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DWTS10 Preliminary Power Rankings, Part II

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can see how it sidelined Tom last season (I think he actually would have stuck around for another week or so had he not withdrawn), and hindered the Woz in season 8.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?

 

March 21, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS10 Preliminary Power Rankings – Part I

Good grief…where did season 9 go??? I feel like it was just a few weeks ago that I was trying my best to like Donny and was gunning hard for Kelly…but alas, season 10 is upon us, and you know what that means – it’s time for my preliminary power ranking of this season’s celebs!

For those of you who are new to the site (or don’t remember from last season), I do a weekly power ranking of the couples based on their performances that week – this ranking is basically a measure of how likely a couple is to stick around to the following week, and it’s based on several factors: how well they perform, how well-liked they are, how well-known they are, how strong their voting “demographic” is, how memorable they are, etc.  It is not necessarily a measure of who is the “best” dancer – we all know that the best dancer is not always guaranteed to win the competition, or even stick around week after week. 

As I did last season, I have also done a “preliminary” power ranking – it’s a bit different, as we have yet to see any of the celebs perform – that is basically my “forecast” of how I think the season will play out, based on the celeb’s backgrounds and popularity.  As evidenced by last season, things can change quite a bit during the course of the season – but it’s still fun to make predictions :-) So here’s my top six - the ones I could see lasting at least through the middle of the competition, and the ones I think will make the final:

1.)    Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough – I think Nicole has several big advantages in this competition: she’s got a dance/performance background (from her days with the Pussycat Dolls and also her experience with the lesser-known girl group Eden’s Crush), she’s young, she’s attractive, she’s decently well-known, she isn’t really doing anything else right now (PCD is on hiatus after several members left, freeing her up to focus solely on the competition) and perhaps most important of all if you’re a sexy lady in the competition – she’s inoffensive.  Anyone catch her as a judge on The Sing Off this past December? The girl is as sweet as pie – reminded me of Paula Abdul on Idol.  And I can’t recall any tabloid scandals about her (other than maybe being considered the “Beyonce” of PCD and the other girls in the group being jealous of it). She’s also got the juggernaut that is Derek Hough to lead the way – his choreography is some of the most fun & memorable on the show, and the ladies LOVE him (and as we’ve pointed out many times before – you need to have the female viewers on your side to win this competition!).  Their closeness in age also makes them more believable as a couple, which is a big advantage in the rumba (which is often the “make or break” dance when it comes to testing a couple’s chemistry).  Unless Anna busts out some incredible choreography, or these two have a major snafu (and I’m talking a snafu of Aaron-Carter-wailing-in-the-confessional-post-rumba proportions!), I could see these two easily making it to the final, and likely winning over Evan & Anna.

2.)    Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya – Some of you are probably going to strongly question me putting these two in second place (due to the winning nature of Olympians on the show, especially skaters, and also Evan’s wild popularity), but I really think this final is not going to hinge so much on the celebs as it will on their respective pros.  Let’s face it: while I adore Anna (she’s my fave pro and a fellow redhead), some of the viewing audience has found her to be cold & abrasive – and viewers don’t pick up the phone for cold & abrasive pros.  And her choreography, while brilliant from a technical standpoint, doesn’t quite have the same artistic “zing” and energy that Derek’s does.  If Anna was a more popular pro, I could see these two having a fighting chance against Nicole & Derek (although I still think it’s going to be close, given the circumstances).  But Evan will undoubtedly thrive in the competition, due mainly to his athletic background & popularity with the viewing audience – c’mon, it’s hard to hate an Olympian, especially a medalist (unless you’re that obnoxious Russian skater that lost to Evan)!   

