[05/10/05 - 12:00 AM]
Dancing with the Stars Teams Celebrities with Professional Dancers in a Dazzling and Suspenseful Live Ballroom Dancing Competition

[via press release from ABC]


Series Features Trista Sutter (�The Bachelorette�), Supermodel Rachel Hunter, Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, Joey McIntyre (Formerly of New Kids on the Block), John O�Hurley (�Seinfeld�) and Soap Star Kelly Monaco (�General Hospital�), All Paired with Professional Ballroom Dancing Partners for a Live, Knockout Competition

What do a reality show star, a supermodel, a boxing champ, an actor, a singer and a soap star have in common? They�re all embarking on an intense competition, learning to ballroom dance in front of the nation and be critiqued by both viewers and judges alike!

�Dancing with the Stars� is a totally unique and original series that pairs a celebrity with a professional dance partner as they train and then compete in front of a studio audience in a televised dance competition. They will be judged by a panel of experts and also by viewers at home, with one couple being eliminated each week. �Dancing with the Stars� debuts WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET), live!

�Dancing with the Stars� has broad appeal, offering viewers dazzling costumes, dancing, celebrity gossip, behind-the-scenes training and contemporary music performed by a live 15-piece band. The format has already been an international hit in several countries.

The following pairs will compete:

Trista Sutter and Louis van Amstel � As the star of the romantic reality series, �The Bachelorette,� Trista is no stranger to televised competition: She met and married her husband of 17 months on television. Trista comes to the competition with some dance experience, having performed with the Miami Heat dancers at NBA games. She admits that hip-hop dancing is very different from ballroom-style dancing. Luckily her dance partner, Louis van Amstel, is a legend in the dance world, particularly in the style of Latin dance. He holds several titles, including the United States Professional Latin Champion and World Professional Show Dance Champion, and he directed and produced �Latin Fusion� on Broadway.

Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts � Since 1989, when she posed for the cover of Sports Illustrated, Rachel Hunter has become one of the world�s most recognizable faces. She has posed for hundreds of magazines, including Vogue and Elle, and has represented such cosmetic lines as Revlon, Covergirl and Pantene. Recently she�s moved into the acting arena with appearances on �Suddenly Susan� and �The Drew Carey Show,� and in one of last year�s most popular music videos, �Stacey�s Mom,� by the Fountains of Wayne. She will be led by Jonathan Roberts, who brings ten years of dance experience to the competition. Jonathan is the 2004 USA Rising Star Latin Champion and the twice-undefeated USA Pro-Am 10 Dance Champion. He continues to compete and represent the USA in several Pro-Am competitions.

Evander Holyfield and Edyta Sliwinska � Evander Holyfield became the Heavyweight Champion of the world in 1990 and has won the title four times. As a professional boxer, he has faced numerous legends in the ring, including George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. His dance partner is Edyta Sliwinska, who took first place in both the 2001 International Grand Ballroom Competition and the 2001 Holiday Ball. Edyta is currently dating her dance partner and another competitor, Alec Mazo (Kelly Monaco�s dance partner).

Joey McIntyre and Ashly Delgrosso � As a former member of the one of the original boy bands, New Kids on the Block, Joey McIntyre grew up dancing and singing -- but never ballroom! As an adult he transitioned into acting and recently starred on Broadway, first in �Tick Tick Boom� and then in �Wicked.� He has also appeared on ABC�s �Boston Legal.� His dance partner is Ashly Delgrosso, who has danced for her entire life. With her former dance partner and ex-husband, she has won several Amateur Ten Dance titles.

John O�Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen � Best known for his role as charismatic catalogue king J. Peterman on the hit series �Seinfeld,� John is an all-around entertainer. In addition to his numerous television credits, he has many stage credits. He also runs a busy company and performs comedy. His partner, Danish beauty Charlotte Jorgensen, has been dancing since the age of ten. She has held several titles, including 1999 U.S. Open Champion and 1998 Japanese Open International Ballroom Champion. Charlotte was Richard Gere�s dance instructor as he prepared for the film �Shall We Dance.�

Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo � Currently starring on the ABC Daytime drama �General Hospital,� Kelly gained national attention when she was featured in the May 1997 edition of Playboy magazine. Her partner, Alec Mazo, began dancing at age five in his native Russia. He was the Emerald Ball Latin Champion and placed first in the 2001 International Grand Ball and the 2001 Holiday Ball. He also runs the largest and most successful dance studio in Southern California. Alec recently began competing professionally with his girlfriend of four years, Edyta Sliwinska, who is partnered with Evander Holyfield for this competition.

In addition to learning precise movements and maneuvering in extravagant costumes, the pairs must maintain their focus, grace and composure during extremely high-pressured competition. Will they remain compatible during the process?

The couples have already embarked on intense training in preparation for the first live show. During the live shows, judges will give a score based on several factors, including technical execution. But the judges� scores alone do not decide a couple�s fate. Viewers at home can call in and vote for their favorites. The scores from viewers are combined with the judges� for an ultimate score that determines each couple�s ranking. At the end of the evening, the couple with the lowest score is eliminated (although no couple will be eliminated in the first show). When the final two couples remain, the ultimate dance-off will determine who wins the trophy.

�Dancing with the Stars� is the American version of the international smash hit series, �Strictly Come Dancing.� This version is produced in America by BBC Worldwide. Richard Hopkins (UK) and Conrad Green (USA) are executive producers. Izzie Pick is supervising producer. Alex Rudzinski directs.

  [may 2005]  


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