Thank you guys so much for all the great feedback yesterday…I’m sure this is going to be a very interesting season with a lot of good discussions about who is going to win!
Now I give you the lower half of the list – those I don’t see faring quite as well this season. I really did struggle with several of these, because we have some definite “wild cards” this season that could go either way – again, it should be intersting to see who sinks and who swims :-)
7.) Buzz Aldrin & Ashly Delgrosso – I think it’s a safe bet to say that Buzz has cornered the “senior citizen” vote this season – much like Tom DeLay did last season & Cloris did in season 7. This is a really good thing – I think a certain degree of respect comes when you’re the “old dog” in the competition, and people want to see you do well to prove that young age doesn’t always equate skill. And unlike the dubious fame of Tom DeLay or the loose cannon that was Cloris Leachman – Buzz is a living legend: a NASA astronaut, the 2nd man to set foot on the moon, and a highly decorated military officer. People LIKE him, and could very well keep him around for a little while even if he isn’t particularly good. Ashly may also garner quite a bit of support since she has been absent since season 3, and had been a favorite for the first 3 seasons of the show – and I’m sure Utah is behind her as well, as the Delgrosso family is basically a dancing dynasty there and is extremely well-respected. But there is one big concern, and it’s one that does seem to plague some of the “older” contestants: injury. We can see how it sidelined Tom last season (I think he actually would have stuck around for another week or so had he not withdrawn), and hindered the Woz in season 8. I hope that Buzz can dodge that hurdle and stay in the competition and be voted out, rather than having to drop out.
8.) Shannen Doherty & Mark Ballas – I’m sure I’m going to spark another debate with this one, but as I mentioned as comment on part 1, I think Shannen is going to have some demographical voting issues – voting issues stemming from her reputation as a bit of a “witch” ;-) John brought up a good point – Shannen is well-known for her TV roles as Brenda on 90210 and Prue on Charmed (and also to some degree her role in the movie Heathers); however, what some people may not remember is that she left both shows unceremoniously, due mainly to tensions with producers & co-stars. She also had brief, tumultuous marriages to both Ashley Hamilton (remember him? First guy voted off last season?) and Rick Salomon (who also co-starred in a sex tape with a certain blonde heiress, and ironically was also married to Pam Anderson for a few months back in ’07 – wow, I could totally play “Six Degrees of DWTS” this season!), and both ended in very messy, very public break-ups. There was also a DUI thrown in there somewhere, all which adds up to Shannen’s infamy as a bit of a bad girl. My point? Female viewers tend not to like pretty women of questionable virtue (sort of ties into my Pretty Girl Backlash Theory), and thus don’t vote for them. Granted, Shannen could be the greatest dancer on the show this season; but that doesn’t mean she’s going to get votes week after week. I also fear that Mark’s sometimes overbearing nature might clash with Shannen’s obviously “strong” personality – these two could be the second coming of Debi vs. Maks. I don’t see them going home the first week; but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were in the bottom 3, due to what I’ve mentioned above…it may take some time for the female viewing audience to really “warm up” to Shannen L
9.) Aiden Turner & Edyta Sliwinska – I may have had the hardest time placing this couple, next to my struggles with Jake & Chelsie. On one hand, Aiden is a hunky soap star that likely has quite a following from his role on All My Children; on the other hand, he isn’t as well-known and hasn’t been on the show as long as Susan Lucci or Cameron Mathison, and doesn’t have an additional “claim to fame” like General Hospital Playmate Kelly Monaco. Having Edyta as his partner could also be both a blessing and a curse – she’s a fan favorite (due to her tenure on all 10 seasons of the show), but also seems prone to having some boring choreography and a history of early eliminations. In the end, my pessimistic side wins out – I think Aiden’s name might be the least well-known of this season’s celebs at first glance (even I had to look him up, and I have been known to watch AMC on occasion!), and in the few practice sessions I’ve seen of he & Edyta, he looks like he could be a bit of an awkward mover. Aiden, please, prove me wrong – we need another cute guy to stick around to put doofy Jake in his place!
10.) Kate Gosselin & Tony Dovolani – I solemnly swear I am going to make an honest effort to try and give Kate a chance this season – however, I’m not sure America is going to be willing to do the same. Many have (understandably) questioned Kate’s choice to undertake such a big time commitment while being the primary custodian of 8 kids, and amid the media firestorm surrounding her divorce. And while Kate comes out as more of the “victim” in her situation with Jon – some cite her volatile temper in episodes of Jon & Kate Plus 8 prior to the divorce as a possible contributing factor for it. In other words – Kate may be dealing with the same “witch” syndrome as Shannen. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: female viewers do not like mean girls. Granted, she’s a mean girl with kids and a smarmy ex-husband – but a mean girl nonetheless. There are already rumors swirling about her “diva-like” behavior on-set (although I don’t know that I fully believe it, there may be some partial truth to it). I don’t know that Tony is going to be much of a help either – his support seems to run hot & cold, depending on who he is dancing with. But Kate is allegedly in pretty good shape, and does quite a bit of running & yoga, so she might not be half-bad…I think viewers may keep her around for a week or two just to see how she fares – but will ultimately tire of her.
11.) Pamela Anderson & Damian Whitehood – This is probably going to come as the biggest shocker for many of you who said that Pam may be the “big surprise” this season – but before you crucify me, hear me out ;-) I totally agree that Pam may be one of the better dancers this season – I really & truly would love to see her do well. But I think the deck could not be stacked against her more with the female viewing audience – she’s a textbook example of my “Pretty Girl Backlash Theory”: female viewers feel jealous and/or threatened by attractive women (especially overtly sexy ones with questionable reputations) and hence, do not vote. They find reasons to dislike their dancing in order to justify their animosity – it’s unfortunate, but true. Women are CATTY. And I think Pam unfortunately has enough scandal under her belt to add fuel to the fire – she’s appeared in Playboy multiple times (and I’m sure many viewers’ husbands have salivated over those pictures); she has not one, but TWO sex tapes (you can see what good it did for Kim Kardashian only having one!); a string of failed marriages to ahem, “questionable” men (Tommy Lee, Kid Rock, and Rick Salomon); and a wardrobe of rather suggestive ensembles. While I personally couldn’t care less about all of it – I doubt it will sit well with some of the more conservative viewing audience. Her charity work with PETA and the American Liver Foundation is somewhat redeeming, but I’m afraid it’s often overlooked in favor of her more scandalous activities. She also has a disadvantage in having a new pro – he has no fan base yet. Unless Pam proves to be the best dancer this season and starts knocking perfect 10s outta the park every week – I just don’t see her sticking around for long L
Alright, my predictions for the season are officially made…I’m excited to see how things pan out, and I really hope I’m proved wrong on some of these. I certainly was last season! Now let’s here some more good debates from you guys: who do you think will be the first to go?