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The Usual Suspects: The Typecasting of DWTS, Part I

Each season, as the announcement of the next cast draws nearer, our imaginations run wild with thoughts (and dreams!) of who this season’s celebs might be.  While the possibilities are truly endless, we can still hypothesize based on the casting of previous seasons – we know there will be at least one athlete, an actor/actress of some sort, perhaps a model, maybe a singer or two.  The producers really do seem to aim for a mixed bag of celebs each season, to make it interesting – but how do they measure up? I have broken it down into the 12 major recurring “usual suspects” that comprise the cast – let’s examine previous examples, possible advantages/disadvantages, and possible candidates for each.  The first six, for your consideration & discussion:

 The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito

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: I’ve heard the names of several male figure skaters thrown around – namely Johnny Weir & Evan Lysacek – but I find it hard to believe they’d be able to throw themselves headlong into dancing after the grueling pressures of the winter games.  Other names whispered: Michael Phelps (seems like a possibility), & Greg Louganis (has expressed interest in doing the show). 

The Athlete

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

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: Rumor has it that San Diego Chargers player Kassim Osgood may already be partnered with Cheryl Burke this season, and fans of notorious NFL showboater Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals have been tweeting up a storm about his possible participation.

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

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: Pam Anderson, whose name has been coming up more & more often as the announcement of the cast draws closer.

The Legend

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: Highly doubtful, due to her extensive dance background, but Paula Abdul has been a name that has popped up season after season (often from Paula herself) as a possible participant.

The Soap Star

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna, Susan Lucci

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 many 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: None that I’ve heard of, but I’d love to see General Hospital veteran Maurice Benard or long-time Days of Our Lives actress Deidre Hall coming down those glittery stairs.

The Comedian

Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton (though this is debatable)

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 polarzing – hilarious to some, offensive to others. And again – often no background in any sort of sport, let alone dancing.

Possible candidates this season: Again, no murmurings yet – but several but several of us here at Pure DWTS have a soft spot for Jimmy Fallon (wishful thinking, we know J ) I personally wouldn’t mind seeing a female comedian on the show – Kathy Griffin could be fun (if she wasn’t so wrapped up in the cesspool of a show that is The Insider), and if Monique doesn’t have anything on her plate in the next few months (again, wishful thinking), she could be another interesting contestant.

What do you guys think? Anyone you’re just dying to see on the show that fit into these groups?  Tune in tomorrow when I analyze  the Teen Idol, Singer, Reality Star, Actor, Host, & Wildcard groups…how will they measure up? :-)

February 27, 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!

Melissa Rycroft Replaces Samantha Harris as Host of Dancing with the Stars 2010

Ever since Samantha Harris got kicked off left Dancing with the Stars there has been a lot of speculation about who will replace as Samantha as the co-host of Dancing with the Stars. I think the speculation is finally over, but here’s a review of the various possibilities in case you missed it.

We first talked about Melissa Rycroft hosting Dancing with the Stars at the beginning of this month. There were also rumors of Ashlan Gorse and Nancy O’Dell hosting Dancing with the Stars and Lynn Hoffman co-hosting DWTS alongside Tom Bergeron. There were also rumors about Brooke Burke, Marie Osmond (thank goodness this wasn’t true), and Paula Abdul. Luckily, last week E! News said there were only 3 serious contenders for the co-host position: Melissa Rycroft, Brooke Burke and Vanessa Minnillo.

Although, tonight during a commercial for the Bachelor finale, they talked about the announcement of the new Dancing with the Stars 2010 cast during the Bachelor finale. Heidi will be live blogging the announcement, but more on that soon.

What was most interesting about the commercial was that they said, “listen to Tom Bergeron and Melissa Rycroft as they announce the new couples on Dancing with the Stars.” Does this mean that Melissa Rycroft will be the host that’s replacing Samantha Harris on Dancing with the Stars? Seems like it to me. She’ll be a busy girl hosting Dancing with the Stars with Tom and as a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Although, Samantha Harris did that for quite a while.

I think this will be a good thing for Dancing with the Stars. No doubt that Melissa Rycroft will be an upgrade at the host position.
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February 22, 2010 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

Paula Abdul on DWTS Season 10 – The Mystery Continues

Well, I feel like Paula might have clarified one thing in this recent interview – she won’t be a*contestant* on DWTS.  She could, however, be a judge.  But she’s kind of her usual incomprehensible self in this interview – you be the judge of what it is she’s trying to say.  From USA Today:

When asked to give a clue as to her next project, she said, “Drop a clue? Oh, I’m gonna be going back to my roots and doing a TV show that has something to do with my roots,” she said this morning on the morning radio program, afterdodging several questionsasking her to confirm rumors that she’ll be reunited with Simon Cowell on his new X Factor show.

“I’m going back to doing some teaching on television in that kind of capacity,” she added. “And what else can I tell you? I might be doing something with the Laker Girls.”

