Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Valerie Harper joins 'Dancing with the Stars'

The cast of Season 17 of "Dancing With The Stars" is announced live on "Good Morning America," 9/4/13,SASHA FARBER, NICOLE "SNOOKI" POLIZZI, TRISTAN MACMANUS, VALERIE HARPER, MARK BALLAS, CHRISTINA MILIAN, VAL CHMERKOVSKIY, ELIZABETH BERKLEY LAUREN, DEREK HOUGH, AMBER RILEY, LARA SPENCER
Ah, the kids are back in school, the leaves are falling and everyone is gearing up for the new season on TV. To start the fall season’s buzz, Good Morning America presented its usual, “Dancing with the Stars” preview show this morning announcing the cast of this season’s (#17!) show.

As always, the show will feature celebrity stars from various backgrounds including sport legends, soap opera stars, almost forgotten child stars now grown up, and more. Whether you are a fan of dance or not, there is usually somebody to root for. 

Perhaps the show’s biggest surprise is the inclusion of sitcom star, Valerie Harper. Best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and her own spin-off, “Rhoda,” Harper has been very public with her battle with terminal brain cancer. She was diagnosed in January as was told that she only had a few months to live. In an interview with People magazine posted today, the 74-year-old said, “I fell much better and my brain scans are looking better too. The doctors tell me there’s less evidence of cancer, which is very unusual. However, they both say it’s not a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and I can live with that.” When asked why she wanted to dance on the show given the state of her health, she replied, “Why would I say no? When life asks you to dance, you just have to dance.”

The season’s opening night will happen on Monday, September 16 from 8:00-10:00 pm on ABC and will once again be hosted by Tom “America’s Funniest Home Videos” Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet,  season seven’s champion. As always, the dancers and stars will be judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman and outrageous dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

The 12 celebrities with their professional partners heading to the dance floor this season are:
  • Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (“Saved by the Bell” child star) and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
  • Corbin Bleu (“High School Musical”) and Karina Smirnoff
  • Brant Daugherty (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Army Wives”) and Peta Murgatroyd
  • Bill Engvall (Comedian and sitcom star) and Emma Slater
  • Valerie Harper (“Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Rhoda”) and Tristan Macmanus
  • Keyshawn Johnson (Superbowl Champion) and Sharna Burgess
  • Christina Milian (“The Voice”) and Mark Ballas
  • Bill Nye (The “science guy” from Seattle!) and Tyne Stecklein
  • Jack Osbourne (son of Ozzy) and Cheryl Burke
  • Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (“The Jersey Shore”) and Sasha Farber
  • Leah Remini (“The King of Queens”) and Tony Dovolani
  • Amber Riley (“Glee”) and Derek Hough

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