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How'd you like to be the judge of Nancy Grace? (But can she dance a lick?)

by on August 30th 2011 at 4:55 am

Nancy Grace's Twitter photo

She won't be favored to win. But however long it lasts for her, acerbic, corkscrew-mouthed Nancy Grace certainly won't go quietly into the night during this fall's 13th edition of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Let the amazing Grace jokes begin, with the 12 new celebrity contestants required to dance either the Viennese Waltz or the Cha Cha Cha on the Sept. 19th season opener.

Grace, an ultra-outspoken victim rights advocate and host of HLN's Nancy Grace, is best known of late for branding accused but acquitted child killer Casey Anthony the "Tot Mom" throughout her exhaustively covered murder trial. She broadly smiled for starters when introduced as a Dancing celebrity on the second of two live announcement segments bridging Monday night's Bachelor Pad. But Grace got down to brassier tacks during a brief "press conference" in which a lapdog for ABC's owned-and-operated New York station asked if she'll feel more pressure as a dancer than as a news anchor.

"I think it will probably be a lot easier to report on the live news than to be the live news," she said. "Such as fallin' on your booty. So let's try to avoid that."

There will, of course be other competitors, but perhaps none with Grace's built-in ability to strip wallpaper at 20 feet with an accusatory glare. It's hard to imagine her not coming to verbal blows with judge Len Goodman or Bruno Tonioli -- or both. Which is why viewers likely will keep her around until at least the halfway point in the interests of good theater if not great dancing.

Other intriguing celebrities announced Monday include actor David Arquette (who remains very publicly separated from wife Courteney Cox); LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) rights activist Chaz Bono (who will dance with a female professional partner); U.S. women's soccer team goalie Hope Solo and Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest, who apparently is counting on either a continued NBA lockout or an early eviction.

But the early sentimental favorite clearly is Iraq War veteran J.R. Martinez, a latter day actor on ABC's All My Children who remains visibly scarred from serious combat wounds suffered in 2003. All told, Martinez has undergone 33 different surgeries, according to network publicity materials. He has been a motivational speaker since 2004.

Also in the mix are talk show host/actress Ricki Lake; stylist Carson Kressley; singer Chyna Phillips; model Elisabetta Canalis; reality TV star/actress Kristin Cavallari and Rob Kardashian, who's currently overshadowed by sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloe.

It's always risky picking four finalists, because someone invariably comes out of nowhere to emerge as a contender or winner. But I'm gonna go with a closing quartet of Hope Solo, David Arquette, J.R. Martinez and Ricki Lake.

The first viewer vote-off will be on Sept. 20th. The show's reigning champ is Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward.



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