Buzz Aldrin??!! On the same dance floor with Pam Anderson??!! Who will also be on the same floor with Jake Pavelka?!
Who assembled this wacky cast? (Someone clearly with a sense of humor.)
But all told, I like this season's cast. This is the best one in my (admittedly curdled) memory. It's interesting. And Chad Eighty-Six? Well, that's just downright insprired.
Of course, I like Evan Lysacek to win the whole thing. But that's the easy, obvious call.
BUZZ ALDRIN – Astronaut, scientist-inventor, bestselling author, advocate for man’s future in space, Buzz Aldrin is considered one of the greatest heroes of space exploration. On July 20, 1969, he and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moon walk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. An estimated 600 million people -- the world’s largest television audience in history -- witnessed this unprecedented, heroic endeavor. Upon his return from the Apollo 11 mission, Aldrin was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American peacetime award. Born in 1930, Aldrin was educated at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He then joined the Air Force, where he flew 66 combat missions in Korea and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Aldrin received his doctorate of science in astronautics at MIT before being selected by NASA in 1963. He devised docking and rendezvous techniques for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit that became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs. He has received three U.S. patents for his schematics of a modular space station, founded Starcraft Boosters Inc., a rocket design company, and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to advancing space education. An accomplished writer whose work has appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, Aldrin has most recently written an autobiography titled "Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon." Named after Aldrin are Asteroid “6470 Aldrin,” “Aldrin Crater” on the moon, Buzz Lightyear from “Toy Story,” and the MTV Music Video Award “The Moonman” was originally called “The Buzzy” and is shaped in his image.
PAMELA ANDERSON – Model, actress, mother, entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist, Pamela Anderson is a sex symbol who has appeared on more magazine covers than any other star of her generation and was named in the Guinness Book of World Records as “most downloaded.” Introduced to television audiences as the “Tool Time Girl” on the hit series “Home Improvement, “ Anderson went on to star in the global phenomenon “Baywatch.” Her other television work includes the hit series “V.I.P.” and her recent documentary series “Pam – Girl on the Loose.” Among her film work is her star turn in “Barb Wire” and “Borat,” in which she played herself and the object of Borat’s affections. Current projects include her role as the “face” of the current campaign for the work of legendary designer Vivienne Westwood, and her partnership with her friend, designer Richie Rich, on the A*Muse brand – a line of clothing inspired by Anderson and created by Rich. Anderson recently launched her own fragrance, Malibu by Pamela Anderson (along with other beauty-related products, all now available in drug stores worldwide). She also continues her extensive charity work in many areas – among which PETA remains her first love.
PHOTOS: Pamela Anderson
ERIN ANDREWS – Since joining ESPN in 2004, Erin Andrews has become one of the most well-known sports reporters in the country. Having begun her career at ESPN as a reporter for the network’s NHL coverage, Andrews has served as a reporter for “ESPN College Football Saturday” telecasts, “Saturday Primetime” college basketball games and Big Ten college basketball coverage. In 2005 she began reporting from the sidelines of the “ESPN College Football Primetime” series on Thursday nights, and added Major League Baseball sideline reporting to her responsibilities, including the “Monday Night Baseball” telecasts. Andrews has been a reporter on ESPN’s College World Series telecasts since 2005 and has worked ABC’s coverage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee as a reporter since 2008. A native of Lewiston, Maine, Andrews graduated from the University of Florida, where she was a member of the Gators’ basketball dance team from 1997-2000.
PHOTOS: ESPN's Erin Andrews
SHANNEN DOHERTY – Shannen Doherty is a television icon known throughout the world. She rose to stardom for her portrayal of Brenda Walsh in the popular television series “Beverly Hills, 90210” and later as Prue Halliwell on “Charmed,” after beginning her career at 11 as Jenny Wilder in “Little House: A New Beginning.” Over the course of her career, Doherty has appeared in numerous made-for-TV-movies, television series and films, including “Heathers” and “Mallrats.” She later went on to produce and star in her own reality show, “Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty,” for the Oxygen Network in 2006. Recently Doherty reprised her role as Brenda Walsh on the CW’s spin off “90210,” and completed filming on the Hallmark made-for-TV-movie, “Growing the Big One.” She is also the author of the upcoming book Bad Ass from publisher Clarkson Potter.
KATE GOSSELIN -- Kate Gosselin has the joy, frustration and honor of raising eight children -- twins and sextuplets -- in central Pennsylvania. The daily lives of her family were previously chronicled for five seasons on TLC’s hit show “Jon and Kate Plus 8.” Gosselin is a sought-after speaker, author of The New York Times bestselling books "Multiple Blessings" and "Eight Little Faces," and is in production on a new show for TLC. Her newest book, "I Just Want You to Know," will be in stores this spring.
