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'Dancing With the Stars' announces cast, new twist

TAMPA -- Singers Donny Osmond and Macy Gray, former House majority leader and prominent Republican conservative Tom DeLay and Tampa native Aaron Carter are among the celebrities on the next "Dancing With the Stars."

The cast for the ninth season was revealed Monday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Among those taking to the dance floor will be Ozzy Osbourne's daughter, Kelly; actresses Melissa Joan Hart, Debi Mazar; actor Ashley Hamilton; singer MÃ 1/2 a; model Kathy Ireland; reality star Mark Dacascos ("Iron Chef"); and former Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin.

Also joining the popular competition are Olympic swimming gold medalist Natalie Coughlin; professional snowboarder Louie Vito; mixed martial arts champion Chuck Liddell; and model/actress Joanna Krupa.

Co-host Tom Bergeron, who was in New York's Times Square to announce the cast, also unveiled a new competitive twist.

"In the middle of our season, over three weeks, we're going to have double eliminations," said Bergeron. "We'll lose about half of our cast within that period. It will be a ballroom bloodbath."

Carter, 21 who has been performing since he was 7, is a singer and actor and the younger brother of Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter.

Aaron Carter is the youngest solo artist to have four top 40 singles. He has released four studio albums since 1997, two of which have been certified platinum, and he has appeared on several television series, including "Lizzie McGuire" and "7th Heaven," as well as on Broadway playing JoJo the Who in "Seussical the Musical" in 2001.

He sang vocals on soundtracks for "Disneymania (The Lion King) Ella Enchanted," "Pokeman" and "Rugrats the Movie." In 2006, Carter starred in the E! reality show "House of Carters," which featured all five of the Carter siblings living in the same house.

The next season of "Dancing With the Stars" begins Sept. 21 on ABC.

Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson was the winner last season.

Samantha Harris returns as co-host, with the panel of judges including ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer-choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

-- Copyright (c) 2009, Tampa Tribune, Fla./Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services