DeLay 'Thrilled' to Join 'Dancing With the Stars' Cast

Published August 17, 2009


His favorite dance step is the Texas two-step, but when former House GOP leader Tom Delay makes his debut on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" next month, don't ask him to do "any of that hip hop."

The former Texas Congressman will be joining 15 celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and sports on the new season of the show starting in September -- a move his daughter said has him so excited "he can't stop giggling about it."

DeLay's daughter Dani Ferro told Monday that her father was asked in May to join the all-star cast, which includes singers Mya, Macy Gray, and Donny Osmond, actors Ashley Hamilton and Melissa Joan Hart, model Kathy Ireland, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, and reality star Kelly Osbourne.

"People are going to see the real Tom DeLay," Ferro told, noting that her father once took disco lessons and has "good rhythm."

"He's silly, he's goofy, and he's funny," she said -- adding that his appearance on the show will help counter the public's perception of the former House Majority leader.

Delay -- a devoted fan of the hit TV dance show -- resigned from office in June 2006 after facing criminal charges that he conspired to violate campaign finance laws. But DeLay, who denied all charges and pled not guilty, was never convicted of a crime.

DeLay, who is 62-years-old and has no formal dance training, will be the oldest cast member on the show, which Ferro said had "worried" the family.

"Our biggest worry was injury. He was out of shape, working from home and eating at all these business dinners, but now he has a trainer and is starting to get in shape," she said. "He lost 12 pounds."

Ferro added that her father is "real excited" to try the "Pasodoble," a dance style modeled after the sound, drama, and movement of the Spanish bullfight.

"He wants to try it because I think he just likes to say the word," she quipped.

The show's contestants were announced on Monday's "Good Morning America" by "Dancing" host Tom Bergeron, who also unveiled a new competitive twist.

"In the middle of our season, over three weeks, we're going to have double eliminations," said Bergeron. "We'll lose about half of our cast within that period. It will be a ballroom bloodbath."

Samantha Harris returns as co-host, with the panel of judges including ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer-choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

The ninth season of the hit ABC show premieres Sept. 21.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.