Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The New Cast of "Dancing with the Stars" Has Been Announced

Last night the new celebrity competitors for "Dancing with the  Stars" were revealed live during the final episode of "The Bachelor." In past seasons, the casting has become fairly predictable with the usual suspects that fit nicely into the predefined categories. This line-up is no exception.

Don't get us wrong, we understand the need to fill the appropriate parts and we're pleased with some of the choices. If it ain't broke... right? Here are the new cast members and the role they are playing on the show that premieres Monday, March 22 on ABC.

The final live announcement last night revealed that "Bachelor" Jake will round out the Season 10 cast. He has a very hard act to follow as Melissa Rycroft, last year's "Bachelorette" contender, went all the way to the finals before being beat by Gilles Marini and Shawn Johnson. Still, Trista did not fare so well in Season 1 and was eliminated first. We think Jake might have some rhythm based on several spins on the dance floor during dates, and predict that he will break up with Vienna before he gets kicked off "DWTS."

BOY BAND/GIRL GROUP STAR — Nicole Scherzinger
The contestants in the category have a huge leg up over the competition. They dance for a living. And while ballroom is a different kind of dance, they already have the ability to learn choreography and an inherent sense of rhythm that the other dancers generally lack. And while past boy band and girl group cast members like Joey McIntyre, Drew Lachey, and Lance Bass had us cheering, we are not so thrilled by the choice of Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger. Did she just get a new agent or something? She's everywhere. First on the a cappella competition show "The Sing-Off," then on the "We Are The World" re-recording, and now this? "Don't Cha" wish she would get voted off early?

Past comic actor dancers have managed to rank pretty low in overall scores. Adam Carolla, Jeffrey Ross, David Alan Grier, and Steve-O found a place in our hearts and made dancing fun, but did not stick around very long when the dancing got tough. Niecy Nash might follow in their funny footsteps, but she has an edge, she also straddles the sometimes used Plus Size Star category with contestants like Marissa Jaret Winokur and Kelly Osboure who manage to get the audience behind them. Don't rule her out.

Aiden will appear on "DWTS" as the daytime soap character. He has a lot to live up to, as both Cameron Mathison from "All My Children" and Kelly Monaco from "General Hospital" did well in the competition. Kelly was the first ever "DWTS" champ. We suspect the rabid daytime fans will keep this eye candy around for a little while, whether he can dance or not.

Evan has some big skates to fill. Three of the past nine "DWTS" champions have been Olympic Gold Medalists — Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Shawn Johnson. And while we have always been on Team Weir and were hoping Johnny would be the Olympic athlete chosen for this season's cast, we did warm up to Evan during the Vancover Winter Games. He skated beautifully and handled the antagonistic comments by Evgeni Plushenko with absolute grace. We think Evan will do his fellow Olympic dancers proud.

PRO ATHLETE STAR — Chad Ochocinco
Each season there is a pro athlete chosen to round out the "DWTS" playing field. As non-sports fans, we usually don't have a clue who they are. This year is no exception. Chad Ochocinco? Never heard of him. Apparently he's a wide reciever for the Cinciannati Bengals. But the past athletes like Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and Warren Sapp were fierce competitors that stuck around. Typically the pros have a touch of rhythm, an unparalleled sense of soul, and the huge voting base of the husbands who watch the show with their wives and see their favorite athletes display their twinkle toes.

REALITY TV STAR — Kate Gosselin
Every season of the dancing show has a reality TV star. And this year the obvious choice was Kate Gosselin (we thought she had gone away, but no such luck). If her reality TV predecessors are any indication of her staying power, she should be back with her kids in no time. Past reality stars like Kim Kardashian, Rocco DiSpirito, and Holly Madison were all eliminated within the first four weeks.

RETRO TV STAR — Shannen Doherty
Shannen takes the stage to play the part of an actor from an ’80s or early ’90s TV series. Past competitors in this category have included Joey Lawrence, Ian Ziering, and fellow "90210"-er Jennie Garth. We expect Shannen to have some grace, but not go all the way. Either way we hope she brings some bad girl drama to the floor.

The odds for the sexy supermodel dancer are very unpredictable. Each season there is one super hot model or playmate that's put on the show mainly to look good in the skimpy ballroom costumes. And while some contestants like Paulina Porizkova, Rachel Hunter, and Josie Maran did not make it past the half way point, others, like Brooke Burke and Joanna Krupa, surprised us all by making it to the end. We're not sure which side of the spectrum Pamela Anderson will land, but if we had to guess we'd put her in the first group. Just a hunch.

This category has consistently proven to a be a disappointment. Kenny Mayne and Tucker Carslon, while entertaining, did not last very long. Neither did Leeza Gibbons or Giselle Fernandez. We suspect Erin Andrews, the ESPN sports reporter will fare slightly better than her journalist predecessors, since she was on her college basketball dance team (read cheerleader) at the University of Florida.

We could not be more happy for the first U.S. Astronaut to grace the dance floor. And while he seems like an out-in-left-field choice, he fits perfectly into the AARP category for the show. The on-the-older-side celebrities that usually stick around for a while, not necessarily because they have the moves, but because they are thoroughly entertaining. John O'Hurley won the Season 1 dance off. Jerry Spinger was eliminated just two weeks before the finals. Cloris Leachman and John Ratzenberger both made it half way through. And Tom DeLay might have gone the distance had he not developed fractures in both feet.

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