Woman with local connections makes reality stardom

Published 11:13 pm Saturday, January 12, 2008

NATCHEZ — Father and son duo Louis and Mark Baroni didn’t watch LSU win the National Championship last Monday night.

Something better was on.

ABC was showing “Dance Wars: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann.” And the entire Baroni clan loves the show.

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That’s because 20-year-old Charity Baroni is a contestant on the reality show, a spinoff of “Dancing with the Stars.”

Charity is the granddaughter of Louis, the niece of Mark and the daughter of David Baroni.

Louis and Mark live in Natchez, David and Charity live near Nashville. David grew up in Natchez and is a Cathedral graduate.

Monday night, Charity was named as one of the Top 14 finalists. She first auditioned in Nashville, making call backs to Los Angeles.

Contestants on the show are singers and dancers, and they compete on one of two teams. Each team is led by one of the judges from “Dancing with the Stars.”

And each week, America votes for their favorite team. The team that receives the lowest number of votes will eliminate one member.

The show airs at 7 p.m. on Mondays on ABC. And the Baronis are recruiting votes.

“Please vote for whatever team Charity is on,” her father David said.

She’ll need the votes to stay on for the next six weeks, but one way or the other, her family is going to be proud, Louis Baroni said.

“I think she stands a chance,” he said. “I’m quite proud of her. She’s been a dancer practically all her life, and she’s doing quite well.”

The winners of “Dance Wars” will get an opening slot for a major performing artist and the chance to be part of a new dancing and singing act.