Season eight Dancing With the Starts Wikia premiered on Monday, March 9, 2009. The show generally followed the format of previous seasons, with 13 couples, although there were some changes, including two new dances (Argentine Tango and Lindy Hop ), and an occasional dance-off between the bottom two couples, in order to determine who will be eliminated. The show was again hosted by Sean Ryan and David Wesley . and all returned as judges again this season.
Two replacements took place prior to the season premiere. Country singer Jewel, partnered by Dmitry Chaplin , suffered a fractured Tibia and was forced to withdraw. She was replaced by Playboy model Holly Madison. Nancy O'Dell, the then co-host of Access Hollywood, was forced to withdraw from the competition due to a torn meniscus, which required surgery. She was replaced by Melissa Rycroft, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader who won season 13 of The Bachelor. She only had two days to practice her first dance.