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[03/09/09 - 10:03 PM]
ABC Announced Two New Celebrity Contestants Live on "Dancing with the Stars," Monday, March 9
"The Bachelor's" Melissa Rycroft and "The Girls Next Door's" Holly Madison took over for "fallen stars" Nancy O'Dell and Jewel.

[via press release from ABC]

ABC ANNOUNCED TWO NEW CELEBRITY CONTESTANTS LIVE ON "DANCING WITH THE STARS," MONDAY, MARCH 9

"The Bachelor's" Melissa Rycroft and TV Star Holly Madison Join the Cast with Less Than a Week to Train, Replacing the Injured Jewel and Nancy O'Dell

In the most highly anticipated season premiere of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," MONDAY, MARCH 9 (8:00-10:02 p.m., ET), two new participants were unveiled, gallantly replacing "fallen stars" Nancy O'Dell (host of "Access Hollywood") and multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jewel. Holly Madison ("The Girls Next Door") and Melissa Rycroft ("The Bachelor") stepped onto the dance floor in heroic fashion with just days to prepare for their nationally televised ballroom dancing debut. Both women displayed true character and strength, overcoming nerves, anxiety and the pressure to perform in front of a live audience.

Just one week after the most shocking and talked about season finale of ABC's "The Bachelor," Melissa, the woman who "waltzed" her way into America's hearts after being betrayed by Bachelor Jason Mesnick, danced her way onto the ballroom floor tonight, mustering up the courage to move on. Melissa is paired with professional dancer Tony Dovolani, who was previously with Nancy O'Dell.

With Jewel's former partner, Dmitry Chaplin, by her side, Holly wore her heart on her sleeve and laid it all out on the floor. The studio audience gave her a warm welcome and showed their appreciation for the courage she personified by answering the call to action at a moment's notice.

Nancy and Jewel appeared during the live show to address their injuries and bid farewell. The two women were diagnosed with a torn meniscus and fractured tibia in both legs, respectively.

Holly and Melissa join the following cast members and their partners to compete for the coveted mirror ball trophy:

Belinda Carlisle (lead singer of the Go-Go's) and partner Jonathan Roberts

David Alan Grier (comedian and actor) and partner Kym Johnson

Shawn Johnson (Olympic gymnastics medalist) and partner Mark Ballas

Lil' Kim (Grammy Award winning rapper) and partner, reigning champion Derek Hough

Gilles Marini (model and actor) and partner Cheryl Burke

Ty Murray ("King of Cowboys") and partner, newcomer Chelsie Hightower

Steve-O (star of "Jackass" and "Wildboyz") and partner Lacey Schwimmer

Denise Richards (actress) and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Lawrence Taylor (National Football League Hall of Famer, a.k.a. "LT") and partner Edyta Sliwinska

Chuck Wicks (country music star) and partner Julianne Hough

Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple, a.k.a. "The Woz) and partner Karina Smirnoff

Hosted by Tom Bergeron ("America's Funniest Home Videos") and Samantha Harris ("The Insider"), "Dancing with the Stars" is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, "Strictly Come Dancing." This version is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Conrad Green serves as executive producer and Rob Wade and Matilda Zoltowski are co-executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs. "Dancing with the Stars" is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound and Spanish audio via SAP.





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· ACCESS HOLLYWOOD (SYNDICATION)
· AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS (ABC)
· BACHELOR, THE (ABC)
· DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
· GIRLS NEXT DOOR, THE (E)
· INSIDER, THE (SYNDICATION)
· JACKASS (MTV)
· WILDBOYZ (MTV2)





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