Extreme sports fans rejoice! Snowboarder Vito, UFC’s Liddell tapped for 9th season of Dancing With The Stars

Louie_vito_wins_australian_open After a year of campaigning, ABC has FINALLY added an extreme sports star to its hit series Dancing With The Stars.

Snowboard star Louie Vito is at last among the competitors this season – he had to pass last season after a nagging knee injury wasn't quite healed. And he was passed over as a replacement for Jewel and for Nancy O'Dell the following season. And UFC star Chuck Liddell becomes the first competitor from an extreme fighting sport also.

The complete list of competitors on the 9th go-round of the high rated series:

Aaron Carter – Singer
Natalie Coughlin – Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer
Mark Dacascos – Actor and Host of Iron Chef America
Tom DeLay – Former House Majority Leader
Macy Gray – Singer
Ashley Hamilton – Actor and Comedian
Melissa Joan Hart – Actress
Kathy Ireland – Model
Michael Irvin – Former NFL Player
Joanna Krupa – Model
Chuck Liddell – UFC Fighter
Debi Mazar – Actress
Mya – Singer
Kelly Osbourne – Reality Star and Singer
Donny Osmond – Entertainer
Louie Vito – Professional Snowboarder

Among the contenders announced on ABC's Good Morning America this morning, Osmond has been a long time fan of the show, and has lobbied since sister Marie did the show a few seasons back to be on the show. And several others, including Carter and Hamilton, had been rumored for while. But eyes should be on Coughlin; the show's track record involving Olympians has been that if they can make it to the finals, they win – for past proof, see Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristy Yamaguchi, and last season's champion Shawn Johnson.

Naturally, as I've been lobbying for Vito to be included for a  year now, I am SUPERHYPED about the new season, and my heart (and votes)  will be with Louie, and I will be rooting and voting like CRAZY for him. I feared he didn't have a shot after he and his troublemaking buddy Danny Kass were arrested in New Zealand early last week for possession of  what the NZ cops termed "copious amounts of cannibus". I'm soooooo glad ABC isn't going to penalize him for that!

Check out the announcement video below, and tune into the 9th season of Dancing With The Stars beginning next month – come along for the ride Monday and Tuesday nights and help me take my boy Vito to the Mirror Ball Trophy!!!