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'Dancing With The Stars' season premiere

The cast of 'Dancing With The Stars' Season 13 poses for a promotional photo. (Adam Taylor)

September 19, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The 13th season of ABC's reality competition 'Dancing With The Stars' kicks off Monday night.

Each of the 12 new contestants will dance either a Cha Cha Cha or the Viennese Waltz. Then, on "The Results Show" Tuesday night, the couple with the lowest combined judges' scores and public votes for their performance will be sent home in the season's first elimination.

This season's celeb cast includes: L.A. Lakers player Metta World Peace a.k.a Ron Artest (partnered with Peta Murgatroyd), actor David Arquette (partnered with Kym Johnson), Chaz Bono (partnered with Lacey Schwimmer), actress Elisabetta Canalis (partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy), reality TV star Kristin Cavallari (partnered with Mark Ballas), TV host and journalist Nancy Grace (partnered with Tristan MacManus), reality TV star Rob Kardashian (partnered with Cheryl Burke), TV star and style guru Carson Kressley (partnered with Anna Trebunskaya), talk show host and actress Ricki Lake (partnered with Derek Hough), 'All My Children' actor and veteran J.R. Martinez (partnered with Karina Smirnoff), singer Chynna Phillips (partnered with Tony Dovolani), and World Cup star Hope Solo (partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy).

One competitor has already drawn a lot of attention, both good and bad. Bono is the first transgender contestant in the show's history, and while his selection was protested by some, Bono and Schwimmer seem to be dancing right through the controversy.

"I've gotten just a tremendous amount of support and that feels great," Bono said.

Meantime, the rest of the competitors are also trying to stay positive and dance through the pain.

"It is exhausting and painful. My feet are killing me, but when I finally get it right every third or fourth time, that is exhilarating," Grace said.

Chynna Phillips says as far as the bumps, bruises and braces: Bring it on!

"I get bruised everyday anyway, every single day. I'm like the queen of bruises, so you know, what's one more bruise?" she said.

The stars say they're having a good time but know this is a contest. No one wants to be the first one booted from the ballroom.

"It's hard to be outgoing in front of like 20 million people but obviously one-on-one we have a great time, our rehearsals are fun and that's easy, but it's just being able to translate that to everybody," said Kardashian.

"I want to stay as long as l possibly can. I want to try to be as entertaining as possible and to do the best I can," said Bono.

The new "Dancing" contestants have a lot on their plates, not just with learning the steps, but also getting into the groove with the costumes.

"My dress is beautiful. I tried it on, the first fitting, and I really love it," Lake said. "It's a beautiful color."

Chynna Phillips said she was impressed that Dovolani knew exactly what kind of costume he wanted for her.

"He designed my whole costume. He sat there with the pencil," she said.

Costumes aren't the only thing causing excitement among the stars. Many of them said they looked forward to the physical expectations.

"Even though I'm 28, and I am active physically, my mind thinks I can do certain things, and now it comes to like training my body to start doing those things as well," Martinez said.

For Lake, she said she wanted to same feeling that Kirstie Alley had while on the show.

"Kirstie Alley - that was what pushed me over the edge, seeing what happened to her physically, seeing what happened internally. You could see on her face every week, that confidence," she said.

The two-hour season premiere kicks off at 8 p.m. on ABC7. Then tune in Tuesday at 9 p.m. to see who goes home.

To see photos of all the "Dancing With The Stars" season 13 contestants, check out our slideshow!

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