‘Dancing With the Stars’: Secrets of the New Cast

Courtesy of ABC

Senior producer Deena Katz reveals the secrets behind Kendra, Kirstie and others.

On Monday, ABC announced its cast for the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars.

Kirstie Alley, reality star Kendra Wilkinson, supermodel Petra Nemcova and talk show host Wendy Williams are among the celebs hitting the dance floor March 21 on ABC (see the complete list).
Senior producer Deena Katz tells USA Today she wanted to keep things "really current" with performers who have shows on the air now and are in the news (Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward, for instance, just competed in the Super Bowl).
"I think it's going to be a great season like last season, a really tough competition and you don't have any idea from the beginning who's going to go home," she said. "On this one, everybody stands on their own merit. There is no real front-runner."
All eyes will be on Alley who has shed 60 pounds and looks forward to dropping more in the "dancing boot camp," she said. "I don't think there could be anything better, as long as you don't break your ankles, wrists and body parts."
As for Wilkinson, she said, “This is definitely my way of turning and finding my inner woman, being a lady. My life is so played out in the tabs and on TV, this is my way of showing a whole other side of me.”
Is Ward worried?
"All the former NFL guys have done fairly well, so hopefully I can carry on that tradition,” he said. “We're a bunch of prideful men in the NFL, so I don't want to be known as that guy who got kicked off first.” He already has a spot on his mantel for the mirror ball trophy. Said Ward, “It would be a nice consolation prize, especially after losing (this year's) Super Bowl."