Wednesday, August 31, 2011



Well, some of the worst-kept secrets have been officially confirmed. And as we announced Monday, our boy got his wish.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and United States soccer star Hope Solo are paired for the Season 13 edition of "Dancing with the Stars," announced Wednesday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America." All 12 couples were revealed, creating even more anticipation and excitement leading up to the September 19 two-hour, season premiere.

Chmerkovskiy had pushed for weeks to have Solo as his partner after watching the world's top goalkeeper lead the U.S. to a runner-up finish at this summer's Women's World Cup in Germany.

Here's a look at all 12 pairings for this season:

1-Hope SOLO & Maksim CHMERKOVSKIY: The United States women's soccer star teams with Chmerkovskiy, who is looking for his first Mirror Ball crown on Season 13 of the show. ... Solo, rated the world's top goalkeeper, became a summer sensation during the Women's World Cup when she lead the Americans to a runner-up finish in Germany. ... Chmerkovskiy has two second-place finishes on the show, most recently with actress Kirstie Alley in Season 12. He took second with singer Melanie Brown of the hit, all-girl group the Spice Girls. ... Solo made news recently when she revealed she would be posing nude in ESPN Magazine's "Body Issue," an annual issue featuring athletes from both sexes posing in the buff to show off their physiques. ... Solo and Chmerkovskiy will be one of the favorites to win the title.

2-Ron ARTEST & Peta MURGATROYD: Unique, colorful standout for the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers partners with Murgatroyd, a beautiful blonde who leaves the "DWTS" troupe to make her professional debut. ... Artest might well be known for his huge part in the brawl between players and fans during a game against the Detroit Pistons when he was a member of the Indiana Pacers.

3-Chynna PHILLIPS & Tony DOVOLANI: Actress and singer pairs up with Dovolani, who is back for his 12th season and looking to improve off his most recent effort with talk-show host Wendy Williams. ... Dovolani has two third-place finishes to his credit heading into his 12th season, earning them with actress Stacy Keibler in Season 2 and reality-show host/contestant Melissa Rycroft in Season 8.

4-Rob KARDASHIAN & Cheryl BURKE: The reality TV star best known for being the only brother of KIm, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian partners with the two-time champion Burke, who won crowns with NFL Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith and singer Drew Lachey of former hit boy band 98 Degrees. ... Burke has appeared in every season except the series premiere.

5-Nancy GRACE & Tristan MACMANUS: American legal commentator, author, journalist, talk-show host and former prosecutor pairs teams with McManus, who leaves the "DWTS" troupe to make his debut as a professional. ... Grace currently hosts "Nancy Grace," a nightly celebrity news and current affairs show in HLN.

6-Chaz BONO & Lacey SCHWIMMER: The American transgender advocate, writer, actor and musician pairs with Schwimmer, who is back for her sixth season. ... Bono is the only child American entertainers Sonny and Cher had together. ... Bono is a female-to-male transgender man. ... Schwimmer finished second in Season 10 with actor Kyle Massey and third in Season 7 with former boy-band singer Lance Bass of hit group 'N Sync.

7-Elisabetta CANALIS & Val CHMERKOVSKIY: The Italian actress most well-known for her lengthy relationship with actor George Clooney teams with Maksim's younger brother, who makes his "DWTS" debut as a professional after spot appearances on the show during recent seasons. ... Two pretty much unknowns to the viewers, they could be the darkhorse couple of Season 13 to bring home the title.

8-Carson KRESSLEY & Anna TREBUNSKAYA: The colorful talk-show host and TV personality teams with Trebunskaya, who is back for her eighth season on the show. ... Trebunskaya's best finish came in Season 10, when she and partner/Olympic gold-medal winning figure skater Evan Lysacek took second place. ... Expect them to be one of the favorites to win the championship this season.

9-Kristin CAVALLARI & Mark BALLAS: The MTV reality star will join Ballas, who captured titles with Olympic gold medalists Kristi Yamaguchi (figure skating) and Shawn Johnson (gymnastics). ... Ballas is back for his ninth season ... Couple is the early favorite for best chance at an off-screen romance, with Ballas maintaining his "eligible bachelor" status and Cavallari coming off a recent dumping with former fiancee/Chicago Bears starting quartback Jay Cutler. ... Another couple who should be one of the top contenders this season.

10-J.R. MARTINEZ & Karina SMIRNOFF: American actor, motivational speaker and retired United States Army soldier gets paired with Smirnoff, who is back for her ninth season. Martinez, who stars on the ABC soap opera, "All My Children,"suffered burns over 40 percent of his body during a 2003 tour of duty in Iraq. ... Smirnoff's best finish on the show came in Season 3 with actor/TV show host Mario Lopez, when they took home second place. ... Smirnoff is engaged to Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Brad Penny. ... Another pairing among the contenders for the title.

11-Ricki LAKE & Derek HOUGH: Actress and talk-show host teams with the two-time Mirror Ball champion. ... Hough is the only pro to win three Mirror Ball trophies, earning them with model/"DWTS" co-host Brooke Burke (Season 7), singer Nicole Scherzinger (Season 10) and actress Jennifer Grey (Season 11) to hold that distinction. ... Hough will be competing in his eight season after taking a Season 12 hiatus.

12-David ARQUETTE & Kym JOHNSON: Actor from "Scream thriller series paired with the defending champion. ... Johnson, who won Season 12 with Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Hines Ward and Season 9 with entertainer Donny Osmond, returns for her 10th season. ... She also has two runner-up efforts under belt, taking second with singer/actor/entertainer Joey Fatone of boy band 'N Sync (Season 4) and former NFL star Warren Sapp in Season 7 of the show. ... Clearly, one of the Season 13 favorites.

- Jeremy Pond, Publisher
- Photo courtesy of E! Online

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