The pairings have been announced for Season 9 of “Dancing With the Stars.”
And yes, it’s true — no Julianne this season. But that’s OK because there will plently of fun things to watch. Here are the pairings, along with a little commentary:
Singer Aaron Carter is with Karina Smirnoff. (He is my early favorite to win it all. I can’t make a final three prediction until seeing everyone dance, but judging from the pairing and his popularity, this is one to watch.
Swimming champ Natalie Coughlin is with Alec Mazo. (Olympians always excell on this show. Except for Beach Babe, who suffered a season-ending injury, and the underachieving WFM, Olympians typically take home the hardware on DWTS. But I guess show officials tried to even the playing field by sticking her with Alec, who at least on TV shows no personality. She’s also in my unofficial final three.)
“Iron Chef” star Mark Dacascos is with Lacey Schwimmer. (She edgy, and somewhat unpredictable. He’s 45 and a martial artist, having won numerous karate and various styles of kung fu championships between the ages of 7 and 18. This could make for some interesting routines.)
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is with Cheryl Burke, a two-time champ. (Sorry, Cheryl - an early exit is expected. That’s what you get for having such a stronger partner like French Guy last season.)
Singer Macy Gray is with Jonathan Roberts, the nice guy. (I’m looking forward to her interviews. As for the dancing, it could either be a train wreck or she could be really good. DWTS was kind to pair her with Jonathan and not, say, the easily-frustrated Maks.)
Ashley Hamilton, son of actor and former DWTS celeb George Hamilton and an ex of ‘90210’ star Shannen Doherty, is with Edyta Sliwinska. (Not much material expected here, at least in terms of what Edyta will be wearing.)
Actress Melissa Joan Hart, no longer a teenage witch, is with Mark Ballas, who captured his second mirror ball trophy last season with Olympic Gymnast aka Shawn Johnson. (She should be enjoyable to watch but, unlike Olympic Gymnast and Gold Medal Figure Skater, won’t likely be able to keep up with Mark, who tends to overdance when he has lesser talented partners. Maybe she’ll last until midseason.)
Model Kathy Ireland is with Tony Dovolani, who took Melissa to the finals and then wrecked their run to a title with his “what were you thinking?” freestyle. (We don’t have to worry about that happening this season; they won’t make it to the finals.)
Former football star Michael Irvin is with Anna Demidova, winner of last season’s pro competition. (Considering how NFL players do on this show, he could go deep into the season, provided newbie Anna has the choreography skills to showcase his strengths and hide his weaknesses.)
Model Joanna Krupa is with Derek Hough. (Typically, female models don’t fare well on DWTS, although Brooke Burke aka Cover Girl changed that in Season 7 when she was pair with — interestingly enough — Derek. If she’s got rhythm, Derek’s choreography abilities should make their routines fun to watch.)
Ultimate fighting champ Chuck Liddell is with Anna Trebunskaya. (He can fight, but can he dance? Her name is fun to her pronounced. As for a prediction here, I have no idea.)
Actress Debi Mazar is with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. (IMO, this is one of the most interesting pairings. Maks got stuck with Charlie’s Ex last season and suffered an early exit. While she’s 45, she has been in four of Madonna's music videos. So that says something, although I’m not sure what.)
Singer Mya is with Dmitry Chaplin, who should enjoy working with a partner who has more skills than last season’s co-called celeb, Bimbo. (Can she go as far as Black Barbie? We’ll see.)
Kelly Osbourne is with Louis Van Amstel. (I could see her kind of be annoying and get an early exit.)
Donny Osmond is with Kym Johnson (I could see him kind of be annoying and make it to the finals, much like his annoying sis did a few seasons back. Sorry, Kym, but this won’t be my favorite couple to watch each week.)
Professional snowboarder Louie Vito is with Chelsie Hightower. (Chelsie did wonders with Rodeo Dude. She probably has her work cut out for her again with this athlete. BTW, he was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio.)
That’s my take. Please share yours by commenting below.
Also, we need to pick label names for these celbs before the new season begins Sept. 21. Thanks, Cary, for your suggestions on my last post. And welcome back Dancin' Queen, I mean California Tea Queen. Everyone else, please offer yours.