Tom DeLay, Macy Gray, Aaron Carter, Donny Osmond, Michael Irvin, Kathy Ireland on DWTS

Dancing with the Stars 9‘s cast of 16 quasi-stars was announced this morning, and the largest cast ever includes singer Macy Gray, indicted former Republican majority leader Tom DeLay, actor Donny Osmond, former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin, model Kathy Ireland, and The Osbournes star Kelly Osbourne. Paula Abdul, however, is not part of the cast, nor is LaToya Jackson, who said last week she was offered a spot but turned it down.

The other participants include actor, singer, and dancer Mya; Entourage’s Debi Mazar; Sabrina the Teenage Witch Melissa Joan Hart; and train wreck Aaron Carter.

There’s also comedian George Hamilton’s offspring and one-time Shannen Doherty husband Ashley Hamilton; model and ABC’s Superstars cast member Joanna Krupa; Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin; mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell; snowboarder Louie Vito. And perhaps the least-known name belongs to someone you probably know: Mark Dacascos, the actor who plays Iron Chef America‘s chairman.

DeLay, who’s under indictment for money laundering and campaigned to support Sara Evans during season three because she “represents good American values,” told USA TODAY, “I really am a big fan of the show. I couldn’t believe they asked me to do this. It didn’t take me five minutes to agree. I’ve been working out like crazy.” Executive producer Conrad Green told the paper, “I was astonished when he said yes. There no agents or lawyers. He’s in it to have some fun.”

The new season debuts Sept. 21, and its results shows will face off against So You Think YOu Can Dance on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. The new group will be subject to rehearsal time limits so they don’t injure themselves.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.