EVAN LYSACEK – Olympic gold medalist and World Figure Skating champion Evan Lysacek has been skating since the age of 8, when he received a pair of hockey skates. His win in Vancouver was the first in 22 years for an American male figure skater at the Olympics. A native of Naperville, Ill., Lysacek relocated to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to train with Frank Carroll who, in addition to his Olympic and World titles, has also coached Lysacek to two U.S. National titles and a fourth-place showing at the Torino Games in 2006. This spring Lysacek will also be touring as a member of the cast of “Stars on Ice.”
NIECY NASH -- The host and producer of the Style Network’s home makeover show, “Clean House,” Niecy Nash is a two-time 2009 Daytime Emmy nominee and the new Celebrity Panelist for the entertainment news program, “The Insider.” She recently won a 2010 Gracie Award for her role as no-nonsense Officer Raineesha Williams on the Comedy Central hit, “Reno 911!” and it’s spin-off film, “Reno 911: Miami.” In 2008, Nash starred in her own FOX comedy series, “Do Not Disturb.” She is also well-known for her recurring role on the comedy series “The Bernie Mac Show.” Her most recent film work includes “Not Easily Broken” and Walt Disney Pictures’ “G-Force.” Additionally, Nash is developing various television and film projects through her own production company, Chocolate Chick Inc. The proud mother of three adoring children, when asked what her hobbies are, Nash proudly replies, “motherhood,” which she considers her greatest success in life.
CHAD OCHOCINCO – Chad Ochocinco is one of the NFL’s most prolific wide receivers. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted him from Oregon State in 2001. In his 9th season with the Bengals, he holds the franchise record for most receiving yards in a season, most receiving yards of all time, the most receptions, the most receiving yards in a game, the most seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and the most touchdowns in a game. He is a six-time Pro-Bowler and was named All-Pro three times. He made headlines in 2008 when he legally changed his name from Chad Johnson to Chad Ochocinco to match his jersey number, “85.” Currently the spokesman for Degree, teaming up with them to endorse their line of men’s deodorant products, Ochocinco’s popularity can best be seen by his use of social media sites like Twitter and Ustream. Alternatively, Rock Software has produced an iPhone Application that gives users the ultimate “Ocho Cinco Experience.” Whether it is teaming with corporations to give away hundreds of seats to a Bengals game or racing a thoroughbred for charity, Ochocinco understands the importance of giving back and staying grounded to his roots. On a more global scale, he has partnered with Feed the Children to raise awareness of the worldwide epidemic of hunger and poverty among children.
JAKE PAVELKA -- As the handsome commercial pilot and most recent bachelor looking for love on ABC’s “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love,” Jake Pavelka has the reputation as an honest guy with an open heart. He has been a fan favorite since viewers were stunned when Jillian Harris rejected him right before the hometown dates on the previous season’s “The Bachelorette.” With a positive outlook on the experience, Pavelka won over the hearts of many and met his match when he narrowed 25 lucky bachelorettes down to one this past season. An accomplished pilot, he grew up in Denton, Texas, and attended the University of North Texas and Embry Engineering University for Aerospace Science. Pavelka became an airline captain flight instructor at 23. On his days off, he has fun flying acrobatic planes and woodworking at the home he owns near Dallas.
NICOLE SCHERZINGER – Nicole Scherzinger was born in Honolulu and grew up in Louisville, Ken. She is a singer, songwriter, trained actress, performer and the lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls. She was asked to join the Pussycat Dolls recording group as the lead singer after being recognized from her success on the TV show “Popstars” and the group Eden’s Crush. The Pussycat Dolls’ 2006 debut album, “PCD,” went double-platinum in America and sold over 9 million copies worldwide, with several Top 10 hits songs, including “Don’t Cha”, “Buttons” and “Stickwitu.” After the success of “PCD,” Scherzinger recorded a series of duets and guest vocal appearances with artists such as P.Diddy, 50 Cent, Timbaland, Vittorio and several others. She also released two solo singles and videos before recording the second Pussycat Dolls album, “Doll Domination,” which to date has sold over 5 million copies and features hits like “When I grow Up and “I Hate This Part.” Scherzinger has toured the world as a headline act for over six years, playing stadiums and arenas and appearing on countless TV shows. In 2009 she wrote and recorded an adaptation of the AR Rahman song, “Jai Ho,” from the film “Slumdog Millionaire.” The song went No. 1 in 17 countries. Scherzinger is currently writing and recording new songs for release in 2010 while pursuing her love
for acting and musical theater.
AIDEN TURNER – Aiden Turner was born April 2, 1977, in Hertforshire, England, and was educated at St. Edmund's College. He attended culinary school to pursue his love of cooking, and for two years he worked as a chef in Hertford. While doing so, he taught himself how to mix music, and he began working at night as a DJ. He then went on to follow his dream to travel all over the world, visiting Thailand, Malaysia, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and North America. He studied acting at the Method Studio Covent Garden in London, which helped him land commercial and television castings. He was cast for the role of Aiden Devane on ABC’s “All My Children” in 2002. He played that role for eight years, and recently left the show to pursue other acting opportunities in film and television.
Pamela Anderson (Getty Images, 2010)