Wynonna Judd competes as half-sister Ashley considers Senate run
Unpredictable comedian? Check. Olympians? Check. Bunch of people you've never heard of? Of course.
ABC announced the new contestants for fading reality series "Dancing With the Stars" Tuesday, and went with the usual mix of young Disney talent, athletes, and weirdos.
Andy Dick will provide the unpredictability, given a history of alcohol-related groping and indecent exposure arrests. D.L. Hughley will also represent the comedy world, but is more likely to keep his clothes on.
Wynonna Judd and Kellie Pickler will give country music fans a couple of people to root for. And Judd could be this year's Bristol Palin — in other words, someone sort of political — if half-sister Ashley Judd opts to run for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky.
Olympians Dorothy Hamill and Alexandra Raisman will add some respectability to the whole affair. NFL star Jacoby Jones and boxer Victor Ortiz's athleticism make them serious contenders as well, to the extent that anything about "DWTS" is serious.
The show will need lots of competitors who know how to stage a comeback, because it's attempting one as well. Ratings are down, and a recent All-Star season failed to inject new life into the series.
Here's the full list of contenders, as well as their official ABC bios to remind you, in a few cases, who they are:
ZENDAYA COLEMAN – Multi-talented actress and singer Zendaya Coleman stars as Raquel “Rocky” Blue, one half of the comedic duo in the hit Disney Channel series “Shake It Up!,” and is currently recording her debut album on Hollywood Records. Born September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California, Coleman grew up as part of the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, where her mother works as the House Manager. In addition to training at the theater’s student conservatory program and later performing in numerous stage productions, Coleman helped her mom seat patrons and sell raffle tickets to benefit the theater. While attending the Oakland School for the Arts, she starred as Little Ti Moune in “Once on This Island” at the Berkley Playhouse, and in the breakout role of the male character Joe in “Caroline, or Change” at Palo Alto’s TheaterWorks. She also studied at the CalShakes Conservatory program and at the American Conservatory Theater. Coleman has performed around the world, including at the White House and in the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and she tours select cities with her Z-Swagg Dancers and Singers. The name Zendaya is derived from the word that means “to give thanks” in Shona (a Bantu language native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe). Coleman has been a fashion model for Macy’s, Mervyns and Old Navy, and was also one of the back-up dancers in a Sears commercial featuring Disney Channel star Selena Gomez. She now resides in Los Angeles, California with her family and dog, a giant Schnauzer named Midnight. ZENDAYA COLEMAN partners with VAL CHMERKOVSKIY.
ANDY DICK – Andy Dick is an American comedian, actor, writer, director, musician and producer. Dick grew up in the Chicago area, where he was involved in numerous stage productions. During his senior year of high school, his love of performing proved decisive, as he was elected homecoming king. His first regular television role was on the short-lived but influential “Ben Stiller Show.” Dick was a mainstay on network television from 1995-2006 on NBC’s “NewsRadio” and ABC’s “Less Than Perfect.” In 2001 he wrote, directed, produced and starred in “The Andy Dick Show” for MTV. He has also starred in a number of feature films, including “In the Army Now,” “Employee of the Month” and “The Hebrew Hammer.” In addition he has made memorable appearances in feature films such as “Zoolander,” “The Cable Guy,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Road Trip,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” “Old School” and “Funny People.” Most recently Dick has had guest appearances on NBC’s “Community,” FX’s “Legit,” the Netflix original series “Bad Samaritans” and CBS’ “Two Broke Girls.” He can regularly be seen performing at theaters and comedy clubs across the country. ANDY DICK joins first-time professional partner SHARNA BURGESS.
