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DWTS 13: New cast

When the cast for season 13 was revealed last night, there were a few surprises. The biggest was no football heroes. Then there was the Hugh Hefner presence. None of his former girlfriends was part of the cast. Even more surprising: no Disney stars. There is an Olympic gold medal winner: Hope Solo.

David Arquette is an actor and movie producer who is mostly known for Hollywood movies from the 1990s and being married to former “Friends” star and current “Cougar Town” headliner Courteney Cox. The couple is currently separated but friendly.

Arquette was in such movies as the 1996-2011 4-movie”Scream” series, “Wild Bill” and the original 1992 movie “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” He might be considered an athlete since he won the one-time WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000.  If I remember correctly, he was also in a stage version of “Rocky Horror” in Hollywood in the 1990s.

Born 8 September 1971 in Winchester, Virginia, Arquette is 39. His siblings (Rosanna, Alexis, Richmond and Patricia) are also actors. Arquette appeared on Patricia Arquette’s series “Medium” as her brother Michael.

Ron Artest was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. He is known for his outspoken behavior, but nothing as bad as Dennis Rodman so far. He was part of the Pacers-Pistons Brawl in 2004 during the 1 November 2004 game between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. A drink was thrown from the stands  at Artest, then a Pacers team member. Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season (86 games).  Four other Pacers received suspensions (30-1 games) and four Pistons were also suspended (6-1 games).

Artest was with the Chicago Bulls (1999-2002), then the Indiana Pacers (2002-2006), the Sacramento Kings (2006-2008), the Houston Rockets (2008-2009) and finally with the Lakers (2009 to present). He was part of the NBA championship team in 2010.

Born in Queens, New York on 13 November 1979, Artest is 31.

Chaz Bono has brought up in the spotlight as the only child of Sonny Bono and Cher. Born a girl (Chastity Bono) on 4 March 1969, Bono is a transgender man. Bono came out to her parents as a lesbian when she was 18 and she was not initially accepted by her parents according to her 1998 book, “Family Outing.” Bono came out as a lesbian in 1995 with an interview published in “The Advocate.” A year later, her mother Cher agreed to appear on the cover of the same magazine as the proud parent of a lesbian. When her father Sonny Bono died from a skiing accident in January 1998, Chaz and her father had not spoken for about a year.

Bono’s physical transition from female to male began in 2008. The legal transition was completed last year (2010) and the documentary “Becoming Chaz” on his sex change debuted at the Sunday Film Festival this year.

At 42, the transgender activist and spokesman will have to get in shape to keep up with some of the younger contestants.

Elisabetta Canalis is listed as a model, but the Italian-born beauty has had small acting roles in movies such as the 2005 “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” and in Italian movies. In 2010, she had a recurring role on the TNT series “Leverage.”

To American audience members, she might be best known as George Clooney’s former girlfriend (June 2009-June 2011).

Born in Sassari, Italy on 12 September 1978, she is 32.

Kristin Elizabeth Cavallari is a reality TV star, from MTV’s “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County” and “The Hills.” You might recall that her castmate, Audrina Patridge (seasons 1-6) was also on “Dancing with the Stars” during season 11. Patridge was paired with Tony Dovolani and did moderately well with the judges, but were eliminated during week 6 and finished seventh due to lack of fan support. Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough won that season. Yet the big surprise that season was the support base for Bristol Palin.

Cavallari was only on “The Hills” season 5-6. Does she have the fan base to win DWTS? Her UPN reality series “Get This Party Started” was canceled after two episodes due to low ratings in 2006.

The Denver, Colorado born Cavallari is 24 (5 January 1987).

Nancy Grace is perhaps the most educated contestant. She received her B.A. and J.D. from  Mercer University and Master of Laws from New York University. Originally, she had intended to be an English teacher because of her love for Shakespeare, but when her fiance was murdered, she enrolled in law school to become a felony prosecutor and to fight for victims’ rights.

Grace was a special prosecutor for the Atlanta-Fulton County District Attorney in Georgia where she worked on serial murder, serial rape, serial child molestation and arson cases. There were accusations of prosecutorial misconduct in 1994, 1997 and 2002.

Since leaving the the district attorney’s office, she has become a legal commentator on a variety of programs including “Closing Arguments” from 1996-2007 and “Nancy Grace” from 2005-present.

Grace was born in Macon, Georgia on 23 October 1959. She is married to David Linch (since 2007) and has two children. At 51, she is one of the older contestants.

Rob Kardashian Jr. is a reality star from “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “Khloe & Lamar.”  Kardashian graduated from USC in 2009 with a B.A. in business. He is a manager for a music group, BG5. He has worked as a model. None of these things suggest that he will do well on DWTS.

