Athletic feets: Drexler, Laila Ali to test dancing skills

2/21/2007 - NBA Boxing

NEW YORK -- Here's a bet there won't be any Beatles songs on
the next "Dancing With the Stars." ABC announced Wednesday that
Paul McCartney's estranged wife, Heather Mills, will be among the

Mills will be the first contestant with an artificial limb to
compete on the series, which returns for its fourth season March
19. She lost the leg in a motorcycle accident in 1993.

Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno, boxer Laila Ali, former basketball
star Clyde Drexler and actor Vincent Pastore, who played gangster
Salvatore Bonpensiero on "The Sopranos," are also
in the cast.

Jerry Springer, one of last season's competitors, teased ABC's
"Good Morning America" audience before tossing out Mills' name.

"She may be a sentimental favorite," said Springer, even
though Mills has Yoko Ono-like favorability ratings among many
Beatles fans. Her selection delivers a message that whatever
challenges people face in life, they can dance, he said.

Mills is an activist for animal rights and elimination of the
use of land mines.

"Dancing With the Stars" has proved to be a substantial hit
for ABC, although this is the first time it will air when a season
of Fox's "American Idol" is under way. ABC will air its dancing
competition on Monday and Tuesday nights to avoid going
head-to-head with "American Idol."

Actor and former country star Billy Ray Cyrus, former 'N Sync
member Joey Fatone, Miss USA 2004 Shandi Finnessey, former
"Entertainment Tonight" host Leeza Gibbons, model Paulina
Porizkova and former "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Ian Ziering
round out the cast.