Renee Zellweger is being lined-up to appear on Dancing with the Stars.
Bosses for the reality show are keen to pull out all of the stops for the next season by choosing celebrity contestants who have all won Oscars, and they believe securing Renee - who took home the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in Cold Mountain in 2003 - will encourage other stars to sign up.
"Renee is being seen as the lynchpin contestant that would seal the deal for the theme season. The producers are fixated on Renee, in part because she hasn't done much dancing at all since Chicago more than 10 years ago and there's this real mystery about her and what she's up to. They keep raising the amount of money they are willing to give her in the hope that she'll say yes, and the theory is that if they can get her to sign on, then it would attract some other really prominent Oscar winning stars - who wouldn't normally do reality TV - to fall in step," a source said.
Ratings for the ABC program have decreased in recent seasons after producers only wanted celebrities with little dancing experience to take part, but they believe a talent like Renee's could boost viewings. "Now that the rule that stars had to be total dance novices has been broken, it opens the door wide for someone like Renee, who hoofed it in Chicago, to strut her stuff. The DWTS masterminds think the idea of having a theme of Oscar winners would be a sure ratings-grabber," the source explained.
Amber Riley has won Dancing with the Stars.
The Glee actress and her professional partner Derek Hough have taken home this year's mirrorball trophy after triumphing over High School Musical actor Corbin Bleu and his professional partner Karina Smirnoff with a perfect-scoring samba/quickstep fusion.
"Anything that scares me I want to do. You can do whatever, whatever, whatever you put your mind to," Amber said, speaking after the result was announced.
And despite coming second, Corbin was just delighted to have taken part: "I thank God for this experience. I thank my family."
Earlier in the evening, Jack Osbourne - whose sister Kelly came third on the show in 2009 - and his partner Cheryl Burke were eliminated into third place after the first round of dances. "I'm definitely not a better dancer than my sister, for one. We're both tied. Just going the distance for me was winning enough," he said.
"I'm so not qualified to be judging on a technical basis because I don't know anything about ballroom dancing. I just don't want to be responsible for someone getting a different mark than a professional would give them. So I am a little worried about that part."
- Cher reveals her hesitance in judging dancers on Dancing with the Stars - a gig that she hasn't previously done.
(Make sure to check out our other notable quotes.)
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Jack Osbourne, Snooki and Amber Riley are among the celebrities competing on the next season of Dancing with the Stars.
The trio will join nine other famous personalities on Season 17 of the ballroom dancing competition, which is judged by Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. Jack - who suffers from the nerve disorder multiple sclerosis and is the son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne - has been partnered with Cheryl Burke, Jersey Shore star Snooki, who has a 12-month-old son, Lorenzo, with her fiance Jionni LaValle, will dance with Sasha Farber, while Glee actress Amber will foxtrot with Derek Hough.
Other notable names from the line-up include Showgirls actress Elizabeth Berkley, singer Christina Milian, High School Musical actor Corbin Bleu and King of Queens star Leah Remini.
Season 17 will kick off with a two-hour episode on Monday, September 16 on ABC.
Melanie Brown is set to appear on Dancing with the Stars: All Stars.
The former Spice Girl has been asked by bosses of the ABC show to come back to the ballroom and compete against other celebrity dancers for the mirror-ball trophy. Mel and her professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy came second on the fifth season of the program in 2007.
"Mel absolutely wants to come back and take another crack at winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy. Mel and Maksim had great chemistry together and they definitely push each other's buttons, which only makes their dances more intense and fiery. Maksim has never won the trophy before, it's a constant thorn in his side, and he knows his best chance of winning is going to be with Mel," a source told RadarOnline.com.
Sherri Shepherd has been eliminated from Dancing with the Stars. The View host and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy was booted out of the show in a shock result after they earned 21 points - the second lowest score - the night before for their performance of the tango, with Gladys Knight and Gavin DeGraw widely expected to be out.
"I just want to say thank you for letting me live a dream I've always had. I had the most amazing partner, Val Chmerkovskiy. That thing that scares you the most, run towards it because it's so amazing on the other side. I had the most amazing time," she said, speaking through tears.
Donald Driver topped the leaderboard on Dancing with the Stars last night. The NFL star and his professional partner Peta Murgatroyd wowed the judges during rock week, with their paso doble to Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" - which saw the sportsman dance topless - earning a total of 27 points.
"Muscular. Masculine. Magnificent!" said judge Bruno Tonioli.
Carrie Ann Inaba described the routine as "raunchy and spectacular," while Len Goodman teased, "After the show, we'll compare tattoos."
This week was the first time Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas have not topped the leaderboard, with the judges receiving boos from the audience - which included David Hasselhoff, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Rita Wilson - when they awarded the couple 24 points for their paso doble.
"It had promise but didn't quite deliver," Len told them.
Jack Wagner became the second contestant to leave the latest series of Dancing with the Stars last night.
The former General Hospital actor - who was tied for last place on 24 points with Sherri Shepherd, Gavin DeGraw, Melissa Gilbert and Gladys Knight on Tuesday's show - was a surprise elimination from the competition with either Gavin or Melissa expected to be sent home. Before the results were announced, head judge Len Goodman suggested producers "roll it over to next week because no one deserves to go home tonight."
Martina Navratilova became the first contestant to leave the latest series of Dancing with the Stars last night.
The 55-year-old tennis legend - who made up the bottom two with 35-year-old singer Gavin DeGraw - blamed herself for her exit, saying she "blew it" on the show on Monday night after struggling with her jive.
"I gave it everything I had, but I blew it yesterday and it cost me, unfortunately. Hopefully I get to the do the jive the last week here. I look forward to coming back and I wish everybody good luck. It was an amazing experience. I just wish that it had lasted longer," she said.
The judges were also unimpressed with Martina and professional partner Tony Dovolani's performance with Len Goodman saying it was "too careful" and "insular" while Bruno Tonioli added, "My darling, I think that serve went into the net."
Katherine Jenkins topped the leader board on Dancing with the Stars last night.
The Welsh opera singer and her dancing partner scored 26 out of 30 for her jive performance, with judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli awarding her nine and head judge Len Goodman giving her eight. "I loved the start, the whole end section - the middle section wasn't really my cup of tea. It was wild and wacky," Len said, commenting on their dance.
Bruno claimed he loved it for its "sexiness. The blonde bombshell is unleashed. I know sexy when I see it and you've got it."
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