His sister Kim appeared on DWTS on season 7 with the popular Mark Ballas as her partner, but they were the third couple eliminated. And that was in 2008, after her sex tape with Ray J. surfaced in February 2007.

Rob was born in Los Angeles on 17 March 1987, and at 24 he should have the stamina and as a model the looks, but does he have a fan base? If Kim didn’t, then it’s really doubtful he will.

Carson Kressley may be an unfamiliar name to most but he was the fashion expert for the TV program “Queer Eye” as one of the Fab Five on the Bravo series which ran from 2003-2007. The series won an Emmy in 2004. He is also the host for the Lifetime TV show, “How to Look Good Naked” the U. S. version of a successful British show.  Then there’s “Carson-Nation” a new reality show where Carson travels to small towns in the U.S. and transforms one person.

Kressley was born in Pennsylvania (11 November 1979) and currently lives in New York City. He worked for Ralph Lauren from 1994-2002. Besides being a stylist and fashion savant, he is a respected horse show exhibitor of Saddlebred show horses.

Ricki Lake starred in the original John Waters’ 1988 film “Hairspray” and  Divine played her mother.  Sonny Bono and Debbie Harry played the pushy parents of her enemy Amber Von Tussle (Coleen Fitzpatrick). She appeared in other Waters films such as the 2000 “Cecil B. Demented” which starred Melanie Griffith and Maggie Gyllenhaal (with a cameo by Patricia Hearst), the 1990 musical “Cry-Baby” which starred Johnny Depp, Iggy Pop and Traci Lords (and Patty Hearst), and the 1994 “Serial Mom”  which starred Kathleen Turner (Lake played her daughter). Lake recently had a cameo appearance in the 2007 musical movie version of “Hairspray.”

Lake joined the cast of the Vietnam War TV series “China Beach” during season 3. The series ran for four seasons (1988-1991).  Lake had a daytime talk show from 1993-2004. Lake is developing a new talk show set to begin in  September 2012.

Lake is a divorced mother of two boys. They recently escaped a fire that destroyed their Malibu home in 2010. Lake is 42 (21 September 1968).

J.R. Martinez is a former U.S. Army soldier who in 2003 received severe burns over 40 percent of his body while in Iraq. The Humvee he was driving hit a landmine. He underwent over 30 surgeries. He travels around the country as a motivational speaker. He currently plays Brot Monroe on ABC’s soap opera “All My Children” (since 7 November 2008).

Martinez may have a fan base from the soap opera crowd as well as former and current soldiers. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Martinez has family ties to El Salvador and is 28 (14 June 1983).

Chynna Phillips (43) was born in Los Angeles, on 12 February 1968 to John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Paspas band. She is the half-sister of Mackenzie Phillips, Bijou Phillips, Jeffrey Phillips, Tamerlane Phillips and Austin Hines.

Phillips appeared in the 1987 “Some Kind of Wonderful,” in the 1988 “Moving Target” and in the 1989 “Say Anything.” She starred as the title character in the 1989 biographical movie “Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer.”

With Carnie and Wendy Wilson, she formed the Wilson Phillips and released an self-titled debut album in 1990. Their second album, “Shadows and Light,” was considered a commercial failure when released in 1992. Her own debut solo album “Naked and Sacred” was also unsuccessful in 1995. Wilson Phillips reunited in 2004 to record covers of popular songs from West Coast  singers during the 1960s-1970s.

More recently, she teamed with singer Vaughan Penn as “Chynna and Penn” and released “One Reason” in 2009.

Phillips is married to William Baldwin (1995) and they have two daughters and one son.

Hope Solo was born in Richland, Washington on 30 July 1981. She is the current goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s national soccer team. As part of the Olympics team that went to Beijing in 2008, she won a gold medal. The team defeated Brazil.

Her father was a Vietnam vet who divorced when Solo was six. It was her father Jeffrey, who taught her how to play soccer.

Solo has played for the Washington Huskies (1999-2002), the Philadelphia Charge (2003), Kopparbergs/Goteborg in Sweden (2004), Lyon in France (2005), Saint Louis Athletica (2009-2010), the Atlanta Beat (2010) and currently is with the magicJack.

Solo was part of the FIFA 2011 US team. The U.S. team lost to Japan 3-1 in the finals, but Solo won the “Gold Glove” award for best goalkeeper and the “Bronze Ball” award for overall performance during the tournament and was named to the all-star team.

Dancing with the Stars will begin on 19 September 2011 and end on 21 November 2011 on ABC. Returning professional dancers will be: Derek Hough, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Tony Dovolani, Mark Ballas, Lacey Schwimmer, Karina Smirnoff, Anna Trebunskaya, and Kym Johnson. New professional dancers will be: Valentin Chmerkovski, Peta Murgatroyd and Tristan McManus. Valentin is Maksim’s brother. Murgatroyd and McManus were in the DWTS dance troupe last season.