New Dancing Lineup Adds Criminal Twists

Julianne's back; Jewel, Denise Richards, and 3 felons will compete
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2009 6:56 AM CST

(Newser) Dancing With the Stars is introducing a few new twists this season, including one couple competing against each other and another working together, USA Today reports. Returning pro Julianne Hough will partner with her real-life boyfriend—country singer Chuck Wicks—while singer Jewel will dance against rodeo-riding husband Ty Murray. Other high-profile competitors include Denise Richards, comedian David Alan Grier, and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Three of this season’s competitors are a bit “unpredictable,” according to the exec producer. To use another word: felons. Jackass alum Steve-O, rapper Lil’ Kim, and former footballer Lawrence Taylor all have criminal records: "Once you have someone with one leg, a deaf person, and an 82-year-old, it's hard to push the boundaries,” the producer said. “An air of wildness doesn't hurt.”