Season 11 of Dancing with the Stars will premiere in just a few short weeks and to help get us all through to Sept. 20, the newest cast of the show was released Monday with the announcement of which celeb would be paired with which pro dancer.
Brace yourselves people. This season isn't going to be pretty.
Nevertheless, in true Livin' the Dream style, we... or I guess it's more just I... present to you an inside look at Season 11.
Where you know her from: "The Hills" and that one Carl's Jr. commercial.
Pro partner: Tony Dovolani
I can't picture Audrina getting very far on the show at all for two reasons. First, we're going to have an emotion factor on our hands seeing as she pretty much has no emotions. Being on "The Hills" will do this to you. Unless Justin Bobby is somehow approved to sit in the audience, she won't get fired up at all on the dance floor. Secondly, and this is totally me judging/assuming/stereotyping her, she doesn't seem very smart so learning challenging choreography won't be easy for her. She's very lucky she has Tony as a partner because he has always been able to get something out of his celebs. She'll also look good in the costumes. But she won't get a lot of votes namely because nobody who actually votes on this show (i.e. my dad, grandparents, boss - except I don't think my boss votes) knows who she is and the people who do (me, Julie, Kathleen) don't vote and don't like her. Sorry Audrina but thanks for playing.
Where you know her from: decent R&B singer in the 90s, Moesha or a remake of the Rogers and Hammerstein's version of Cinderella (Oh wait that's only me? Awkward.)
Pro partner: Maks
Brandy might be the only competitor on this show that won't irritate me all season. Plus she's with Maks. So I will be voting for her just to keep him on the show longer. I think she could do well on this... dare I say she could win? I guess if you're going to crown someone the "ringer" of the competition (think Mya, Evan Lysacek, Shawn Johnson) it would be Brandy. Maks is a great teacher and choreographer. I can imagine Brandy being really scared/shy/nervous on the dance floor, though. But if she gets over that and trusts Maks' instruction, they could lift that trophy.
Where you know her from: Sarah Palin's kid.
Pro Partner: Mark Ballas
This will be a cutesy pairing because her and Mark are both... well... cutesy... but they won't go very far either. Her whole "I'm a super modest good girl" message that she's already putting out there won't help her when she has to get down with the Latin dances or has to be lovey and romantic with slower dances. It also won't help her when she wears turtlenecks to dance in. I said the same thing last year but when Mark's celeb isn't very talented, he's not that great of a teacher. Last year when he was paired with Shannon Doherty, he was the first or second to be eliminated. So needless to say, I can't see the two of them lasting past the halfway mark.
Where you know him from: How do you not know him?
Pro Partner: Kym Johnson
The Hoff is kind of a wild card to me in this competition. His pro partner, Kym, is awesome... I mean anyone who can take Warren Sapp to the finals is a good instructor. Hasselhoff could have the Donny Osmond factor going for him, but I don't think he's as popular as Donny is/was. He'll have good energy and will be up for trying anything in routines, so he could surprise a lot of people. I'm just not really sure how people honestly feel about him and if they'll be that enthused with him to actually pick up the phone. I'm neutral on how he'll do until I can actually see him in action.
Sidenote: He has not looked like THIS in about 15 years... nice Photoshop work ABC.
Where you know her from: She's Mrs. Brady for Pete's sake.
Pro Partner: Corky Ballas
So did Cloris Leachman start this whole "token old person" trend on DWTS? First her, Belinda Carlisle was terrible, Tom DeLay, then Buzz Aldrin last year, now Florence Henderson. And they've brought Corky back to deal with, I mean partner with her. She'll at least be easy to instruct and will take directions and won't be as big of a joke to watch as Cloris Leachman was. But otherwise, there's not much to report on here. Everyone loves Mrs. Brady so she'll be welcomed and embraced. Fans will enjoy watching her for a week or two, and then that will be it. She won't be last to go, but she won't last past the halfway mark.
Where you know her from: Starred in the film Dirty Dancing and played Ferris Bueller's older sister
Pro partner: Derek Hough
There is a lot of hype surrounding Jennifer Grey's selection to the cast because of what a great dancer she was in Dirty Dancing. She did study dance, but let's not forget how long ago that was. Which is exactly what she's been telling other people. With Derek, she could make a run for the trophy but she's a wild card for me too. I honestly have no idea what kind of dancing talent she may or may not have and I have no idea what kind of personality she'll bring to the dance floor. This will be an interesting test for Derek as he has been lucky enough to draw some ringers: Nicole Sherzinger, Brooke Burke, Joanna Krupa, Lil' Kim. The worst he's ever done is a week seven elimination. So much like Mark, he might finally have his first real challenge on his hand if Jennifer Grey isn't a stud right out of the gate.
Where you know him from: QB for the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals (and I didn't even have to Wikipedia that)
Pro Partner: Anna Trebunskaya
Football players have had a decent showing on DWTS, including champion Emmit Smith and runners-up Jason Taylor, Warren Sapp and Jerry Rice. But I'm not gonna lie: Kurt Warner is a white guy with bad knees. Is he going to really be able to get as far as his NFL counterparts? His partner Anna has been to the finals with Jerry Rice and last season with Evan Lysacek, but I feel this is going to be a Chuck Liddell situation all over again. She'll show him the steps, he'll do a mediocre job with them, but he'll probably last to week five or so before we say goodbye. I don't even think he'll generate many votes from dudes who might be watching the show with their wives/girlfriends.
