Hold onto your sequined spandex, dance fans: It’s almost time to rumba! “Dancing with the Stars” 2012 premieres March 19 on ABC with an all-new –and all-fabulous– celebrity cast. Which of the freshly minted couples will make history and which will fall grievously short of Mirrorball greatness? Take a gander at some pre-season predictions.
It’s never been a disadvantage to be paired with three-time “DWTS” champ Derek Hough, and this season will be no different. Look for Hough and super sexy “Extra” host Maria Menounos to score consistently well from week to week. Also likely to fare well? Disney actor Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower, who returns to “Dancing” after sitting out season 13. Disney kids have historically done extraordinarily well on the show; Kyle Massey finished second on the arm of partner Lacey Schwimmer during season 11, while Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas earned a respectable third place spot at the close of season 12. No reason to believe that Roshon won’t continue the greatness.
“Great” has historically been the term to describe NFL players on “Dancing”, so expect more of the same from football star Donald Driver and partner Peta Murgatroyd. If he’s lucky and as popular as those who’ve gone before him –including show winners Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward– he’ll have a good shot at the Mirrorball. Finally, if he can stifle Steve Urkel and slide into Sefan Urquelle, former “Family Matters” star Jaleel White and partner Kym Johnson could also finesse their way to dance stardom.
Hmmm… It’s Hard to Say
Like Maria, Latin hunk William Levy is hot. Hot, hot, hot. And he and partner Cheryl Burke will make an undoubtedly mega-hot couple. Despite his fine physique, though, William faces a distinct disadvantage: As a Latin soap actor, he simply isn’t well known. And that can hurt a celeb’s chances on a fan-voted show. Also potentially facing problems with fan recognition is former “Little House on the Prairie” actress Melissa Gilbert, who’s hoofing it with self-proclaimed “sex on a stick” Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Whether or not young watchers will know who she is is hard to predict, and that could hurt the couple’s chances.
Daytime TV viewers will recognize “The View” panelist Sherri Shepherd and soap star Jack Wagner, but will their respective partners –Val Chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya– be able to transform them into ballroom-ready hoofers in time? It’s hard to say. Sherri’s previous dance experience has already drawn fire from critics, but whether or not it will prove an advantage to the 44-year old TV star remains to be seen.
And what of hit singer Gavin DeGraw and reigning pro champ Karina Smirnoff? If they impress during week one, they’ll stick around. If not, well, don’t expect much.
It’ll Be Tough. Really Tough.
It’s not that the rest of the pack consists of bad dancers. On the contrary, they may all be excellent in the ballroom. But for a variety of reasons, they probably won’t be around at season’s end. Opera singer Katherine Jenkins will give Maria a run for her money for the “sexiest celebrity gal” title, but she’s Welsh. I had to look her up in order to figure out who she was when the cast list came out. She and partner Mark Ballas may well be very good together, but that won’t automatically translate into votes. Also likely to face the red lights early in the season? Singer Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus. Even though Tristan is hot and Gladys is a mega star, she’s the season’s oldest competitor. By a lot. And it’s understandably hard to keep up with competitors half your age.
The only other tennis superstar to ever appear on “Dancing with the Stars” was Monica Seles. And it didn’t go well; after a pair of awkward dances, she and partner Jonathan Roberts were booted. So it stands to reason that Martina Navratilova’s days on the show may be numbered, much to partner Tony Dovolani’s chagrin.
“Dancing with the Stars” 2012 performance shows air Mondays at 8 PM ET/PT on ABC.
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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Pro Dancer Trivia
‘Dancing with the Stars’ Hottest Couples Ever