Local entertainer Donny Osmond will join 15 celebrities on the new season of "Dancing With the Stars." The ninth season of the ABC show premieres Sept. 21.
Osmond’s participation on the top-rated TV contest should fuel interest for his Flamingo residency with sister Marie. But while Osmond competes, the live show will drop its Tuesday performances, going from five to four shows each week.
The live show is dark this week and reopens Aug. 25. The Tuesday show will be dropped starting Sept. 7, with the two performing Wednesdays through Saturdays as long as Donny remains in competition. If he is eliminated, Tuesday shows will resume the following week.
“We hope he goes the distance,” says producer Chip Lightman. “It’s better to let Donny physically be his best” than to move the fifth show to a different day.
When the live show opened at the Flamingo in September 2008, Marie was still in competitive shape from her “Dancing” run the previous year and joked that the live show would have a sibling “dance off” because “I have to keep Donny in shape some way.”
But Donny has caught up. He lives in the hotel during show weeks and works out with a personal trainer during his days there.
Among the other contestants is former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who will join celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and sports. Other hopefuls include singers Mya, Macy Gray and Aaron Carter; actors Melissa Joan Hart, Debi Mazar and Ashley Hamilton (son of George); models Joanna Krupa and Kathy Ireland; reality stars Kelly Osbourne and Mark Dacascos ("the Chairman" on Food Network’s "Iron Chef America"); mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell; professional snowboarder Louie Vito; Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin; and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin.
The contestants were announced on Monday’s "Good Morning America" by "Dancing" host Tom Bergeron.
He also unveiled a new competitive twist.
"In the middle of our season, over three weeks, we’re going to have double eliminations," said Bergeron. "We’ll lose about half of our cast within that period. It will be a ballroom bloodbath."
Samantha Harris returns as co-host, with the panel of judges including ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer-choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at email@example.com or 702-383-0288.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.