Bachelor crossover on DWTS? Find out in Season 8 premier tonight

Matt Roche
Mar 29, 2010

Thanks, Jennifer, for the link on the last post. It appears Melissa Rycroft — “The Bachelor” contestant who received the final rose but then was dumped on “After the Final Rose” — will replace Access Hollywood’s Nancy O'Dell, who had to leave the “Dancing with the Stars” competition due to a torn meniscus in her knee. She will be paired with Tony Dovolani. If it’s true, it’s a brilliant move by ABC, given the huge interest in the “Bachelor” and the potential to pull some of its viewers to DWTS (if they’re not already there). BTW - my initial label suggestions: "He Love Me, He Loves Me Not." Former Playboy model Holly Madison will replace Jewel, another injury casualty. BTW - "Girl Next Door" is my label suggestion for this one, although I'm sure you all might have different ones. (Let's keep it clean, though!) Tonight’s the night. Tune in to the premiere of Season Eight at 8 p.m., and then post your thoughts here afterward. Until then, I’ll leave you with a meet-the-celebs feature written by Heather Svokos of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and republished here through our arrangement with McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. It’s a good read. Oh, the tired archetypes that ABC foxtrots out every season of “Dancing With the Stars": The comedian, the model, the NFL star, the Olympian, the (pop, country, R&B) singer. Snooozzzze. We’re happy to report that season eight’s roster of wannabe hoofers tosses a few new character types into the ol’ mambo-lator: the computer geek billionaire. The former ‘80s new-waver. The celeb-reality star. The bull rider who married the neo-folk singer, with both competing against each other. And, just for added drama, they’re not the only couple waltzing it out for a shot at No. 1. Come fly with us, as we take a quick look at the competitors, who will start strutting their stuff in Monday tonight’s two-hour premiere. Belinda Carlisle Age: 50 Partner: Jonathan Roberts, whose last partner was tennis player Monica Seles, the first to be eliminated on season 6. You know her from: ‘80s new wave girl group, The Go-Go’s; solo artist ("Heaven is a Place on Earth,” “Mad About You") But did you know that: Pre-Go-Go’s, she was the original drummer for punk band The Germs? Before they ever played a live gig, a bout of mono forced her to quit the band. Most recently: She’s the new spokeswoman for NutriSystem. Why she’ll win: Do we really need to say it? She’s got the beat. (Yeah. She’s got it.) Why she’ll tank: Long-simmering jealousy and resentment will get the best of co-Go-Go Jane Wiedlin, who will find a way to sabotage her former and sometimes current bandmate. David Alan Grier Age: 53 Partner: Kym Johnson, who danced Joey Fatone to second place in season 4 Why you know him: The funnyman first broke out in the Fox sketch comedy show “In Living Color"; he went on to star in Bonnie Hunt’s “Life With Bonnie,” and his own sitcom, “DAG.” Most recently: He now hosts “The Chocolate News” on Comedy Central. But did you know that he: Auditioned for the role of George Costanza on “Seinfeld.” Why he’ll win: He’s got some Broadway cred: fresh from Yale drama school in 1981, he picked up a Tony nomination for playing Jackie Robinson in “The First,” a musical about the first black baseball player in the Major Leagues. Why he’ll tank: Then again, that musical was short-lived, and lacked dance numbers. Jewel Age: 34 Partner: Dmitry Chaplin, 2006 U.S. National finalist _ a “DWTS” newbie. You know her from: The neo-folk charts of the mid-’90s ("Who Will Save Your Soul,” “Foolish Games"). The Alaska native now lives on a working ranch in Stephenville, Texas, with her husband _ and “DWTS” competitor _ bull rider Ty Murray. Most recently: She’s got an album coming out in May, containing original and traditional lullabies. But did you know that she: Once dated Sean Penn, who also directed an early version of the music video for her song “You Were Meant For Me.” Why she’ll win: She wants it so bad that she’s already overworking herself. Before one show even aired, she developed tendonitis in her knees, from working too hard. Why she’ll tank: She’s on steroids to get the inflammation down, but she may not be able to say-eeee-ave her soul. Shawn Johnson Age: 17 Partner: Mark Ballas, who partnered with Kristi “The Guch” Yamaguchi to win in season 6. You know her from: the youngest-ever “DWTS” competitor was the gold medalist in balance beam at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She also earned three silver medals in the team, floor exercise and individual all-around categories. But did you know that she: led the pledge of allegiance at the 2008 Democratic National Convention? Most recently: In December, she released the book/magazine, “Shawn Johnson: Olympic Champion: Stories Behind the Smile.” (It’s available at www.shawnjohnson.netO.) Why she’ll win: Think of the last female Olympian to compete on “DWTS": the graceful Yamaguchi, who also partnered with Ballas! Why she’ll tank: She took the big prize in one Olympic event, but when it came to individual all-around, she trailed teammate Nastia Liukin. Lil’ Kim Age: 34 Partner: reigning champ Derek Hough, who helped earn Brooke Burke the title last season. You know her from: Rapper, singer, revealing clothing wearer, convicted perjurer, Diana Ross tweaking victim. Most recently: Her fifth studio album is due for release this year. But did you know: There’s an accredited Syracuse University course titled “The Life and Times of Lil’ Kim.” Why she’ll win: Her provocative dance costumes will infuse judge Bruno Tonioli with bursts of euphoric “You’re so sexy!” proclamations, influencing the voting in her favor. Why she’ll tank: Her provocative dance costumes will induce paroxysm in judge Len Goodman, influencing the voting against her. Gilles Marini Age: 33 Partner: two-time champion Cheryl Burke, who was victorious in seasons 2 and 3 with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith. You know him from: the “Sex and the City” movie, where he played Dante, the hottie in the beach