Nancy Grace, David Arquette, Ron Artest, Chaz Bono among surprisingly impressive Dancing with the Stars cast

Dancing with the Stars announced its cast during a fake press conference tonight following Bachelor Pad, and the show basically has the high-profile cast that it wanted, as it’s a rather recognizable and impressive group, especially for this show. Also, it does not include Jersey Shore‘s Snooki, despite tabloids’ repeated insistence that it would.

The cast consists of actor David Arquette; L.A. Lakers player Ron Artest; HLN host Nancy Grace, who’s seeking justice for lil’ Caylee; activist and Becoming Chaz star Chaz Bono, who was formerly known as Chastity Bono; former and about-to-be talk show host Ricki Lake; singer Chynna Phillips, who was part of Wilson Phillips; Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star Carson Kressley, who has gone on to host other reality shows; Italian actor and model Elisabetta Canalis, who may be best known for dating George Clooney until this past June; The Hills star Kristin Cavallari; reality star Rob Kardashian; J.R. Martinez, an actor on All My Children and Iraq war veteran; and United States women’s national goalkeeper Hope Solo.

So, while half the cast consists of reality stars and/or people who aren’t at all household names, six are people with name recognition outside of reality TV. And it’s a good mix of personalities that should help the show find a bit more life this fall.

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.