Of course, they’re asking specifically about X-Factor, but neither X-factor nor DWTS includes her “teaching” in an area that goes back to her “roots”. At least, not in my opinion. To me, her “roots” are in DANCE, not singing. The British version of X-Factor has that “mentoring” aspect where each judge mentors a singer – but I just don’t think that is her roots. DWTS would be her roots – but there is no teaching capacity on DWTS for her except as a pro….and I’m sorry that would be the last straw, IMO. In case you wonder why were talking about DWTS as a possibility, I direct you to my previous posts on the subject:

Paula’s Development Deal
Paula’s Development Deal Part II

February 13, 2010 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 10 Rumor Round Up – Three Weeks to the Announcement!

So I was talking to John last night – or should I say, lamenting – the complete paucity of blabber mouthed celebs this season. It sucks, quite frankly. Last season at this time I had reported on a significant number of people who had spilled the beans via Twitter (Kelly Osbourne, Debi Mazar, to name two). It seems that, excepting Jason Chambers and Chad Ochocinco (although that was his friends, not him), there is very little to report from Twitter – and I have to think that perhaps the DWTS peeps had wised up about the whole Twitter thing, telling potential stars to SHUT IT. :-) So, because we’re less than three weeks out, I thought it was time for a little review of what HAS been rumored and reported on, either here or elsewhere.  I’ll discuss them by the categories I mentally put them in:

The Real Rumors with Real Potential Category

Most recently, the two big rumors have been Pam Anderson and John Stamos. Pam was outed as a potential by RadarOnline, and Karina Smirnoff claims that John was asked for a previous season and had to decline due to his Broadway commitments. I find it highly amusing that she’s putting in a claim on him just in case he changes his mind. :-) But, for some reason, I’m not inclined to believe this one will happen – assuming Karina is correct. I just consider John Stamos to be “too big” of a star to actually consider the show. Although it’s possible he could have been asked, I suppose. But I don’t see it happening. Pam Anderson? That one sure sounds likely and I haven’t seen anyone report that Pam denied it.

I guess that the Jennifer Grey rumor goes in this category. I think. Page Six reported that she was in negotiations way back in December but I’ve not heard much about it since then. Very well could be true – we find out in three weeks.

There are a couple of rumors that go here, but not necessarily for DANCING.  Paula Abdul (judge or dancer?), Marie Osmond (shudder – potential new co-host) and Nancy O’Dell (potential new co-host).  I think the Marie thing is more speculation than actual rumor. Billy Bush reported that there were 5 candidates remaining for the co-host job and that he was REALLY rooting for one in particular. That says Nancy O’Dell to me. The Marie thing was, I think, people taking his words and speculating. I HOPE.  And who the heck knows what is going on with Paula Abdul. :-)

The Blabbermouth Celebrity Category

Jason Chambers is kinda lonely in this category, this season. :-) He straight up said he had meetings with DWTS producers, as I discussed in a post back on February 1, 2010.  Because he blabbed, he may have blown his chance. The woman in me hopes like hell he hasn’t. ;-)  Chad Ochocinco, on the other hand, was outed by a former team mate as being a possibility for last season. As I said before, celebs rumored for one season often show up on later seasons.  Interestingly enough, I did see some twitter chatter that said Chad was going to LA this week – the speculation by these people was that his trip was related to DWTS.  I guess we’ll see.  And I almost forgot – Dirt Nasty (aka Simon Rex)!  He claims he met with the producers back in early January.  Did I read that this guy now does porn, or did I imagine that?

The PLEASE PUT ME ON DWTS Category

This is a surprisingly large category. :-)  I’ll just make a list of the ones I’m aware of, starting with the oldest one (from late 2009)
Flight Time (aka Herbert Lang) of the Harlem Globetrotters by way of The Amazing Race
Jermaine Dupre
Kate Gosslin
Danielle Fishel
Ross Mathews
Greg Louganis (who could also fit in the category below)
– Kevin Federine – this one is per Ryan Seacrest on his radio show this morning.  It seems I’ve heard this one before, but maybe I’m confusing him with someone else.
– Candace Cameron Bure – I think we can safely put her in this category based on what I posted here.

That’s all I could find right now. I’m sure someone will pop in (with links) to remind me of others who want to be on the show. :-)

And finally….
The “We’ve Heard This one Before” Category

Back on January 4th, I wrote a couple posts detailing rumors from previous seasons. The intent was to keep track of previous rumors to see if any of them came true for Season 10. Those posts were also titled Rumor Round Up and Rumor Round Up Part II – I’m not going to list all that again, so if you’re curious, click!!  Kurt Angle, Bethany Frankel and Vera Wang are the only ones I’ve heard any followup on recently.  It’s all speculation on the part of views, as I recall, so I won’t detail it here.