house next-door to Kim Cattrall. But did you know that: before he became a model and then an actor, he joined the French army, in which he was a firefighter for the famous Brigade des Sapeurs Pompiers de Paris. Most recently: He’ll be Vanessa Redgrave’s husband on FX’s “Nip/Tuck.” Why he’ll win: Dante, “Sex and the City” _ you saw him right? Guy’s got the moves. Why he’ll tank: He’s too sexy for this show, too sexy for this show. So sexy, he’ll blow. Ty Murray Age: 39 Partner: 10 Dance Youth National champion Chelsie Hightower, who makes her series debut. You know him from: He’s been called the most accomplished rodeo athlete in the history of the sport. He and Jewel are “DWTS’s” first married celeb competitors. But did you know that he: helped shepherd National Day of the Horse unanimously through the U.S. Senate, encouraging Americans “to be mindful of the contribution of horses to economy, history and character of the United States.” Most recently: He runs his and Jewel’s 2,100-acre cattle ranch, and provides TV commentary for bull riding events. Why he’ll win: During his 15-year Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame career, he took gymnastics lessons to improve his flexibility and body control. Why he’ll tank: He’s had surgeries on both shoulders and knees. He’s tough, but “DWTS” may just be the beast that brings him down. Nancy O’Dell Age: 43 Partner: Tony Dovolani, who took Marissa Jaret Winokur to the final four in season 6. You know her from: entertainment show “Access Hollywood,” which she co-anchors with Billy Bush. But did you know that she: is a former Miss America contestant (Miss South Carolina) in 1988 who graduated summa cum laude from Clemson University? Why she’ll win: Good career pedigree: the last winner, Brooke Burke, was also an entertainment show host. Why she’ll tank: In the Miss America pageant, she won a preliminary competition not for her dancin’ skills, but for her swimsuit-wearin’ skills. Denise Richards Age: 38 Partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy, whose finished second in season 5 with Spice Girl Mel B. You know her from: movies such as “Wild Things” and “Starship Troopers"; the toxic public relationship between her and ex-husband Charlie Sheen, notably on camera in the E! reality show, “Denise Richards: It’s Complicated.” But did you know that she: Suffers from emetophobia, or the fear of vomiting. Why she’ll win: Yes, she was voted “Worst Bond Girl of All Time,” but she does kickboxing. We predict that her moves will surprise us. (Or at least knock host Tom Bergeron to the ground.) Why she’ll tank: Like our moms always told us: emetophobics never win. Steve-O Age: 34 Partner: Lacey Schwimmer, former “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist who danced Lance Bass into third place last season. You know him from: the TV and movie versions of the appropriately titled Johnny Knoxville show, “Jackass.” But did you know that: One of his pre-"Jackass” stunts involved lighting his hair on fire and then doing a back flip. While doing this stunt something went wrong and he burned all the skin on his face. He had to wear a face mask for a month. Most recently: Has 11 months of sobriety under his belt, thanks to Knoxville shipping him to Dr. Drew Pinsky’s celebrity rehab counseling. Why he’ll win: Um ... he’s coordinated enough to have graduated from Ringling Brothers Clown College, but ... just, no. Why he’ll tank: You read the part about lighting his hair on fire, yes? Lawrence Taylor Age: 50 Partner: Edyta Sliwinska, the only pro to compete in all eight seasons of “DWTS,” and the dancer who took football star Jason Taylor to No. 2 in season 6. You know him as: the all-pro linebacker with the New York Giants (1981-1993), who led them to two Super Bowl titles. But did you know that he: has appeared in movies such as “Any Given Sunday,” “The Waterboy” and “Shaft,” and HBO’s “The Sopranos"? Most recently: After a wild life that included cocaine addiction, the man once known as “L.T.” has cleaned up his act. He told the New York Times in 2003: “L.T. died a long time ago, and I don’t miss him at all ... all that’s left is Lawrence Taylor.” He is founding partner at eXfuze, a Florida-based network marketing company. Why he’ll win: He’s got the stamina to beat addiction, he survived the NFL and an Oliver Stone film. He can go the distance. Why he’ll tank: One footballer has already taken the crown (Emmitt Smith in season three). Odds aren’t good. Chuck Wicks Age: 29 Partner: Chuck teams with girlfriend and two-time champ Julianne Hough, who returns for her fifth season, despite announcing last season that she was quitting the show. You know him from: the country music hit, “Stealing Cinderella,” which he performed as a tour opener for Brad Paisley. But did you know that he: grew up on a potato farm in Smyrna, Del. Most recently: He released his new single, “Man of the House,” about a boy taking on responsibility while his dad is on military assignment. Why he’ll win: His pro dancer girlfriend is a two-time winner on the show. She’ll have insider tips, and they can practice at home! Why he’ll tank: Hough has already written on her MySpace blog that she finds his dancing “hilarious.” Beyond that, the show’s intensity could prove too much for his relationship with Hough. Look for a mid-season meltdown. Steve Wozniak Age: 58 Partner: Karina Smirnoff, who partnered with second-place Mario Lopez in season 3. You know him from: co-founding Apple Computer with Steve Jobs, being active in philanthropy and business, and dating famous D-Lister Kathy Griffin. But did you know that: the Woz, as he’s known, appeared briefly as a hippie extra in the 1971 movie, “Vanishing Point"? Most recently: Published a co-authored autobiography, “iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It.” Last month, he joined Fusion-io, a data storage startup in Salt Lake City. Why he’ll win: He’s user-friendly _ he’s a Mac. Why he’ll tank: He’s not compatible with everyone. Sources: IMdB.com, ABC.com, Star-Telegram archives, All Music.com, Toronto Star, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal, New York Times