Prior to the cast announcement last season, some of you may remember me analyzing the typecasting of DWTS – basically, the patterns in celeb casting over the seasons which can help us to predict who we might see each season. Interesting to note – last season’s cast fulfilled all 12 of my types (counting Nicole as both a “Teen Idol” and a “Singer”). So why not examine those types again and see what we might get for this season? ;-)
Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek
Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves. In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition.
Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd. Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility.
Possible candidates this season: Johnny Weir fans (including Karina Smirnoff) have been tweeting like crazy trying to get him cast this season, but I don’t see them succeeding. I see more possibilities with swimmer Greg Louganis, who has been trying to get on the show for several seasons now, or gymnast Nastia Liukin – a teammate of Shawn Johnson’s & an alleged former flame of Lysacek.
Previous examples: Chuck Liddell, Warren Sapp, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Helio Castroneves, Laila Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Ty Murray, Evander Holyfield, Jerry Rice, Clyde Drexler, Monica Seles, Jason Taylor, Lawrence Taylor, Chad Ochocinco
Advantages: As with the Olympians, their athleticism & work ethic make them well-suited to the competition. An edge they might have over their Olympic counterparts: sports like football, auto racing, & mixed martial arts tend to have a larger, more mainstream following than some of the Olympic sports.
Disadvantages: Again, a lack of “artistic” experience & previous injury (especially with the football players, who have really taken a beating over the years). Some of the more muscular athletes in hard-hitting sports may also have difficulty with the refined, precise moves of some of the dances.
Possible candidates this season: At this point, the numerous (reputable) news outlets reporting that Kurt Warner is going to be on season 11, along with Kurt’s own coy dodging of questions regarding his participation, make him almost a lock for this season in my eyes. Don’t see a whole lot of hope for wrestler Shelley Martinez. Landon Donovan is a toss-up for me – maybe, maybe not. We here at Pure DWTS would love to see a representative from a more unique sport – such as jockey Chantal Sutherland. Troy Aikmen – nice try, but we’re pretty sure you’re just joshin’ us ;-)
The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen
Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Rachel Hunter, Tia Carrere, Shanna Moakler, Paulina Porizkova, Shandi Finnessey, Josie Maran, Albert Reed, Shannon Elizabeth, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Pam Anderson
Advantages: All the costumes seem to look fantastic on them (and they can get away with wearing the really skimpy ones) and so do their pro partners – easy to imagine a “showmance”, which always seems to grab votes. Also seems to have cornered the votes of the small population of male viewers, for obvious reasons ;-)
Disadvantages: Despite making a career out of looking great posing & strutting down the runway, many of them have proven to be rather awkward movers outside of that context, and some seem to have a hard time carrying around their taller than average stature. They also run the risk of “pretty girl backlash” – the female viewers may turn on them due to jealousy or perceived arrogance, or just never vote for them in the first place, instead giving their votes to the attractive male participants.
Possible candidates this season: Rumors have been flying about UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste, and True Beauty contestant Amy Schmoldt has been hinting that she’d like to do the show.
Previous examples: Cloris Leachman, Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Tatum O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, Marlee Matlin, Susan Lucci
Advantages: These individuals are extremely well-known & respected in the entertainment business, with many years of experience (and fans) under their belts, as well as an award or two. Also masters of the stage & screen – perhaps the best at emulating the emotions of the dances.
Disadvantages: With many years of experience comes an older age than many of their competitors – which comes with an increased risk of injury & fatigue that could limit the difficulty of their routines.
Possible candidates this season: The Betty White rumor seems to be kaput, so that only leaves Ryan O’Neal, whose name we’ve heard only a few times as a possible contestant.
The Soap Star
Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna, Susan Lucci, Aiden Turner
Advantages: The demographic of soap opera viewers overlaps heavily with the demographic of viewers of DWTS, and most soap opera viewers have been watching those shows for years (I started watching General Hospital when I was 6!), so they often have a fierce loyalty to their favorite characters (and the actors/actresses who portray them).
Disadvantages: This group likely has the most grueling schedule to contend with, as most soaps tape year-round, and some of them are taped in New York, forcing the stars (and sometimes their partners) to fly coast-to-coast several times a week to practice. Many also have absolutely no background in any kind of sport, making them a real “project” for the pros to take on.
Possible candidates this season: The most likely is probably Nancy Lee Grahn, since she’s on an ABC soap. Although I’d love to see Martha Byrne’s campaigners succeed in getting her on the show! As for the men – seems like the only name we’ve heard is Antonio Sabato Jr., and that really just seems more like wishful thinking on the part of his fans.
Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton, Niecy Nash
Advantages: Let’s face it, they’re fun to watch, and they definitely inject some much- needed hilarity into the show.
Disadvantages: They often come across like they don’t take the competition seriously, instead favoring their usual schtick over actual dancing. Some of their on-show humor (Jeff Ross’ in particular) can also be rather polarizing – hilarious to some, offensive to others. And again – often no background in any sort of sport, let alone dancing.
Possible candidates this season: The only name we’ve heard is Heather McDonald, and we can’t even telling if she’s serious or kidding :-P
Tune in for part II, when I make my predictions for who we might see in the way of reality TV stars, teen idols, and much more!