February 9, 2010 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Paula Abdul on DWTS Season 10 – Addendum

I’ve seen a number of different possible scenarios for Paula on Season 10, in addition to the possibility of her competing. The way that TMZ worded their article, I assumed they wanted her as a contestant. However, I’ve seen some assume she would be on as a Judge. I’ve also, since Sam quit, seen quite a few people state that it seems obvious that Paula would take Sam’s place – including Annie Barrett from Entertainment Weekly (via Twitter).

What is the likelihood of either scenario?? Well, considering that Paula was supposedly offered 1 million dollars, I have to believe that it’s either for competing or judging and that if it’s judging it’s one season only. Paula made many times that on American Idol, so she doesn’t need the work, plus that number seems too low!! Additionally, I have to think that hosting with Tom Bergeron would be a step down, in her mind, from judging on American Idol (and possibly, now, X-Factor). Also, since one million dollars is far above what I’ve heard the most popular celebs have made on that show, I’m starting to lean towards her being the fourth judge. Since the British version of DWTS has four judges on a regular basis, this isn’t out of the question. She would definitely add a different judging element to the show and, frankly, she’s every bit as qualified as Carrie Ann and Bruno, maybe more so. That’s why I’m so opposed to her being a contestant. I think I actually wouldn’t mind seeing her on as a fourth judge. AND, a fourth judge would mean less filler on a two hour performance show when only 12 couples are dancing.

So…contestant, judge or host? Your vote? Mine is for judge, definitely not for either contestant or host. Tom is awesome enough – add in Drew or maybe Brooke Burke. Heck, even Melissa Rycroft!

2009 VH1 Divas - Show

January 28, 2010 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS 9 – The Last of the Week 4 Media

At least it is if I have anything to say about it. :-) First is E! News which had a very short piece on Aaron, Maks and Karina – mainly the backstage cat fighting which I’m finding more entertaining than the actual dancing. Or at least up to this week it was more entertaining. The show seems to be improving like I hoped it would once we got down to a smaller number of dancers. Anyway, Maks took a shot of his own – it was very subtle, which was why I loved it. He tweeted that the energy on the show ought to be good this week (since he’s possibly dancing with Joanna and will therefore be back on set). :-) You go, dude. ;-)

Access Hollywood has a long bit on DWTS – the first part is a rehash of LaToya fawning over Derek’s abs, but the second and third parts are new. Wait for the second part – they say something very interesting and claim that Paula Abdul said it. Very interesting in light of recent discussions around here. The third part is a day in the dancing life of Kelly Osbourne – which just made me love her even more. :-)

October 18, 2009 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Dancing with the Stars 9 Week 3 Media

Lots of Media, with a bit of variety too!! Well, only a little. First up, E! News from last Monday:

E! News on the eliminated couples, Melissa Jaret Winokur as the correspondent:

Chuck Liddell on Entertainment Tonight

The fallout from Aaron being a bonehead, on Extra!! Dmitry – still not good on the communication front.

More from Extra – Ashley Hamilton is the special correspondent. Paula Abdul is weird. Watch for Derek holding her in place at one point, and keep an eye on Debi Mazar’s face in the background. :-)

Extra again – Heh, Derek says “dry humping”.

The Insider – this show has a new, panel format that I think I kinda like. Mainly because of this segment – I don’t agree with the guy who is arguing for an age limit, but I like how he seems to “win” his argument. :::crickets:::

October 11, 2009 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 9 – Entertainment News Coverage, Week of August 17 (cont.)

Oy veh – some interesting videos collected from Extra over the past week. But we have a guest appearance by Gilles!

On Paula Abdul, LaToya, Lou Ferrigno and 16 Contestants…..and Donny, of course.

Aaron showing his moves and talking about MJ, odds on winners, Iron Chef (Hmmmm….strangely hot :-), Kathy Ireland and Tom Delay:

Gilles early pick (which matches mine), early partner revelations, Aaron Carter and Tom DeLay:

August 23, 2009 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 9 Cast – Rumor or Reality??

Well, will the rumor that has gone around before every season for the past couple years finally become a reality? I hope not. What I’m talking about are comments by ABC Entertainment President, Steven McPherson, at the pre-season Press Tour. EW blogged live from the event:

2:12 pm: McPherson admits he was “a little stunned” by Paula Abdul’s exit from American Idol, adding that he would ”absolutely” be interested in recruiting her for Dancing with the Stars “whether as a contestant or a judge… She’s a huge talent… there’s a sensitivity and an emotion [there] that balanced out Idol and we’d love to get a piece of that.”

I confess I saw this as a possibility the moment I heard she couldn’t reach an agreement with American Idol/19E. But this is the President of Entertainment, not the producers. Can the producers be forced into something? Would they even object? Paula would undoubtedly bring ratings and she would probably be funny.

I wouldn’t mind so much if she were a contestant, if she weren’t short enough that she might end up Derek’s partner. :-) Selfish? Yes. :-)

Speaking of Derek, he and Shannon Elizabeth ended their relationship of over a year last night. They had been living together for a while, but the break up appears amicable.

August 8, 2009 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)