Nancy Grace has faced-off against plenty of tough criminals, but the "Dancing With The Stars" contestant is already sizing up her rivals in the ABC dancing competition.
"It's stiff competition, you have a professional soccer player, athletes, beauties, young, skinny beautiful girls... and that's pretty tough competition - it is!" Grace told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I mean, did you see 'Hairspray'? I did! Ricki Lake dancing? Long story short, I may not be the youngest, the prettiest, certainly not the skinniest and I don't know how to dance, but I got a lot of heart!"
Grace, a 51-year-old host of the HLN series "Nancy Grace," is one of 12 contestants announced on Monday as the cast of the upcoming 13th season of the ABC ballroom dancing series, which is set to premiere on September 19 on ABC.
Grace is a legal commentator and a former prosecutor. When she was 19-years-old, her fiancé Keith Griffin was murdered. The tragedy was Grace's impetus to enrolling in law school to become prosecutor and a supporter of victims' rights.
"Since back in the 80s, when I dedicated myself to being a public servant by putting the bad guys behind bars and going to law school, it's really been my sole focus and the thought of coming somewhere and dancing and having fun and wearing crazy outfits? I just never even thought about that! And I'm really excited and happy that I got the opportunity to give my money to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, because I talk about it every night on my HLN show and now I can put my money where my mouth is."
In April 2007, Grace married Atlanta investment banker David Lynch, who she met while studying at Mercer University in the 70s, where she also met her former fiancé. The couple welcomed twins Lucy and John David in November, 2007. "Guess who's coming with me? My twins - John David and Lucy!" Grace told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "We're all moving out to L.A. for 'Dancing' and I'm really looking forward to it, I don't think I could have focused with them back home on the other side of the country and me here - I don't think I could have done that."
The cast and dancing partner pairings were announced on August 31 and Grace will be competing with Irish newcomer Tristan MacManus. MacManus appeared on the season 12 Dance Troupe and has been dancing since he was 9 years old.
"I can tell you something right now about my partner - when he walks by, he's handsome, of course they're all handsome, he looks normal, but then when you turn the music on, it's like someone sprinkles some magic on him and he's incredible," Grace said of MacManus. "It's like a complete transformation - and I want him to teach me how to do that."
"Dancing with the Stars" returns with a two-hour season premiere for Season 13 on Monday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, parent company of OnTheRedCarpet.com that also produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).