For the past few weeks, it was heavily rumored that Lakers forward Ron Artest, the soon-to-be Metta World Peace, would be a contestant on the hit ABC series "Dancing with the Stars." In case you're unfamiliar, "DWTS" (as it's known to those of us in the know) is a combination variety and reality show in which marginal celebrities like Lil Romeo and Hall of Fame athletes such as Jerry Rice perform various ballroom dances for the pleasure of old people and, occasionally, Sarah Palin.
Rumors of Artest's involvement were so heavy that it was widely assumed he'd be involved in the cast announcement during Monday night's episode of the human petri dish "Bachelor Pad." However, earlier in the afternoon, Ron-Ron tweeted that he was not doing the show because he had to work on his new single (via PBT). Obviously, a man cannot dance when he needs to make a song that will implore others to get down and boogie.
That tweet has since been deleted. Because, as you can read at Yahoo!'s own OMG! blog, Artest was in fact announced as one of this season's contestants:
Actress and former talk show host Ricki Lake, Laker Ron Artest (who took his shirt off after his name was revealed), Wilson Phillips singer Chynna Phillips, former "The Hills" reality star Kristin Cavallari, actor David Arquette, and fashion expert Carson Kressley were the first names revealed on Monday night.
The season premiere is Sept. 19, only three days after Artest's name change is set to take place. He will dance as the living embodiment of global freedom and prosperity, just as it was meant to be.
There are more names involved, including legal eagle Nancy Grace and Robert Kardashian, the brother-in-law of Artest's Laker teammate Lamar Odom. Clearly we are in for a special season of watching D-list celebs we would otherwise not be able to find on television.
It's as yet unclear if Artest will last past the first week. On Monday, he told the Los Angeles Daily News that he just can't dance. On the other hand, athletes have typically performed pretty well on the show, likely because dancing is a physically grueling and competitive environment just like professional sports. Still, Artest's game has never been focused on grace, and he hasn't seemed particularly engaged with basketball recently. This is the same man who recently embraced standup comedy because he thought it would be a cool thing to do. Something tells me he's liable to wander into the audience during a "DWTS" and disappear, only to resurface on an episode of "Private Practice" a few weeks later.
Whatever the case, we will cover every Artest appearance on the show, mostly because it figures to be quite a trip. Will he dance a rumba in a basketball jersey? Pantomime running into the stands and accosting a fan during the pasodoble? Push David Arquette away when he tries to hug him for the fifth time in 10 minutes? We'll be there to capture it all!
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