DOROTHY HAMILL — Dorothy Hamill captured the Gold medal at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria at the age of 19. Overnight she became one of those rare champions who transcends her sport and captures the country’s imagination. Still, she has said she is most proud of her World Championship title in Gothenburg, Sweden, which followed her Olympic win; at the time, everyone advised her to retire from amateur competition, saying that even a second-place finish would tarnish the lustre of her Olympic Gold. Characteristically, once she had set her mind to it, she would not be dissuaded, and she won. As a professional Hamill has skated with many productions, including the Ice Capades for eight years. Four ABC primetime television specials have been produced in her honor, and she has produced and starred in her own touring productions of “Cinderella — Frozen in Time,” “Hansel, Gretel, the Witch and the Cat” and “Nutcracker on Ice.” She won an Emmy Award for her lead role in “Romeo and Juliet.” Hamill has been inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame and the Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She was very proud to run the torch at Olympic Stadium in Salt Lake City in 2002 and to skate the closing ceremonies with vocalist Harry Connick Jr. Recently she released her memoir, A Skating Life: My Story, which made the New York Times bestseller list. DOROTHY HAMILL partners with TRISTAN MacMANUS.
D.L. HUGHLEY — D.L Hughley, one of the most popular and highly recognized standup comedians on the road today, has also made quite an impression in the television, film and radio arenas. First and foremost a standup comedian, his fifth standup special, “Reset,” premiered on Showtime in 2012 and is currently available on DVD. Also in the fall of 2012, Hughley penned his first book. He can be seen in the comedic documentary special for Comedy Central entitled “D.L. Hughley: The Endangered List.” Known for being astute and politically savvy, Hughley served as host of the late-night talk show “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News” on CNN. He was both star and producer of his namesake television show that ran on ABC and UPN, “The Hughleys.” One of the standout comedians of the hit comedy docu-film “The Original Kings of Comedy” and a veteran of numerous talk show appearances, Hughley switched the tables in 2005, hosting his own talk show, “Weekends at the DL,” on Comedy Central. In addition he has headlined several comedy specials, including “D.L. Hughley: Going Home,” “D.L. Hughley Live,” “Shocked & Appalled” and the recent “Unapologetic.” D.L. HUGHLEY partners with CHERYL BURKE.
JACOBY JONES – Jacoby Jones is a professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens, the 2013 Super Bowl Champions. He began his professional career after being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2009 and was signed by the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. Career highlights include matching an NFL record with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Jones is also the first Raven to post multiple kickoff returns for a touchdown in one season, and is the current record holder for the longest touchdown at the Super Bowl. Career honors include AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, AFC Special Teams Player of the Month, the Associated Press first-team All-Pro and the PFW/PFWA first team All-Pro. Jones was recently featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. JACOBY JONES partners with KARINA SMIRNOFF.
WYNONNA JUDD — Five-time Grammy winner and New York Times bestselling author Wynonna Judd has always revolved her career around telling stories. Whether performing alongside her mother as one half of the legendary duo The Judds or pushing the boundaries on her own mega-successful solo path, Judd’s ability to reach the heart of the human spirit through her bold and unflinching honesty is the entertainer’s true gift. Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and to her undeniable talent, Judd’s rich and commanding voice has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide over her epic 29-year career. Charting countless singles, including 20 No. 1 hits and over 60 industry awards, the iconic performer was once dubbed by Rolling Stone “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.” Joined in the studio by her husband, bandleader and producer Michael “Cactus” Moser, Judd’s highly anticipated eighth studio album is scheduled for release this year. This effort, a true labor of love, features her upcoming single “Something You Can’t Live Without,” released by Curb Records. Most recently she published a novel, Restless Heart, and was part of “The Judds” docu-series on OWN. WYNONNA JUDD partners with TONY DOVOLANI.
VICTOR ORTIZ – Victor Ortiz is a living, breathing example of the American dream. From a broken home in a small town in Kansas to the bright lights of the boxing ring, Ortiz has used every obstacle he has encountered along his journey to fuel his strength and attain his dreams. As former Welterweight boxing champion, Ortiz finally found his life’s calling as a world class athlete. The nickname “Vicious” describes Ortiz when he’s in the ring, but his million-dollar smile is a preview to his heart of gold. His ability to connect with people on a human level has kept the spotlight from blinding him. Realizing the importance of hard work, dedication and family at an early age, Ortiz always finds a way to give back. VICTOR ORTIZ partners with newcomer LINDSAY ARNOLD.
