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Stars, dancers geared up for 'Dancing With The Stars' premiere

R to L: Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward, Chris Jericho, Wendy Williams, Ralph Macchio, Romeo, 'Psycho' Mike Catherwood, Sugar Ray Leonard, Kendra Wilkinson and Chelsea Kane in a still from the 'Dancing With the Stars' season 12 cast announcement on Monday, February 28. (Adam Larkey)

March 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fans of "Dancing With The Stars" won't have to wait much longer. Season 12 of the popular dance competition debuts Monday, and 11 new celebrities are strapping on their dancing shoes.

"It's one of the most difficult things I've ever done, and people might assume that the hard part is the physical aspect, but really, it's mostly just the emotional and mental drain," said "Loveline" radio show co-host Mike Catherwood, who is paired with dancer Lacey Schwimmer.

"I'm just trying to save my knees and my lower back which is asking me some serious questions of what I got myself into," said "Karate Kid" actor Ralph Macchio, who is paired with dancer Karina Smirnoff.

Other stars competing in the show are: Actress Kirstie Alley, WWE star Chris Jericho, Disney star Chelsea Kane, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, model Petra Nemcova, rapper and actor Romeo, football star Hines Ward and talk show host Wendy Williams.

The eleven new competitors have been rehearsing for several weeks for Monday's two-hour premiere event.

This season, there is a new twist for viewers who want to cast their vote for their favorite dancing pair. Fans will need to validate their email addresses in order to vote.

For a list of frequently asked questions regarding voting on "Dancing With The Stars," visit: http://abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/vote-faq.

Season 12 of "Dancing With The Stars" kicks off Monday on ABC7 at 8 p.m. PT.