Col. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin wants to keep the U.S. space program visible. Erin Andrews wants to move past being victimized in a headline-making scandal.
Both have specific reasons, then, for "Dancing With the Stars."
History's second moonwalker and the ESPN reporter are among the newest celebrities competing in ABC's contest. The show's 10th round kicks off tonight with Tom Bergeron back as host and seventh-season winner Brooke Burke as his new co-host.
Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli return as judges, with Cheryl Burke and Derek Hough among the pro dancers again.
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Now 80, Apollo 11 and Gemini 12 astronaut Aldrin admits he had to think about the "Dancing" offer, but he ultimately couldn't pass up the chance to advance his latest mission.
"I'm very interested in reaching out to diverse populations," he explains, "but it's taking me a while to figure out just how to meld into this 'small step for man and giant leap for mankind.' "
Aldrin, whose "Dancing" partner is Ashly Costa, back for her fourth season, says he already dances, "but not to my wife's total satisfaction."
With "Dancing With the Stars," Andrews is in the public eye for another reason than the one she's had much attention for lately: the invasion of her privacy by a man arrested last year for shooting videos of her through a hotel peephole, then posting them online and trying to sell them.
"This is something I'd been hoping to do for a while," Andrews says of her "Dancing" engagement.
"I love everything about the show, and friends and co-workers said, 'Yeah, you should do that.' "
Others vying to succeed Donny Osmond as the latest "Dancing With the Stars" winner include actresses Shannen Doherty (the latest of several "Dancing" alumni of "Beverly Hills, 90210"), Pamela Anderson and comedian Niecy Nash; Olympic gold-medal skater Evan Lysacek; reality show veterans Kate Gosselin and Jake Pavelka (the most recent "Bachelor"); actor Aiden Turner ("All My Children"); NFL star Chad Ochocinco; and musical Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.
Aldrin hopes his "Dancing" presence will reinforce that with determination, a person can accomplish anything at any age.
"I'm still introducing new techniques for our future interplanetary programs," he says.
"I didn't try skiing until I was 50 years old, because I was so intent on doing other things."
Andrews knows the message she wants to send by making herself so visible on such a popular show at this point: She's keeping her life in her own hands.
"I didn't think I should deny myself something I really wanted to do," she says of being on "Dancing With the Stars."
"Some people already have their opinions, and I can't change them. And this could be something else for people to talk about. That's not why I'm doing this, but it's great to have my name on something a little more positive."
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'dancing with the stars'
oThe ABC talent show begins its 10th season at 7 p.m. today on KAKE, Channel 10.