KELLIE PICKLER — Kellie Pickler grew up immersed in country music in the small town of Albemarle, North Carolina with the words of Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton shaping her musical footing. At the age of 19 she gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of “American Idol,” and in 2006 signed to 19 Recordings/BNA Records to release her debut, “Small Town Girl,” which went on to sell over 800,000 copies and produce three singles — “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.” In 2008 Pickler released her self-titled sophomore record featuring hits “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” “Best Days of Your Life” (co-written with Taylor Swift and her first Top 10) and “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You.” Having established herself as not only a powerful vocalist but also a songwriter, Pickler released her third studio album, “100 Proof,” last year with famed producer Frank Liddell and Luke Wooten. The album earned recognition as one of the “Best of 2012” by Rolling Stone and The Washington Post. She has performed on six USO Tours, including one to Afghanistan in December 2012. Newly signed to Black River Entertainment, Pickler is poised to release a new single and album in 2013. KELLIE PICKLER partners with DEREK HOUGH.
INGO RADEMACHER — Soap Opera star Ingo Rademacher is best known to audiences as the charismatic Jasper “Jax” Jacks on ABC’s “General Hospital.” Rademacher originated the role of “Jax,” having first aired on “General Hospital” in January of 1996. His other television credits include “Hawaii Five-O,” “Titans,” ”Veronica’s Closet” and “According to Jim.” As an athlete, Rademacher has amassed an extraordinary list of accomplishments: As a youth, he was a ski champion and a competitive equestrian. As an adult, he has competed at a high level in beach volleyball and triathlons (winner of the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, celebrity division, for three consecutive years). He took the pole position in the 2005 Long Beach Grand Prix and he recently completed the grueling 32 mile Molokai to Oahu “Channel of Bones” stand-up paddle board race — all this when he wasn’t on the track racing dirt bikes or street bikes. Rademacher moved to Hawaii in 2012 to pursue his passion for the sport of stand-up paddle board racing. He and his wife, Ehiku, have two sons, Peanut and Pohaku. INGO RADEMACHER partners with KYM JOHNSON.
ALEXANDRA RAISMAN – Just 18 years old, Alexandra Raisman captained the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team to its first team Gold medal since the 1996 Olympic Games. She added the United States’ first ever Gold medal in the floor exercise and also won a bronze on the balance beam, making her the most decorated American gymnast in London. A respected leader, Raisman backboned the women’s victory in the team event at the 2011 World Championships, where they upset Russia to win Gold for the first time since 2007. In her career Raisman has accumulated 19 international medals and eight U.S. Senior National Championship medals, earning a reputation as one of Team USA’s most consistent performers. The eldest of four kids in her family, she comes from a Jewish background and famously performed her Gold medal-winning floor exercise to the traditional Jewish wedding song, “Hava Nagila,” for which she earned worldwide recognition in the Jewish community. Since returning
from London, she has been named Bostonian of the Year by The Boston Globe, was a presenter at the “Video Music Awards,” appeared on “Fashion Police” and most recently won an award at the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards. In her free time, Raisman can be found shopping, reading fashion magazines, hanging out with friends and family, or listening to some of her favorite music. ALEXANDRA RAISMAN partners with MARK BALLAS.
LISA VANDERPUMP — Hailing from London, restaurateur, designer, author, philanthropist, producer and television personality Lisa Vanderpump moved to the United States eight years ago. Vanderpump is best known for “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” which she joined in 2010. In 2013 Bravo launched her reality television show, “Vanderpump Rules,” exploring the intricacies of owning SUR, a sexy, unique restaurant in West Hollywood. The show follows Vanderpump as she balances her motherly instincts with a shrewd business sense while keeping the passionate and volatile staff at her West Hollywood restaurant in line. After years as a restaurateur, Vanderpump showcased her passion for food, decor and lifestyle in her bestselling book, Simply Divine: A Guide to Easy, Elegant and Affordable Entertaining. Vanderpump serves as a contributor to Beverly Hills Lifestyle magazine. She lives in Beverly Hills with her husband, Ken Todd, and their four dogs. They have two grown children, Pandora and Maxfield. LISA VANDERPUMP partners with newcomer GLEB SAVCHENKO.