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:
AND MARK BALLAS
Lucky Chelsea to get Ballas, who is coming off Bristol Palin's long march to the final three last season.
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.
AND CHELSIE HIGHTOWER
AND KYM JOHNSON
Ward should be a success, and with Johnson by his side, the one to beat.
AND LOUIS VAN AMSTEL
No cigar yet for Louis on "DWTS," and the Wilkinson pairing is a very long shot, too.
AND LACEY SCHWIMMER
She had a great run with Kyle Massey; will not be replicated this time.
AND TONY DOVOLANI
A familiar and highly capable pro still in search of a title.