The Television, Music and Film Entertainers
Professional Dance Partner: Lacey Schwimmer (Newcomer)
Why he's famous: Bass's claim to fame is that he made up one-fifth of the boy band 'NSync. In case you were living under a rock during the late-90's-- and at the turn of the millennium--'NSync was a big deal. The group sold over 56 million records worldwide, according to Wiki; and served as a platform for Justin Timberlake's now red-hot career. Sadly (or not), 'NSync disbanded in 2002. After that Bass was all about going into outer space, which seemed totally crazy to everyone at first. But then Bass was certified by NASA, The Russian Space Program and underwent cosmonaut training. Everyone started to think he was actually going to do the damn thing. But then Bass's sponsors backed out unexpectedly and he was denied a seat aboard the mission. Coming out the closet is the last notable thing Bass has done. Yep, He's Gay. No big deal, right? Well it earned him the cover of People in July 2006. Oh yeah, and Bass's subsequent autobiography Out of Sync made The New York Times Best Seller List in October 2007.
Professional Dance Partner: Tony Dovolani
Why she's famous: Lucci is (maybe) best known for her role as Erica Kane on the daytime soap opera All My Children; a role she's been playing for almost 40 years! The only thing Lucci might be better known for is losing at the Emmys a bunch of freakin' times. To be exact, she had 18 failed nominations...in a row! Lucci eventually won in 1999. But she should have told the academy, or whatever, to shove it. Lucci also schills hair care products and a bunch of other crap on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). And if you stay up late enough, you might even see her in an infomercial.
Professional Dance Partner: Mark Ballas (DWTS' reigning champ. Son of newcomer Corky Ballas.)
Why she's famous: Kardashian first arrived on the scene as Paris Hilton's BF
Professional Dance Partner: Corky Ballas (Newcomer and father of Mark Ballas)
Why she's famous: Does being a badass count? Leachman is perhaps best known for her role as Phyliss Lindstrom, the nosy neighbor on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. The popular character resulted in the spinoff--Phyliss. Leachman also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Last Picture Show. And according to Wiki, Leachman has won eight Emmy Awards--more than any other female performer (the opposite of Susan Lucci?). Of late, Leachman has played supporting roles in movies like Spanglish, Scary Movie 4 and, the oh-so-fantastic, Beerfest. Most recently, Leachman took part in the Roast of Bob Sagat, which aired on Comedy Central in August.
Professional Dance Partner: Julianne Hough (Two-time DWTS champion and sister of Derek Hough.)
Why he's famous: Linley is all about extremes. He's the youngest person on DWTS this season and he's the least talked about character on Hannah Montana. Okay fine, besides Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus I can't name a single person on the show.
Professional Dance Partner: Derek Hough (Nickmame should be McCreepy. Brother of Julianne Hough.)
Why she's famous: Burke is known for being the really, really hot former host of Wild On E! She used to be married to a plastic surgeon (go figure). They had two daughters but divorced in 2006. Later that year Burke announced her engagement to Baywatch's David Charvet, with whom she now also has two children. One is strangely named Heaven Rain. In 2005 Burke also hosted Rock Star, an American Idol-type show in which contestants competed to be in the rock group INXS. You may have also seen Burke in various lad mags, like Maxim and the now defunct FHM; More recently Burke swung on a swing in a Burger King commercial, which also starred Hootie, of Hootie and the Blowfish. Apparently Burke also started a company that sells wraps for pregnant women.
Inna Brayer (Newcomer)
Why he's famous: McGinley is best known for playing Jefferson D'Arcy, the second husband of Marcy D'Arcy, real-life lesbian Amanda Bearse, on the long-running series Married with Children. After 10 years, or 11 seasons, the show ended in 1997. Since then McGinley starred in the craptastic Hope & Faith with Kelly Ripa. The show ran for three seasons before it was canceled in 2006. According to Wiki, McGinley has been called the patron saint of "jumping the shark," a "reference to the popular and enduring shows which have featured him in their declining years." Such shows include Happy Days, Dynasty, The Love Boat and Married with Children (and Dancing with the Stars?).
