So the new season of Dancing With The Stars begins on Monday, Sept 14th and with that – they have released the full cast list along with their pro dancer pair-ups. For the complete list, visit the ABC post here.
As usual, there are a lot of “who is that?” going on amongst viewers. Let’s be clear, it is rare that you will find an A or B list actor on the roster. Reality is, the people appearing on this show are hoping to make something happen with their careers – either to improve a tarnished image, or restart a stagnant career, or just to grab the tail of the rising star they find themselves on.
Let’s also point out that there is a bit of a formula of who they pick: reality stars, internet stars, athletes, musical legends, 80s stars, the hearthrobs, the love stories, the survivors/heroes, and the Disney kids.
What makes things different this season? Well, we’ve got a married couple. They actually tick off 2 boxes: Disney Kids & Love Stories. Alexa and Carlos Penavega were on Spy Kids and Big Time Rush respectively. And they are married to each other – awww. This reminds me a little of Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the Olympic ice skaters from season 18. Suddenly this skating duo were pitted against each other and everyone wondered which one was better and who would be voted off first. Of course, Meryl & Charlie weren’t married – so this raises it up a notch.
From what I can tell, this season’s “hero” story does not include any physical limitations. Alek Skarlatos was part of a trio who foiled a terrorist attack in Paris recently, and is now living in Oregon and studying to be a police officer. I think it would be hard to raise the bar after last season’s Noah Galloway, who was a double amputee after serving in Iraq. Prior survivors include Amy Purdy (paralympic snowboarder), deaf actress Marlee Matlin, and leg amputee Heather Mills (ex-wife of Paul McCartney). For the record, I find it crass to describe them by their limitations, but I’m just pointing out that this year we are focusing more on the hero part vs. the survivor part.
I’m not sure how I feel about Paula Deen being on Dancing with the Stars. I know she was vilified in the press for stupid things she has said and done in the past, and I used to adore her before all this, but now I just feel weird having her dance her way back – I feel like she should be focusing on charity efforts, not dancing steps – but that’s just me.
Gary Busey also makes me a little nervous. He’s a great actor gone crazy, and I worry about him dancing with a pro female. Also, I’m trying to figure out if he’s supposed to be the comic relief for this season. In the past we’ve had Tommy Chong, Andy Dyck, and Bill Engvall. I’m just worried he’s going to be adding to our level of idiocracy.
I’m excited about Chaka Khan, as she, like last season’s Patti LaBelle, is a musical legend. But she definitely has some great moves to live up to with Miss Patti – and I hope she’s up for the challenge.
Nick Carter seems to be the 80s heartthrob this season – but he’s too young for me to be excited about. I loved the seasons with Joey Fatone, Alfonso Ribiero, Mario Lopez and Joey Lawrence. When Nick’s brother Aaron was on, he just tried to hard and I felt sad for him. I hope things are different for Nick – but I’m not going to cry if he goes Bye, Bye, Bye (see what I did there?)
The rest of the cast are more “wait to be seen” opinions for me. I always wonder if I’m going to find someone to root for, and inevitably someone always grabs my heart so the formula is working. And yes, even as I write this, the theme music has been dancing its way through my head. So let the season begin!