Lake is a pop culture icon who has built a career on her candid, “straight talk” sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature. She has maintained a worldwide fan base that is a true cross-section of age and ethnicity, and her approachable appeal has charmed international movie and television audiences for more than two decades.
As Tracy Turnblad, the zaftig heroine of the original John Waters’ film Hairspray, Ricki made an acting debut that positioned her as an “entertainer to watch” in Hollywood. Later, with a surprise turn as a talk show host, she met with unprecedented success and earned her place as a beloved media personality across the globe.
Ricki recently completed work on a memoir due on shelves in the spring of 2012. She also executive produced the critically acclaimed documentary The Business of Being Born, which debuted at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and examined natural childbirth in the United States. That project has generated a grassroots movement and led to the publication of her first book, Your Best Birth.
On November 8, 2011, Ricki and her filmmaking partner, Abby Epstein, will release a four-part, follow-up DVD series, More Business of Being Born, offering invaluable information and featuring birth stories from some of Hollywood’s most notable celebrities.
Ricki starred in John Waters’ Cry-Baby opposite Johnny Depp and Serial Mom alongside Kathleen Turner. Other notable appearances include the contemporary classic Working Girl, the acclaimed drama Last Exit to Brooklyn, the romantic comedy Mrs. Winterbourne opposite Shirley MacLaine and Brendan Fraser and Where the Day Takes You opposite Dermot Mulroney. She also starred in the CBS film Babycakes and the popular television series China Beach and The King of Queens.
Rob Kardashian “Reality’s Royalty”
Pro Partner: Cheryl Burke
Little did the Season 13 Dancing With The Stars competitors know that they be asked to keep up with a Kardashian.
Born in Los Angeles, Rob Kardashian is the fourth child and only son of the late attorney Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner. Rob has five sisters, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
Rob graduated from the prestigious Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California with a degree in Business Entrepreneurship. Rob stars in the hit reality television show Keeping Up With The Kardashians and in the hit reality series for E! titled Khloe & Lamar.
True to the entrepreneurial attitude he developed during college, Rob is involved in several business ventures. He’s co-manager of the pop music, female super-group, BG5 alongside renowned manager Kenneth Crear. He enjoys a successful modeling career as the face of the popular brand, Ocean Pacific. Rob also travels across the country making personal appearances for club venues and charity events.
In his spare time, Rob loves to maintain an active lifestyle. He runs and plays basketball with his NBA Laker champion brother-in-law, Lamar Odom. He loves to play golf and is an avid skier. Rob currently lives in Los Angeles with his sisters Khloe, and Lamar. We have no doubt that more than a few of Rob’s famous family members will be sitting front and center to cheer him on as he tries to win it all on Dancing With The Stars!
Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace “The NBA Champion”
Pro Partner: Peta Murgatroyd
From one hardwood floor to another, basketball star Ron Artest hopes to execute some slam dunk moves on Season 13 of Dancing With The Stars!
Born in Queensbridge, New York, Ron Artest is currently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and a father to four children. He was signed to a five-year contract by the Lakers as a free agent in 2009 and has been playing professional basketball in the NBA since 1999. He was selected to the 2005-06 NBA’s All-Defensive Team, was voted by the media as 2003-04 NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, and was the only man with 271 steals in his first two seasons in the NBA—breaking Michael Jordan’s record.
Ron won his first World Championship ring in June 2010 after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. He received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the NBA’s highest citizenship and community service honor, in April 2011. In his career, he has played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Houston Rockets before heading to LaLaLand.
Ron has remained an active contributor in his hometown and in the cities of organizations for which he has played, working simultaneously in global regions that require urgent humanitarian aid. He formed a nonprofit in August 2007, entitled “Xcel University,” to officially organize and streamline his charitable contributions and community endeavors under one umbrella. He joined a contingent of representatives from the NBA Players Association working with Feed the Children, as well as Project Contact Africa and became a spokesman in the PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) A.B.C. (Animal Birth Control) campaign in 2007.
In the fall of 2008, Ron launched “The Artest Math Masters” program at Felix Cook Jr. Elementary School in partnership with the Houston Independent School District which rewarded students who maintained high grades in Mathematics during the 2008-2009 school year. In fall 2010, Ron decided to raffle off his 2010 NBA World Championship Ring with the proceeds going to his nonprofit, Xcel University. Funds raised through the ring raffle were earmarked to be donated to non-profits that provide mental health therapists and mental health services to those who wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford them.
Ron has visited dozens of community centers, schools and libraries in low income areas of numerous cities throughout his career, speaking to kids about the virtues of education and a life devoid of violence and drugs, and on the importance of getting a college education. He sponsors summer basketball tournaments in the Queensbridge Projects in New York City, sends kids from Queensbridge to summer camps and pays tuition for kids from Queensbridge who show academic promise to attend private schools.
In June of 2011, Ron filed a petition to legally change his name to Metta World Peace. If the paperwork goes through in time, perhaps he’ll get a chance to have his new name engraved on a snazzy Mirrorball Trophy!
source – abc.com