From Fresh Intelligence:
• Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska
• Actor Gilles Marini and two-time DWTS champ Cheryl Burke
• Rapper Lil' Kim and season seven champ Derek Hough
• Actress Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
• Pop star Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts
• Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and season six champ Mark Ballas
• Reality star Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer
• Rodeo star Ty Murray and first-time Dancing pro Chelsie Hightower
• Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff
• Country singer Chuck Wicks and two-time champ Julianne Hough
• Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell and Tony Dovolani
• Actor David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson
• Singer Jewel and first-time Dancing pro Dmitry Chaplin
Looking at this list, its hard to say.
My initial thoughts: Tony ends up with Nancy O'Dell, who is the second oldest of the female contestants. Jonathan Roberts (who has previously danced with Marie Osmond and Rachel Hunter) appears at though he is making a serious run at Tony's title as being the cougar magnet. Newcomer Dmitry Chaplin either has his work cut out for him or is challenging Maksim's status as the pro who expects too much too soon from his partners (There is a report that Jewel has been injured in practice and is receiving steroids for her knee injury).
Otherwise, I think we will see Steve-O go out early. I don't think its going to be because he is inherently weak as a dancer, I've never seen him dance. But what I see is a guy who is hard to control in the first place being partnered up with DWTS' enfant terrible (she seems to live to piss off the judges, especially Carrie Ann Inaba).
To me the interesting pairings to watch are going to be Lil Kim-Derek Hough and Lawrence Taylor-Edyta Sliwinska. Both are professional who have a reputation for achievement but also for trouble. The question in Kim-Hough is how coachable she is going to be. With Taylor-Sliwinska, its going to be the same but I thikn is going to be whether he will be more like Jerry Rice or more like Clyde Drexler. Taylor used his body pretty hard, and despite mellowing since, is whether he will be able to keep up.
The front runner at this time: Shawn Johnson. She pulled Mark Ballas as her partner. He took another Olympian to the Mirror Ball trophy. As long as she takes his coaching, I can't see how she is not the favorite.
The worse looking pairing right now: Wozniak and Smirnoff. Who knows, maybe he has some rhythm, but right now he looks older and slower than the rest. Who knows, maybe the Geek vote will work for him.
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