'Dancing with the Stars' Cast Analysis
Dancing with the Stars is arguably the only reality show on television that can boast such a wide-ranging and diverse cast. No other reality show features contestants from all sorts of backgrounds, shapes and sizes. It might just be me, but I think that it's well nigh impossible to tell one Bachelor contestant from another. And don't get me started on America's Next Top Model! Each successive cast of America's Next Top Model has been getting more and more homogeneous as Tyra Banks keeps getting crazier and crazier. Plus, there's always some chick who doesn't want to be a “pretty girl” and a brunette who feels more confident after the makeover stylist bleaches the heck out of her hair.

Oh yeah, and then there are those trashier competition reality shows like Flavor of Love or Rock of Love. The most recent season of Flavor of Love, for example, featured two contestants whose names were Thing 1 and Thing 2. (I think one of the Things won, although I couldn't tell you which one.) Clearly, their names suggest that they could easily have been replaced by any other fame whore. And every single person vying for Bret Michaels' love on Rock of Love is some kind of stripper or stripper-wannabe with a huge fake rack.

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Even on other dance shows like So You Think You Can Dance or Step It Up and Dance, while people come from diverse backgrounds, all of the contestants have their passion for dance in common, and as a result, they have all logged in countless hours of class and rehearsal to get where they are. They are pretty much all earnest, dedicated and telegenic.

I think what sets the Dancing with the Stars casts apart from those of other shows is that, while the contestants are celebrities, they are different enough so that we can almost always find someone whom we relate to. The Dancing with the Stars cast always vary in age, occupation, height, weight and personality. It's quite interesting to see which combinations of traits results in a mirror ball trophy win. Below, I've listed the cast of every season of Dancing with the Stars thus far in order to illustrate the diversity that I'm talking about.

Season Premiere Performance
Top 13 Performance
Top 13 Results
Top 12 Performance
Top 12 Results
Top 11 Performance
Top 11 Results

Season Premiere Episode in Review
Week 2 Performances in Review
Week 3 Performances in Review
Week 4 Performances in Review

Season Premiere Performance Rankings
Top 13 Performance Rankings
Top 12 Performance Rankings
Top 11 Performance Rankings

Top 9 Power Rankings

Denise Richards' Dancing with the Stars Career in Review
Holly Madison's Dancing with the Stars Career in Review
Steve Wozniak's Dancing with the Stars Career in Review

Dancing with the Stars Season 8 Cast

Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts
Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough
David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson
Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke
Holly Madison (replacing Jewel) and Dmitry Chaplin
Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska
Lil' Kim and Derek Hough
Melissa Rycroft (replacing Nancy O'Dell) and Tony Dovolani
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas
Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff
Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer
Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower

Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars continues where season 7 left off, with 13 new couples competing for gold.  Joining the ranks of the professionals are Chelsie Hightower and Dmitry Chaplin, both successful alumni from So You Think You Can Dance. An unfortunate trend begun in seasons past that continues in season 8 is that of celebrity injuries. Both Nancy O'Dell and Jewel have suffered injuries serious enough to take them out of the consideration even before the season premiere. Just days before the first episode aired, Jewel and Nancy were replaced by replaced by The Girls Next Door's Holly Madison and Melissa Rycroft of The Bachelor 13, respectively.

Dancing with the Stars Season 7 Cast

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
Cody Linley and Julianne Hough
Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke
Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani
Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas
Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo
Rocco DiSpirito and Karina Smirnoff
Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (withdrew due to injury)
Kim Kardashian, and Mark Ballas
Ted McGinley and Inna Brayer
Jeffrey Ross and Edyta Sliwinska

Season 7 boasts the largest cast (13 teams), the oldest star (Cloris Leachman), the youngest star (Cody Linley), the largest star (Warren Sapp), and the most infamous star (Kim Kardashian). We've got a one-time fastest man in the world (Maurice Greene) and a daytime icon (Susan Lucci). And if the first three weeks of this season proved, we've also got the most serious of injuries, from Jeffrey Ross' scratched cornea in the first week to Misty May-Treanor's devastating torn Achilles tendon.

