ABC Announces Season Eight’s DWTS Dance Pairs

ABC Announces Season Eight’s DWTS Dance Pairs
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Rob Loud/Getty

02/12/2009 AT 12:00 AM EST



Everyone’s dance cards are full at last as ABC announced the entire season eight Dancing with the Stars celebrity contestant and professional dancer pairings Thursday. On Sunday ABC revealed the celebrity contestants during its primetime lineup.

Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell, who’s paired with pro Tony Dovolani, says she hopes to have a leg up on the competition, thanks to her height.

“Stacy Keibler was Tony’s partner and she had long legs,” the 5’10” O’Dell tells PEOPLE. “If I can dance one fourth as well as she did I will be happy.”



At the other end of the height spectrum -- a full foot shorter than O’Dell -- is Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, who’s paired with season six champ Mark Ballas.

Don’t let Johnson’s size fool you -- she’s in it to win.

“I talked to Apolo Anton Ohno, season four champ and he told me what to expect and a rundown of the show. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am going to make the most of it,” Johnson tells PEOPLE. “I can’t wait to perform.”

Two new professional dancers also join the cast this season, Dmitry Chaplin and Chelsie Hightower.

The entire season eight lineup is as follows:•Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska• Actor Gilles Marini and two-time DWTS champ Cheryl Burke•Rapper Lil’ Kim and season seven champ Derek Hough• Actress Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy•Pop star Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts•Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and season six champ Mark Ballas•Reality star Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer•Rodeo star Ty Murray and first-time Dancing pro Chelsie Hightower•Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff•Country singer Chuck Wicks and two-time champ Julianne HoughAccess Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell and Tony Dovolani•Actor David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson•Singer Jewel and first-time Dancing pro Dmitry Chaplin

Dancing with the Stars’ eighth season premieres March 9 on ABC. -- Monica Rizzo

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Rob Loud/Getty

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