In a misstep as ungainly as anything executed on its studio dance floor, the selection of former Republican Congressman Tom DeLay as one of the contestants on ABC's Dancing With The Stars has contributed substantially to a significant drop in the ratings for one of the network's few hits. The Los Angeles Times observed today (Tuesday) that the show's audience has slipped to its lowest level since DWTS went on the air four years ago -- and it's down 19 percent from last year among younger viewers, many of whom have never heard of DeLay and are only vaguely familiar with some of the other cast members, including Melissa Joan Hart and Donny Osmond. (The newspaper cited a comment on one of its message boards saying "This is the worst season ever. ... Now I can go to bed early on Monday and Tuesday nights. Thanks for the extra beauty sleep.") In an interview with the Times , veteran reality and game-show producer Scott Sternberg agreed that the cast is not very interesting. "You have to connect with one of the players and root for them."