It’s that time of year, again – time to take all the wacky rumors and all the wacky casting patterns we see from season to season and hypothesize who we might actually get to see :-) This year is interesting, in that we already definitely know one of the celebs, are fairly certain about two others, and have got definite suspicions about another two – almost takes a bit of fun out of the guessing, no? :-) But I’m sure there will be at least one celeb who’s name we haven’t heard – and at least one we’ve never heard of, too…thankfully, even unpredictability becomes predictable after awhile! But let’s get it on with it, shall we? Oh, and if you’re feeling nostalgic (and want to see how effective using these cast types as a template can be), check out the typecasting of season 10, season 11, and season 12 :-)
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. They also seem to be adored by the masses, as many are seen as “hero” figures – which translates into a formidable voting fanbase.
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: After 2 surprisingly Olympian-less seasons, it looks like we’re getting soccer player Hope Solo this year. Since TPTB seem to be trying to set this season apart from others with a new set and “A-list celebrities” (notice that last term in quotes), what’s to say we might not get more than one Olympian to make up for the lack of one in seasons 11 & 12? Nastia Liukin, Greg Louganis, and Johnny Weir are all names we’ve heard tossed around for a few seasons now. Could this be their year?
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, Kurt Warner, Rick Fox, Sugar Ray Leonard, Chris Jericho, Hines Ward
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: This category has been peculiarly silent in terms of rumors, and those names that did pop up (Hulk Hogan, Ron Artest, Shawn Marion) all turned down the opportunity to do the show. Or did they? :-) Anywho, if I was purely speculating, I would not be at all surprised if Terrell Owens popped up this season – especially since he’s currently unsigned by the NFL and is bff with Chad Ochocinco. He’s turned it down in the past, but now that he’s got a bum knee and no clear prospects…he might change his tune. I also find it interesting that Karina was in Toronto today to meet her partner – maybe we’ll get our first hockey player on the show? Evaine, any ideas? ;-)
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, Petra Nemcova, Kendra Wilkinson
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 getting lost in the shuffle among attractive male competitors, who seem to draw in more votes from the predominantly-female viewing population.
Previous examples: Cloris Leachman, Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Tatum O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, Marlee Matlin, Susan Lucci, Florence Henderson
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.
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: Rumors abound in this category, after the pseudo-quasi cancellation of both All My Children & One Life to Live, and the ending of As the World Turns last year – there are a lot of soap actors & actresses suddenly without anything to do! Colleen Zenk & Michael E. Knight are also big fan faves with lots of campaigning going on for them.
Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton, Niecy Nash, Margaret Cho
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: We would have loved to have seen Roseanne Barr, but she’s in need of some new hips first ;-)
So who do you guys think will end up fulfilling these categories? Be sure to stay tuned for part 2, coming soon! Who’s getting excited for Monday??? :-D