Dancing with the Stars Season 6 Cast

Winner: Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas
Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska
Cristian de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke
Marissa Jaret Winokur and Tony Dovolani
Mario and Karina Smirnoff
Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough
Marlee Matlin and Fabian Sanchez
Priscilla Presley and Louis van Amstel
Adam Carolla and Julianne Hough
Steve Guttenberg and Anna Trebunskaya
Monica Seles and Jonathan Roberts
Penn Jillette and Kym Johnson

Season 6 had a wide variety of body types among the celebrity dancers. Marissa Jared Winokur wasn't exactly a size 2, but she still lasted a good while before getting eliminated. Jason Taylor was a veritable giant, towering over his partner Edyta Sliwinska by a foot. Someone else who was incredibly large, but not exactly svelte, was Penn Jillette. Unfortunately, his lumbering girth didn't exactly do him any favors, and he was the first to be eliminated. This season also featured arguably the most accomplished actress who also has a disability: Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin is deaf, but she still impressed us all with her aptitude for dance.

Dancing with the Stars Season 5 Cast

Winner: Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough
Melanie Brown and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts
Jennie Garth and Derek Hough
Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska
Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani
Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas
Mark Cuban and Kym Johnson
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Karina Smirnoff
Wayne Newton and Cheryl Burke
Albert Reed and Anna Trebunskaya
Josie Maran and Alec Mazo

Season 5 might have had the highest average attractiveness level, thanks mostly to the two models, Albert Reed and Josie Maran, who actually turned out to be quite terrible dancers. Let's not forget Jennie Garth and Cameron Mathison. This season featured a billionaire (Mark Cuban), a Las Vegas icon (Wayne Newton) and hot cougar Jane Seymour. Under normal circumstances, these different kinds of people would not all be on the same show, but Dancing with the Stars makes it happen.

Dancing with the Stars Season 4 Cast

Winner: Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke
Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff
John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska
Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts
Clyde Drexler and Elena Grinenko
Leeza Gibbons and Tony Dovolani
Shandi Finnessey and Brian Fortuna
Paulina Porizkova and Alec Mazo

Season 4 gave us athletes from all kinds of different sports. We had Apolo Anton Ohno, a short track speedskater who won the competition; Laila Ali, a boxer; and Clyde Drexler, an NBA basketball player. Where else but on Dancing with the Stars would you find washed-up actor Ian Ziering going head-to-head with celebrity amputee Heather Mills?

Dancing with the Stars Season 3 Cast

Winner: Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff
Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska
Monique Coleman and Louis van Amstel
Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson
Sara Evans and Tony Dovolani (withdrew)
Willa Ford and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Vivica A. Fox and Nick Kosovich
Harry Hamlin and Ashly DelGrosso
Shanna Moakler and Jesse DeSoto
Tucker Carlson and Elena Grinenko

Season 3 was all about actors, but they were all vastly different than each other. You can't get much more different than runner-up Mario Lopez and Harry Hamlin. I'm no fan of that blowhard, conservative pundit, Tucker Carlson, but I did enjoy watching him fail on Dancing with the Stars. We also had a former Miss USA Shanna Moakler facing off against NFL running back Emmitt Smith. I'm glad I put my money on the big guy because ended up winning the trophy that season.

Dancing with the Stars Season 2 Cast

Winner: Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke
Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya
Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani
Lisa Rinna and Louis van Amstel
George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska
Tia Carrere and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Master P and Ashly DelGrosso
Giselle Fernandez and Jonathan Roberts
Tatum O'Neal and Nick Kosovich
Kenny Mayne and Andrea Hale

Season 2 saw Drew Lachey walking away with the trophy, but also in strong contention were football player Jerry Rice and WWE diva Stacy Keibler. All of these people had little reason to meet before their stints on the show. We also had famous orange man George Hamilton, and Wayne Campbell's hot girlfriend, Tia Carrere. Rapper Master P rounded out the cast with some urban flava.

Dancing with the Stars Season 1 Cast

Winner: Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo
John O'Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen
Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso
Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts
Evander Holyfield and Edyta Sliwinska
Trista Rehn and Louis van Amstel

The very first season of Dancing with the Stars had the smallest cast of only six teams. This cast set the precedent for diversity. Most of the cast had entertainment backgrounds, save for pugilist Evander Holyfield. The two actors who duked it out to the bitter end, Kelly Monaco and John O'Hurley, were also very, very unlike each other. One was young and beautiful, the other old and fat (although he did lose a lot of weight during the show).

-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)