It's official!!  The new cast of Dancing With The Stars was announced last night and the Internet is buzzing about this year's crop of talent!  Hopefully you spared yourself the pain of watching Bachelor Pad to see the official reveal last evening!  After all, no one should be forced to sit through that multicar pile-up!   So,who are the mirror ball trophy hopefuls?  We have the full list right here . . .   and I feel it's my duty to handicap the field and offer up some commentary about who will shine and who will whine!

NANCY GRACE-  Bombshell, tonight!  Yes!  The woman who tore OJ Simpson a new one twenty years ago and recently led the charge to crucify Casey Anthony will hit the ballroom.  If you're familiar with Nancy at all, you know that she is brash, opinionated and confrontational.  I suggest pairing her up with Max and letting the fireworks begin!  Shortly after the Casey Anthony verdict was handed down, Nancy proclaimed "Somewhere, the devil is dancing tonight!"  Well, if the rumors are true, Nancy, and you're joining the cast of DWTS, you're gonna be shaking your groove thing right there along with him!

Now . . . yesterday, before the reveal, I shared some inside scoop about who was chosen to be on the show.  I made a prediction that Ryan O'Neal was going to be a part of the new cast and this selection was the only curve ball to my powers of prognostication.  Here's what I said at the time (thinking that O'Neal was going to be part of the show) . . .

RYAN O'NEAL-  Question . . . is DWTS a drug-free workplace?  This selection has disaster written all over it!  Since Farrah Fawcett's death, the only press Ryan O'Neal has gotten has been BAD press.  He's been arrested for drug possession (alongside his son) and, in a rather pitiful and pathetic interview, he admitted to hitting on his estranged daughter, Tatum, at Farrah's funeral . . . because HE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE HER!!!!!.   But I will say this.  A few months ago, I caught Ryan on an episode of Celebrity Tennis and I could NOT stop watching.

**Well, today, reports indicate that Ryan O'Neal WAS actually selected for the season, but had to withdraw because of injury.  He recently had knee-replacement surgery and is not fully healed.  O'Neal didn't feel like he could compete if he wasn't 100%, so the show looked elsewhere and came up with this guy . . .

CARSON KRESSLEY-  Each season of Dancing With The Stars needs comic relief.  That's why producers have previously cast the likes of Margaret Cho and Cloris Leachman.  This season will no doubt churn tons of laughs out of Carson Kressley, who was the wise-cracker and stand-out star of Bravo's former hit Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Carson is hysterical and will no doubt be a standout on this show.  You know he's rocked out "It's Raining Men" on the dance floor a few times, but he can make the transition from foam party to ballroom?

HOPE SOLO-  The smoking hot goalie from TEAM USA soccer!  Sure they won the silver medal at the recent World Championships and, yes, Hope absorbed some of the blame.  (She stubbornly played hurt and later confessed she thought her decision to stay in the game cost her team the gold!)  However, this woman is fit, dedicated, disciplined and knows her way around a net.  If she can find her way around a Rhumba and a Fox Trot, she's going to be in it to win it!

CHYNNA PHILLIPS-  Hey, we know she has rhythm!  Anyone remember Wilson Phillips' video for "Hold On" when she walked down the beach in unison with Carnie and Wendy Wilson?  With her crazy- ass half-sister Mackenzie running around shaming the family name, Chynna needs to do some MAJOR damage control.  I think she has it a Top 6 finish in her!

RON ARTEST-  Hey, this could be a first!  A brawl in the stands of Dancing With The Stars!  Charismatic and outspoken NBA star, Ron Artest, has television history on his side.  Male athletes almost ALWAYS make the finals of this show and many, like Apolo Anton Ohno, Hines Ward, and Emmitt Smith, have hoisted the mirror ball trophy!  Ron's tall, full of vigor, and built to move.  If he can keep his attitude in check and not sucker punch Bruno and Lynn, he could make the finals!