 3.)    Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – She’s a former Florida Gators dance team member, her sister is a professional dancer, and she’s a spunky, well-liked sportscaster – but Erin’s strongest advantage this season could very well be the sympathy vote.  After the mortifying peeping Tom incident back in July of ’09, this girl could have easily shunned the spotlight – but she managed to handle the situation extremely gracefully in the media and seems to have come back even stronger.  While female viewers have a tendency to “backlash” against pretty girls (like many of the models), they tend rally behind successful, likeable ones – especially ones that have endured some kind of public ordeal (think Melissa Rycroft).  Maks also still remains a popular pro (although probably not so much as Mark or Derek) – however, a string of early eliminations due to weak partners may have taken him off some voters’ radar in recent seasons. And let’s pray he doesn’t make poor Erin cry…he always seems to get voted off not long after that happens…anyway, Erin’s skill could take her far, but I fear that Maks choreography is going to look a bit dull up against Derek’s flashy moves and Anna’s impeccable technique.

 4.)    Chad Ochocinco & Cheryl Burke – I’m still having a hard time trying to figure this couple out – part of me says they could do really well, part of me says they might be a complete train wreck.  But for the sake of optimism, I’m gonna go with the former – that, and Chad’s ostentatious personality and endless competitiveness.  I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that Chad is a character (anyone who admits that they are “hoping to get fined” in their next game is definitely a doozy!) and also a tremendous athlete (he’s a 6-time pro bowler).  NFL players have traditionally done well in the competition (4 have made it to the finals, and none have finished worse than 7th place) due likely to sheer determination.  Chad also has an edge with Cheryl, who is the winningest pro currently doing the show.  However, Chad’s charisma can also come across as, well, just plain obnoxious – he wasn’t voted the #1 showboater in the sports world by ESPN for nothing.  He has been known to be a little on the cocky side, and is not above trash-talking the competition…which doesn’t always sit well with the voters.  I’m predicting they make it to the semifinal based solely on their skill, but will lose out in the end to more likeable celebs like Evan, Nicole, & Erin.

 5.)    Niecy Nash & Louis Van Amstel – If last season was any indicator, Louis tends to thrive with partners that have a bit of an attitude – viewers may have yawned watching him dance with Trista & Priscilla, but who could forget his sassy interactions with Monique & Kelly? J And let’s just say Niecy has got attitude to spare – I have a feeling these two are going to be a hoot to watch! Viewers seem to overlook weak dancing if a couple is particularly entertaining (i.e. Cloris & Corky), so even if Niecy isn’t the greatest, I don’t think she will be going home quickly.  Not to say that she won’t be good – from the clips of her practicing, it’s clear the woman has rhythm, and I sincerely doubt she will struggle with “coming out of her shell” like Kelly did.  I think Louis also solidified him self as a pro favorite last season, with his unending support and camaraderie with Kelly, so he may have a bigger fanbase this year.  In the end, though, I think the stronger dancers will win out over the energetic-but-not-quite-as-technically-good ones, so these two better bring attitude & skill if they want to make it to the finale.

6.) Jake Pavelka & Chelsie Hightower – Not gonna lie – I definitely cringed when I heard Jake’s name announced as the 11th participant this season.  I almost wonder if he was a last-minute addition when they needed to fill one more slot, and the fact that they were announcing the contestants during the Bachelor finale was just a happy coincidence (for them, not us).  While Jake does have a bit of a dance background (he’s taken dance lessons, allegedly – not sure what kind), I fear that everyone that was on Team Tenley is not going to be quick to support Jake – if the tabloids covers splashed with headlines of “Villainous Vienna’s” exploits are any indicator, the voters may be hesitant to stand behind him (and his choice in women).  Petty? Maybe – but look at what happened to Jason Mesnick after he jilted Melissa.  The guy became a social pariah! Fans of The Bachelor are definitely passionate about their faves, which could be good for Jake if enough of “Team Vienna” is voting this season.  Chelsie also has a knack of taking mediocre partners (Ty Murray, Louie Vito) and improving them enough to keep them around until at least midway through the competition.  This couple is a bit of a toss-up for me – which is why they’re right in the middle.  I guess time will tell whether they sink or swim…

So there’s my predictions for the top 6 – tune in tomorrow as I detail those who *gulp* may be in a bit more peril of getting sent home :-( But what do you guys think? Who do you think will come out on top?

March 20, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!