Professional Dance Partner: Karina Smirnoff
Why he's famous: Dispirito is a celebrity chef who I, admittedly, don't know much about. He served as a guest judge for a couple episodes of Top Chef. And his, maybe fake, reality show--The Restaurant--which chronicled the daily-doings of DiSpirto and his business partner as they prepped to open a restaurant in NYC--earned him bad publicity; and was subject to some sort of controversy. The restaurant reportedly flopped shortly after opening. Apparently People named DiSpirito the 'Sexiest Chef Alive' in 2002. And his mom is known for her Italian meatballs. Beginning in October, Dispirito will star in an A&E reality series called Rocco Gets Real. Its debut will coincide with the release of his new book--Rocco Gets Real: Cook At Home Every Day.
Professional Dance Partner: Alec Mazo (DWTS' first champion. Husband of Edyta Sliwinska)
Why she's famous: Braxton was one of the most popular (if not thē most popular) songstresses of the mid-to-late-nineties. She sold 40 million records worldwide. According to Wiki, Braxton's "number one hit 'Un-Break My Heart' is the second biggest single by a female artist"...ever (whatever that means)! And who could forget the song's hot ass music video, which also starred supermodel Tyson Beckford?! But despite the staggering sales of her albums, Braxton very publicly filed for bankruptcy in 1998 due to a reported $3.9 million of debt. Consequenty, she had to sell off her household possessions and music awards, including six Grammys. Braxton sort of bounced back in 2006 when she replaced Wayne Newton as the headlining act at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas. The show's success made Braxton the "first African American performer in Las Vegas to enter the top ten Vegas show's charting," also according to Wiki. But after being hospitalized for chest pains in April 2008, Braxton decided to take a break. The show was subsequently cancelled altogether, supposedly, so she could focus on her health. Why she decided to compete in the physically taxing DWTS remains a mystery.
Professional Dance Partner: Edyta Sliwinska (Wife of Alec Mazo)
Why he's famous: Ross is a stand-up comic who has appeared on a multitude of late shows, including The Late Show with David Letterman and The Night Show with Jay Leno. But he's probably most know for participating in celebrity roasts. He's made fun of everyone from Flava Flav to Bob Saget. Ross is currently the 'Roastmaster General' for the New York Friars' Club.
Professional: Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Certified Hottie)
Why she's famous: May-Treanor is a beach volleyball champion and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Most recently May-Treanor and her partner Kerri Walsh won gold at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics; and it marked their 108th consecutive win!!
Professional Dance Partner: Cheryl Burke (DWTS two-time champion.)
Why he's famous: Greene is also two-time Olympic gold medalist. He won the 100 meter sprint and the 4x100 meter relay at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. And he holds several world sprinting records. In 1999 Greene set the 100 m world record at 9.79 s, which earned him the title of 'Word's fastest man.' Greene's 100 m record stood until 2005, when Asafa Powell beat it by .01 seconds. According to Wiki, Greene announced his retirement in February 2008 in Beijing, citing nagging injuries and a wish to see new individuals succeed in the sport. In addition to DWTS, Greene appeared on an episode of the reality dating show Blind Date.
Professional Dance Partner: Kym Johnson
Why he's famous: During his 13-year NFL career, Sapp played defensive tackle (huh?) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders. He retired in 2007. According to Wiki, Sapp's " 96.5 career sacks are the second-highest career total sacks for a defensive tackle and the 28th highest overall for a defensive lineman. His 77 sacks with the Buccaneers is second in the team's history." (But again I ask, what is this thing you call sports?) More in tune with my level of understanding, Sapp has been the source of some controversy because of his hard-hitting style and his occasional verbal outbursts, both on and off the field. Some of the said outbursts resulted in NFL fines, and Sapp was once ejected from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct; although you'd never know it based on the fun-loving attitude displayed on the show. Sapp actually seems like a lot of fun.
Images via ABC.