DWTS pairing announced; Olympian and Mark are the pair to beat

Matt Roche
Mar 29, 2010

Thanks, everyone, for label name suggestions. We'll come back to that. First, we have the official pairings for Season Eight of "Dancing With The Stars," which debuts March 9. So let's announce 'em and share our opinions: 17 year-old Olympian Shawn Johnson, the youngest ever competitor on DWTS, teams up with former champ Mark Ballas, who returns for his fourth season. (This will be the cute couple; Mark, however, had better be careful with any of the off-the-dance-floor stuff because she won't turn 18 until Jan. 19, 2010! Going in to the season, this has to be the couple to beat. Mark won a trophy with his last Olympian.) Rapper, singer, actress, and fashion icon Lil' Kim teams with reigning champ Derek Hough, who returns for his fourth season. (This pair should give Shawn and Mark a run for their money.) Chuck Wicks (who?) is teamed with girlfriend and two-time champ Julianne Hough, who returns for her fifth season. (OK - now we know who he is. Sort of. At least we know WHY he's on the show. Julianne was supposed to take a season off to work on her singing career, right? Wonder if the career isn't taking off as fast as she'd hoped. Or perhaps ABC lured her back by giving her country crooning boyfriend a spot. We'll see if he can dance. I'm sure they've been training 24/7.) Gilles Marini aka Dante from the "Sex and the City movie" teams up with two-time champion Cheryl Burke, who returns for her seventh season. (He's a native of France; she did fairly well with her last international celeb - the New Ricky Martin. BTW, didn't the Reflector publish a picture of that celeb with a local resident?) Jewel of "Who Will Save Your Soul" fame is teamed with 2006 U.S. National finalist Dmitry Chaplin, a DWTS newbie. (Did you know she yodels?) Jewel's hubby and rodeo guru Ty Murray (is he really a star?) joins 10 Dance Youth National champion Chelsie Hightower, another DWTS newbie. Belinda Carlisle of Go-Go's fame is teamed with Jonathan Roberts, who returns for her sixth season. (McCartney's ex, Donny's Sister ... he gets stuck with the aging/aged ladies, doesn't he?) David Alan Grier from In Living Color is paired with Kym Johnson, who returns for her sixth season. (He should provide some comic relief.) Steve-O of MTV fame is teamed with Lacey Schwimmer. (Look for edgy dances on the floor and lots of drama off of it!) Access Hollywood" co-anchor Nancy O'Dell teams with Tony Dovolani, who returns for his seventh season. (While Tony is a bit lacking in choreography prowess, he rivals Jonathan as the nicest pro dancer. He'll probably take her as far as he took Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Apple computer dude Steve Wozniak, aka The Woz, teams with Karina Smirnoff, who returns for her sixth season. (The old guy probably won't last long this time.) Actress Denis Richards (BTW - does ANYONE like this chick? All I've heard are sighs and groans anytime her name is mentioned.) teams with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who returns for his sixth season. (Fiancee Karina will be keeping a close eye on Maks, I'm sure, during the training since she'll have plenty of time after the early exit. Perhaps his popularity will off-set Richards' lack of it with the voters.) NFL Hall-of-Famer Lawrence Taylor teams with Edyta Sliwinska, who is the only pro to compete in all eight seasons of DWTS. (As if she wouldn't be paired with the football player. Her and Jason Taylor were a great fit a few seasons back. Feel free to make your wardrobe jokes here...) * * * LABEL NAMES: We'll need to come up with our trademark labels for these celebs. Here are a few y'all posted on the last blog entry: JENNIFER: “Charlie’s Ex” (Denise Richards), “Tiny Gymnast” (Shawn Johnson), “Bill Gates’ Rival” (Steve Wozniak) and “Lady Marmalade” (Lil Kim). (I like 'em ALL!) CARY: Jewel’s Hubby (Ty Murray), Julianne’s Partner (Chuck Wicks), Go-Go-Dancer (Belinda Carlisle) and LT (Lawrence Taylor). (More good ones!) Please share your thoughts about the pairings and label suggestions. Next Monday, I'll post the list of label name finalists.

Comments

Matt_Roche

Hey everyone - Here's a nice feature story on Lawrence Taylor. Those of you who don't follow NFL football might appreciate learning a little background about him. Enjoy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/1...

Jennifer

The pairings definitely make the competition much more interesting! IMO, the biggest surprise was pairing Karina with Steve Wozniak. How long can they possibly last? She must have made one of the producers mad or something, or else she wants some time off to plan her wedding.
And as for Julianne and her boyfriend, they have an unfair advantage. They are a couple! They know each other well and will probably be pretty compatible on the dance floor. If not, the whole country will see their lack of chemistry, and that will could be disastrous (and humiliating) for them!
And as for the French guy that Cheryl is dancing with, I wonder if he will be as talented as that Latin guy, (whose cologne smells really good, by the way):)

DWTS Fan

Shawn has the athletic ability, it's whether her height is an issue. Lil' Kim is definitely in the mix. I'm not sure Jewel can dance (standing at mic with guitar).

BarB

I am really looking forward to the new season, although the first couple weeks are always exhausting! I am glad not to have to put up with the Osmonds. I keep seeing Marie on the nutrisystem commercials. Nutrisystem did not make her thinner. Dancing with the Stars made her thinner!!!! I just had to get that off my chest.

Jennifer
Dancin' Queen

Hi everyone!
This season is like most season....I've never heard of 3/4 of the people..but that is not the reason I watch DWTS. I watch it for the dancing and the drama. So the first couple of weeks are getting to know the contestants and then start picking favorites. The show usually has one star that I'm pretty ecstatic about right off the bat...and this year that is Shawn Johnson. I always like the risks and gimmicks the show does to shake things up (Julianne dancing with her BF, dance-off for the first to be booted etc.). Sometimes it's works, sometimes it doesn't...the but show always keeps us on our dancing' toes.