CHAZ BONO-  Okay.  First of all, I applaud Dancing With The Stars for making this rather bold move.  Cher's daughter-turned-son will compete on the show as a man and will be paired with a female dancer.  Hey!  No one can accuse the producers of this show of not knowing how to generate buzz and ratings.  I'm intrigued and I have a hunch many of you are as well.  If Cher ends up making an appearance in the stands, this ratings ploy will have been proven to be GENIUS!  But, I worry that Chaz is going to have the necessary skills on the dance floor.  Look, he's not exactly built for speed and grace.  Remember, when he was Chastity, she never felt particularly graceful or feminine.  Now, that he's Chaz, he's built like William Refrigerator Perry.  Good luck, Chaz . . . and, for the producers' sake, I hope Cher shows up in the first couple of weeks!

ROB KARDASHIAN-  Well, he certainly doesn't have Kim's booty or the star power of his sisters!  LOL!  But, oddly enough, Rob K. looks like the love-child of The Situation and Ralph Macchio, both of whom have appeared on DWTS.  Of course, The Situation was TERRIBLE!  He made dancing painful at best.  That said . . . Ralph Macchio did have some dance-floor skill . . . so, let's hope Rob's genetic composition is more Karate Kid than Jersey Shore.

KRISTIN CAVALLARI-  Until recently, Kristin was best-known (sadly so) for her appearances on Laguna Beach and The Hills. That is until she accepted an invitation from a U.S. Marine to the military ball.  Seems like "All She Wants To Do Is Dance!"  Kristin's blonde, gorgeous, slender and tailor-made for the dance floor.  Add in the fact that she recently declared proudly, "I'm off all kinds of drugs," she could master all twelve steps!  Uh . . . I mean, dances!

DAVID ARQUETTE-  Did he and Courteney Cox ever officially get divorced?  Does anyone know?  I mean, they were separated . . . then together again . . . then they filed for divorce . . . then they were reunited . . . then splitsville.  Talk about a song and a dance!!!  Actually, if he gets all slobbery with Cheryl Burke or that crazy lunatic Karina Smirnoff, that divorce may be in order after all (assuming it hasn't already happened.  Again, does anyone know?)  Little known fact, David Arquette's brother, Alexis, is a famous West Coast drag queen (stage name:  Eva Destruction) with mad skill on the dance floor.  If that skill is genetic and little brother David got it too . . . Mr. Arquette-Cox could be a dark horse in this competition!

JR MARTINEZ-  Followers of DWTS love a good underdog story.  Bristol Palin, anyone?  She finished 3rd despite the fact everyone hates her mother and no one thought she could dance!  And what about the delightful Marlee Matlin, who danced for weeks on the show despite the fact she's deaf and could never hear the music.  And this year's underdog is just as likeable a force.  You remember, JR's story, right?  In 2003, he was in Iraq serving as an infantryman in the U.S. Army when he suffered burns to 40% of his body.  After a rough rehabilitation, he defied all odds and landed a role on ABC's All My Children.  Look!   If JR can move, his story will be hard to ignore.  He will be a contender.  If he has two-left feet, he'll last a few weeks on goodwill alone.  (Hey!  If Buzz Aldrin can do it!)

RICKI LAKE-  Remember, when Hairspray was a movie before it was a musical before it became another movie??  Well, Ricki was the star!  And, yes, she can dance!  And, since we're on the subject of Hairspray, remember Marissa Jaret Winokur?  She played Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray on Broadway and turned that into a stint on Season 6 of DWTS where she made it all the way to the semifinals.  Of course, Marissa was uber-likeable!  I'm not sure Ricki Lake has that going for her.  Time will tell!

ELISABETTA CANALIS-  I'm sorry?  Who?  Oh . . . she used to date George Clooney.  Ah!  I get it.  But who the hell is she?  What has she ever done . . . besides George Clooney?  Oops.  That didn't come our right at all. I better bail on this one.

So, there you have it!  The cast of the new season of Dancing With The Stars and my preseason handicap!  Catch the season premiere on Monday, September 19th at 7pm CST.  The first results show is the very next night, Sept. 20th?  Who will be the first to go??