ABC has announced the dancing partners of this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” cast, and Lacie Schwimmer will dance with Chaz Bono.
The selection of the show’s cast is a careful and deliberate process intended to attract a broad audience, and ABC has received numerous complaints about this year’s cast addition of Chaz Bono.
The only child of Sonny Bono and Cher, Chaz Bono was a woman named Chastity. Last year, Bono legally changed his name and gender.
Most of the comments revolved around questions about whether Bono would dance as a man or a woman. The decision to pair him with Schwimmer has sparked some controversy; due to some believing the pair is not a traditional male/female team.
Many comments are unrelated to issues about gender though, but instead criticize Bono’s weight and that he is only famous because of his parents.
ABC has not commented on the posts made to their website.
“Dancing is a very gender-specific sport, especially in the realm of professional ballroom dancing,” Sarah Shanholtzer Panek told The Christian Post.
Panek, a professional dance instructor at the Center of Performing Arts near Phoenix, Arizona, continued: "It is a tradition in the art of ballroom dancing to have male and female partnerships, regardless of an individual's sexual preference. It is understood that one dances the role that they are assigned."
There was another controversy surrounding an addition to this season’s cast. Former fashion guru on Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” Carson Kressley was announced to be a contestant. Openly gay and active in gay rights issues, many viewers wondered if ABC would assign him a male dancing partner, marking the first same-sex couple on “DWTS.”
ABC did not choose to change their male/female team combinations. Kressley’s dancing partner, also announced Wednesday, is Anna Trebunskaya, who was eliminated in the third round of last season with partner Sugar Ray Leonard.
“DWTS” fans have also commented on Nancy Grace’s appearance on the 13th season of the show. The “Headlines News” host is linked to controversy for her outspokenness on the Casey Anthony Trial.
The 51-year-old dance contestant told the New York Post, “I’m certainly not the youngest, skinniest, prettiest, but I’ve got a lot of heart.”
Grace is paired with Tristan MacManus, an Irish dancer who is making his first appearance on “DWTS.”
Other pairs include actor David Arquette with Kym Johnson, who was paired last season with Hines Ward. “Hills” former star Kristin Cavallari will be dancing with Mark Ballas, and Rob Kardashian is paired with Cheryl Burke, who is a two-time champion on the show. All of the pairings can be viewed on ABC’s website.
“Dancing with the Stars” airs September 19 on ABC.