Mya (singer)Right now, it appears that the pairings have not been announced. And that really affects my handicapping. I mean, if Kelly Osbourne gets Maksim, she's toast (because who really sees her being able to deal well with him?), but if she gets someone else, say Jonothan Roberts, she might have a chance.
Macy Gray (scary singer)
Aaron Carter (former tween star... now not sure)
Ashley Hamilton (son of George Hamilton)
Melissa Joan Hart (Teen Witch, and according the Mrs. Angrybell, harlequin romance stories made into tv movies)
Debi Mazar (Entourage and other tv)
Joanna Krupa (Model)
Kathy Ireland (Former SI Swimsuit Model)
Mark Dacascos (Martial Arts dude, Actor, currently on Iron Chef America)
Kelly Osbourne (of the Osbournes)
Donny Osmond (Marie's brother... that's mean but hey)
Chuck Liddell (mixed martial artist)
Louie Vito (professional snowboarder);
Natalie Coughlin (Olympic swimmer)
Michael Irvin (former wide receiver for Dallas Cowboys)
Tom DeLay (former congressman)
Now if we look at previous seasons, we see that atheletes do better than non-atheletes. Models are usually good to bow out quick. Actors have some staying power, but rarely win. Singers (loosely definied I suppose) are the exception to the rule in Dancing With The Stars. In the past 8 seasons, there have been 1 actress winner (Kelly Monaco), 3 olympians (Shawn Johnson, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Apollo Anton Ohno), and 2 other atheletes (yes I use that loosely since one was Helio Castroneves is a driver and I have trouble calling that atheletic even though I recognize it takes a lot of skill to do, and Emmitt Smith), and 1 singer (yes, boy bands count as much as it pains me, so that would be Drew Lachey).
The final winner of the previous eight was Brooke Burke, a model. However, if you look at the other models who have competed, most have not done well. The next best showing by a model was Rachel Hunter way back in season 1 when she took fourth. After that, most of the other models have gone out early, finishing about 9th (or in the lower half) of the competition (Shauna Moakler, Shandi Finnessey, and Holly Madison). Bottom line, its looking bad for Cathy Ireland and Joanna Krupa.
At first glance, the class of the women right now has to be Natalie Coughlin. She's known. She's won gold medals. She's attractive (sorry but fact is it will help). Given that she is probably competitive (good guess since she competes), and that she knows how to train and take coaching (hello did we mention the gold medal?) she has to be the odds on favorite for the women right now.
Now, there are a couple of wild-cards in the women this time. Mostly, they come from the singers. There is Macy Gray and Mya. Nothing would sugget that Macy Gray has any dance background, and at 41 she falls into the cougar category (could she end up with Jonothan or Tony?). Neither of which really help her here. Mya, on the other hand, Mya does have a background in dance according to her wiki bio. She's also performed as a dancer in some of her work (including Chicago). Now I'm not saying that this makes her a favorite. However, it might give her some basics which will help her pick up stuff faster. Both have a fan base already, but will they vote? Macy Gray has a tendency to rub some people the wrong way (including me when I watch/listen to her) which may work against her. Of the two, I'm picking Mya to go further.
Next on the review is Melissa Joan Hart and Debi Mazur. Both actresses who have worked with Adrien Grenier (was this a consideration?). One was a huge popular teen actress who has sort of dissappeared into made for tv movies (such as Holiday in Handcuffs and Holiday in Handcuffs 2). Ms. Hart's career does not indicate she has anything under than her sweetness and light routine, but who knows. The other is the nice Jewish girl who has a recurring role on Entourage. However, in her past she was apparently a dancer in music videos. Sure this was 20 years ago, but she might really like dancing and take to it well. Of the two, I have to go with Mazur.
Now, typically, actors also do not win. However, in looking at this list, I am not bowled over by the men in the competition. However, I am intrigued by a couple of them. My initialy gut reaction is to take Mark Dacascos. Football players have won in the past, and made it to the finals, but that has more to do with their built in fan base. Dacascos, however, is a martial arts actor guy. If he can translate the martial arts discipline and movement ability over, he could be potent.
Then there is Donny Osmond and Ashley Hamilton. One has been a performe his whole career and may have some skills transferrable over to ballroom dancing. The other is the son of George Hamilton who's biggest claim to fame seems to be that he was married to Shannen Dougherty and survived. Donny could go far. He has much the same fan base, or could, that his sister had. He could be a dark horse here. Hamilton... can anyone tell me anything about him?
Tom DeLay could hang in for a while, but really, how popular can a politician be in the long run in a talent show? Sure, there could be a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to get him to the finals, but I figure he is going to be Jerry Springer of the year (i.e. just happy to be there).
Then there is Michael Irvin. Of the men, he could potentially have the biggest fan base because of his years with Dallas Cowboys. The question, however, is going to be whether he will be an Emmett Smith or a Clyde Drexler? Time will tell.
Next up is Aaron Carter. Oh Aaron, what shall we truly classify you as? Are you really a singer? A motorcross racer? Or a reality TV star who occasionally has the tv guest spot in non-reality shows? Pretty much, the odds are against him. He's no longer a tweener superstar. He's had run-ins with a variety of people, including taking his own mother to court. Then there's his bad dating choices (Lohan and Duff, at the same time, sparking a feud where he just comes off looking bad). Does not help with his fan base.
Then we have Chuck Liddell, a mixed martial artist, and Louie Vito, the snowboarder. Their incoming fan base is probably not going to be big. Liddell might benefit from the guys who are watching the show to keep their wife or girlfriend happy, but the same may not hold true for Vito. Either way, both come from sort of niche areas (yes I know MMA is getting more popular, but it hasn't hit that tipping point yet where people who don't follow it are aware of them, same for snowboarders). That's not going to help them. Therefore, unless they show something early, I doubt that they will be around come semifinal time.
Now, as I started writing this, a few of the pairings have been announced via twitter. They are:
Natalie Coughlin is with Alec Mazo (trained the winner of Season 1)
Tom Delay is with Cheryl Burke (oh boy has she got her work cut out for him)
Ashley Hamilton is with Edyta Sliwinska (like father like son)
Donny Osmond is with Kym Johnson (He's a little bit rock and roll and she's... Australian)
Looking at this, Cheryl got that shaft. I mean really, a politician. Shouldn't that have been given to the new Russian girl (whats her name?). The best matchup, I think, of these is Donny and Kym. Kym is good at reigning in guys and matching the dances to their strengths. Donny is an entertainer. It might work.
So here's my predictions: Dacascos and Coughlin. Edge right now to Coughlin (more so now that we know she has Mazo and Burke is off the market).
More madness to come.