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Stars paired with pros for 'Dancing'

LI's Ralph Macchio, the original

LI's Ralph Macchio, the original "Karate Kid," will be paired with Karina Smirnoff, a three-time U.S. National champion, on the next season of "Dancing With the Stars." Credit: Getty Images

Ralph Macchio, the original "Karate Kid," gets a national champ. Kirstie Alley gets the feisty one. And Chris Jericho gets a two-time winner. Of whom do we speak? The "Dancing With the Stars" pros, whose star pairings were announced Wednesday.

Macchio, who was raised in Huntington and now lives in Miller Place, will be partnered with Karina Smirnoff, a three-time U.S. National champion. She hasn't won yet, but came close in the third season with Mario Lopez. Alley gets MaksimChmerkovsky, who has the best batting average of any pro without actually winning. Pro wrestler Jericho ends up with Cheryl Burke, who previously has guided Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith to victory.

The rest (the 12th season launches March 21), with my spin:

CHELSEA KANE

AND MARK BALLAS

Lucky Chelsea to get Ballas, who is coming off Bristol Palin's long march to the final three last season.

PETRA NEMCOVA

AND DMITRY CHAPLIN

Chaplin was on "So You Think You Can Dance" before heading here a few seasons ago.

SUGAR RAY LEONARD

AND ANNA TREBUNSKAYA

Trebunskaya does particularly well with athletes - Kurt Warner, Jerry Rice and Evan Lysacek.

ROMEO

AND CHELSIE HIGHTOWER

Chelsie gets the tough-to-love contestants, like Michael Bolton and Jake Pavelka. Fortunately, she's likable.

HINES WARD

AND KYM JOHNSON

Ward should be a success, and with Johnson by his side, the one to beat.

KENDRA WILKINSON

AND LOUIS VAN AMSTEL

No cigar yet for Louis on "DWTS," and the Wilkinson pairing is a very long shot, too.

MIKE CATHERWOOD

AND LACEY SCHWIMMER

She had a great run with Kyle Massey; will not be replicated this time.

WENDY WILLIAMS

AND TONY DOVOLANI

A familiar and highly capable pro still in search of a title.

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