Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward, Rapper Romeo, Kendra Wilkinson, Petra Nemcova also in cast
"Dancing with the Stars" is taking a break from controversy with a Season 12 cast that features such amiable celebrities as Sugar Ray Leonard, Ralph Macchio, and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Hines Ward.
The outspoken Wendy Williams and Kirstie Alley — introduced as "Hollywood most outrageous actress" may be the only wild cards in the bunch. No one in the group is as divisive as Bristol Palin proved to be last season — or even generate the strong feelings of the previous season's Kate Gosselin.
Rounding out the cast are Disney star Chelsea Kane, rapper Romeo, supermodel Petra Nemcova, reality star and "Playboy" pinup Kendra Wilkinson, "Love Lines" host Mike Catherwood, and Chris Jericho.
The cast announcements came during Monday's episode of "The Bachelor." The latest cast was a source of even more speculation than usual after dark horse candidate Palin made it to the very end of last season before finishing third.
The contestants fill familiar roles in the "Dancing" casting: Leonard, Ward, Wilkinson and Nemcova are among many athletes and models to compete. Original "Karate Kid" Macchio fills the '80s nostalgia role held by last season's winner, Jennifer Grey. Kane fills the Disney star slot filled last season by runner-up Kyle Massey. Both Romeo and Season 9's Ashley Hamilton are the sons of Season 2 competitors, Master P and George Hamilton.
Host Tom Bergeron seemed eager to stir up something with Alley, noting that the show has asked her on before and she has always refused.
But Alley was no help. "I don't know, pass that to someone else," she said.
The new season will begin Monday, March 21.