Watch CBSN Live

"Dancing With The Stars:" Get ready to rumba!

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer. CBS/Getty

How much change can you believe in? That's what the new series of "Dancing With The Stars", starting Monday, will be asking of you.

There's Metta World Peace, who, previous to his Mettamorphosis, was Ron Artest, and used to be slightly eccentric. There's Elisabetta Canalis, who used to be George Clooney's squeeze and is now squeezing a little more fame out of that notoriety.

There's Kristin Cavallari, who used to be Chicago Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler's fiancée and who now wants to prove her feet have more rhythm than his, which some in Chicago would say is not a difficult task. There's Nancy Grace, who used to be annoying and is now is a fundamental part of our rich, outspoken society.

There's David Arquette, who was with Courtney Cox and then wasn't and then was and now, I think, isn't. There's Ricki Lake, who used to have a show on which women screamed and cheered quite a lot, now is an advocate for natural childbirth, and will have another show on which women will, perhaps, scream and cheer a lot in 2012.

But of course, the change that everyone is talking about, while fanning themselves or their moral furnace, is Chaz Bono. Who used to be a woman and is now a man. This is change that some people simply can't believe in.

Pictures: "Dancing With The Stars" Season 13

ABC is, no doubt, shocked that there might be people in America narrow-hearted enough to complain about Bono's presence on the show. (Sample: ""Chaz Bono How low can this show sink. Well you have certainly addressed the gay community. Guess this will not be a family show any longer!!!! Lost my family!")

Partners are very important in "Dancing With The Stars." Sometimes things gel. Sometimes the professional will vigorously shake his or her head, so that a little hair gel splatters into the eyes of a difficult and supposed star. (Last season, Louis Van Amstel seemed to be somewhere near Kate Plus Hate with Kate Gosselin.)

In Bono's case, he has landed with the entirely vivacious, racy and slightly wild Lacey Schwimmer.

Any spluttering objectors who might be poised with poisoned fingernails will surely remember that Schwimmer has already partnered the very happily gay Lance Bass. They will either fear she has been typecast or declare her a societal renegade.

The rest of America will be looking forward to the choreographic concoctions that Schwimmer will dish up for Bono.

Winning the show's Mirrorball Trophy has an importance equal to winning a stuffed yellow monkey at the state fair. However, some professional partners have shown themselves to be pleasantly competitive in spirit and bare-faced about their keenness to show it.

So in wondering who might be the true amateur wonders here, it's best to consider their partners.

It's easy to imagine that Lake will glide across the floor as if it were a bridge over troubled water.

Her partner is the highly-motivated Derek Hough. And, wait, didn't Lake once star in "Hairspray"? There's dancing in that, isn't there? Just as there was in "Dirty Dancing," whose star Jennifer Grey won "Dancing With The Stars" in 2010, when she was partnered, by, gosh, Derek Hough.

Brush it off. Mere coincidence.

America's World Cup goalkeeper, Hope Solo, surely might have a few moves that will attract a crowd. The coordinated have, remarkably, performed well in this show when pitted against the likes of Jerry Springer and the mailman from "Cheers."

Solo will be accompanied by the boisterously sexual Maksim Chmerkovskiy - he who latterly partnered the mighty sex appeal of both Erin Andrews and Kirstie Alley. Please wait until week 3 before the producers offer a rumor of a romance in this pairing.

Six athletes (If you count Indy drivers as athletes) have won the Mirrorball Trophy. Neither Solo, nor Metta World (War and) Peace can possibly be discarded.

Especially as His Mettaness won't have to worry about an NBA season starting any time soon - not that he would anyway.

Every year, though, there are contestants upon whom one must shower pity. They arrive with hope and they leave with bunions on their brains. Who could possibly forget that Kim Kardashian appeared here a few years ago and had all the moves of an item at the Container Store?

This time, her brother Rob, the one for whom even the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" scriptwriters - or do I mean producers? - find it hard to find a storyline, will be taking to the floor.

On the positive side, his partner is the estimable Cheryl Burke, who has the discipline of a dominatrix and the determination of an NFL fullback.

On the less positive side, there is no reason to believe that Kardashian can dance. He is, however, a very good skier.

Surely no one will have more determination that Iraq War veteran, J. R. Martinez. Martinez now stars in "All My Children" and speaks powerfully about his life after 33 surgeries after his Humvee hit a landmine and he suffered severe burns to more than 40 per cent of his body.

No matter how well he dances, he will surely have a considerable following from the beginning. His professional partner, Karina Smirnoff, is another who is rarely shy about her fondness for winning. So there will be much excitement surrounding their performances.

But if you're looking for a surprise, perhaps it might reside in the slim, demure frame of Carson Kressley. The man who made "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" such a memorably liberating experience for so many men (and their lovers) has no obvious dancing credentials.

Yet, when you delve into the depths of his considerable life, you discover that he is rather keen on American Saddlebred show horses. In fact, he seems to have reached the level of World Champion in this field.

Don't show horses require rhythm? A lot of rhythm?

Kressley might have a few surprises in his breeches for all the other show ponies.