Where you know him from: The show That's So Raven... which basically means nobody reading this blog knows who he is. Also US Magazine said he was a rapper. That is false.
Pro Partner: Lacey Schwimmer
Apparently this kid Kyle has "hip-hop style" but I don't know anything about him. I'm glad to see Lacey back and the two of them have the chance to be the Julianne and Cody from Season 7 - they're both young and will bring great energy to the dance floor. But this could also work against them. Lacey and Lance didn't do so well with the judges because of how modern they made all of their routines. At the the end of the day though, it's about the fans and what they think. And I honestly don't know a single person who knows who he is. So he's a wild card.
How you know her: Do you know her? I don't really. She's a comedian.
Pro Partner: Louis Van Amstel
So this is Margaret Cho. Um she's a comedian, and a pretty irreverent one at that I think. And that's all I've got. Oh she has a bunch of tattoos including what appears to be a gun in a holster around her thigh. So that will go over well with families. Her partner is Louis Van Amstel and he is a great instructor, but honestly I think we've found this year's Adam Corolla/Jeffery Ross. I mean what Louis did with Kelly Osbourne was pretty incredible to watch and it was a great transformation, but I don't think he'll have the same luck this time around. Their promo picture isn't even dance related. No bueno.
How you know him: According to Wikipedia he is best known for his "soft rock ballads and tenor vocals". "When a Man Loves a Woman" anyone?
Pro partner: Chelsie Hightower
Chelsie's done decently well with not-so-talented partners like Louie Vito and Ty Murray so she could do a decent job with Michael Bolton as well. Plus she's becoming the new Julianne Hough of the show so that always works well in her favor. With his music background, he'll be able to understand things like rhythm and tempo which is always helpful. He won't win, but I can see him getting pretty far in the competition. I'm sure he has a pretty large fanbase amongst 40-something year old women which is the prime demographic of this show, isn't it? So I don't think Michael Bolton will do that badly. I guess we'll find out.
How you know him: Unfortunately we all do know him. He's from the Jersey Shore.
Pro Partner: Karina Smirnoff
OF COURSE his partner is Karina. Rumors will be out about them dating or at least having some private rehearsals if you know what I mean within weeks, guaranteed.
I thought that The Situation could actually be the dark horse of the competition but now I'm not so sure. An article on MTV.com says that he and Karina haven't even met and instead of having three weeks to rehearse for the opening routine like all of the other couples, they will get five days due to his obligations with filming Jersey Shore. It would definitely be nice to see a different, less trashy side of him though and if he takes it seriously, he could do okay. Not sure he has much dance experience past fist pumping in the clubs, but you never know.
A few definites though:
1. Tom Bergeron will make so many jokes involving the word "situation" that Sorrentino could think about a new nickname.
2. Hope Brooke Burke, Chelsie, Lacey, Cheryl, shoot every female under the age of 35 (or even those over 35 for that matter) involved with this show has their getting hit on deflector shield up because it's about to be on.
3. Between him and Maks, I fully expect at least one shirtless routine per week.
Where you know him from: Near-10 year career with the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers
Pro Partner: Cheryl Burke
Unlike the NFL, the NBA is barely represented on DWTS (that's a lot of acronyms) and Rick Fox is only the second basketball player to appear on the show - and no Mark Cuban doesn't count. Cheryl is basically a drill sergeant (that is a really hard word to spell) so he could turn out to be better than a lot of people are thinking. I'm not seeing him going very far, however.
The show is featuring some great pros this year with a combination of regulars including Derek, Mark, Chelsie, and Maks plus some returning pros that we missed last season like Kym, Corky, Lacey and (I guess) Karina. I still miss Dmitry though.
But the biggest story is the absence of Edyta. After 10 straight seasons and never lifting the trophy, Edyta decided to leave the show, saying she's ready to pursue other projects and finish school and that she can't be limited to just the show. Fair. But then of course are the rumors and apparently part of the reason she chose to leave was because she was unhappy that the producers wouldn't make her husband, Season 1 champ Alec Mazo, a regular on the show. She'll be missed. My dad might not even watch the show. That's how distraught he is over her departure.
Winner: I have to go with Brandy. There isn't anyone else that really stands out as having the combination of talent and discipline to go the distance.
First to go: I'd have to go with either Audrina or Margaret Cho. Neither one is well-known enough to generate enough votes.
Biggest Surprise: Jennifer Grey for not so good reasons, meaning everyone is expecting her to sail through and she'll fail. Or The Situation for good reasons, meaning he'll do better than expected.
Oh and Brooke Burke will still be a terrible co-host.
The announcement of this season's cast was pretty blah, not gonna lie. Nobody made me sit up and say "Oh I can't WAIT to see that couple together" like in years past. I'll still tune in, and obviously still be commissioner of the greatest Dancing with the Stars fantasy league ever, but DWTS is going to really need to start rethinking who they invite for the show. I read constantly about how people are dying to get on and then this is what they come up with? You're going to have to do better than that DWTS to keep people's interest going. Pretty sure my dad asked "who?" for 8 of the 11 contestants and that could simply be because my cell reception was atrocious that day, but something tells me I shouldn't blame terrible AT&T.