Monday, September 21, 2009

Forecast For Season 9 of Dancing With The Stars!


A footwork forecast for Season 9 of 'Dancing With the Stars': Watch out for Donny Osmond

By The Grand Rapids Press
September 20, 2009, 6:25AM

"Dancing With the Stars" is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates -- you never know who you're going to get, and Season 9 of ABC's top-rated dance competition bears this out more than any other spin around the ballroom floor.

The ninth season of "Dancing With the Stars" returns at 8 p.m. Monday on ABC. The first round of competition continues at 8 p.m. Tuesday, followed by the results show at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Oh, there are the usual suspects -- a football player (Michael Irvin), a light heavyweight champion (Chuck Liddell), and an all-grown-up child star (Melissa Joan Hart). Those would be the cherry-filled cordials and nougats; no one is surprised by their presence.

But a few of the casting calls caused a national kerfluffle indeed, and none more than former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R), aka "The Hammer," who at 62 is either a great defender of conservative values or a crooked politico who should be wearing a prison jumpsuit, not sequined pants, depending on your personal political views.

After the shock of his casting sunk in, however, the public has appeared to warm up to the guy: A recent TV poll has him and professional partner Cheryl Burke handicapped in the top spot, above even Donny Osmond!

That's just wrong, folks. Because clearly, it's Donny's contest to win or lose. Not only is he a former teen idol, but the dude's been prancing around in be-dazzled costumes since he was a kid. He has my votes, definitely. I've been cheering for good ol' Donny since I happened upon him belting out "Hound Dog" on his '70s TV show with sister Marie, and I'm betting millions of women will remember him fondly. Can't you just see him, misted with chemical bronzer, those Osmond teeth gleaming like the sun, hoofing it all the way to the Mirror Ball Trophy?

Donny, Tom and the rest of the extra-large (too large!) 16-contestant cast will face a few new dances, including the Bolero, Charleston, Two-Step and Lambada, as well as the mid-season triple-threat of double eliminations.
Who will have a leg up on the competition, and who will have a leg in a cast? According to "Stars" pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, look for Mark Dacascos, "The Chairman" and host of Food Network's "Iron Chef America," to sizzle, as well as young popster Aaron Carter (coupled with Maks' ex-fiance Karina Smirnoff), R&B singer Mya and, naturally, Mr. Osmond. And he also thinks his own partner, "Entourage" actress Debi Mazar, can go the distance as well -- big surprise there.

Here's my semi-annual, sight unseen, footwork forecast:

1. Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson
Kym's a two-time runner-up, and millions of ladies still have a slight case of puppy love for Donny.

2. Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas
Mark is the defending champ and could become the first pro to win three Mirrorballs with cute and lovable "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" Melissa.

3. Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo
Inaugural winner Alec may not have a dazzling personality, but it's wise never to underestimate an Olympian on this show. Partner Natalie's won 11 medals in swimming.

4. Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff
He's cute, and he's got rhythm. Remember how far that got Cody Linley a couple of seasons ago?

5. Debi Mazar and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
The "Entourage" star and Maks are getting along like gangbusters, and he really, really wants to get his hands on that mirrorball.

6. Ashley Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska
Everyone loves Edyta, and the son of George Hamilton and Alana Stewart may be just quirky enough (he's actually hilarious) to rise above the pack of better known "celebs."

7. Mya and Dmitry Chaplin
L'il Kim was astounding last season, and maybe Mya will follow in her footwork. Plus Maksim said she's one to watch -- and he's seen her dance, after all.

8. Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova
The former Dallas Cowboys wide-receiver could thrown down, like former NFL/"Stars" greats Emmitt Smith, Jason Taylor and Warren Sapp. Or he could fall flat, a la Laurence Taylor.

9. Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani
Tony took bronze last season with Melissa Rycroft, and, as supermodels go, Kathy's pretty cool and somewhat relatable due to her weight struggles of late.

10. Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer
I would rank this kitchen star higher, but the word online isn't good. Likeability is key.

11. Macy Gray and Jonathan Roberts
Jonathan and partner Belinda Carlisle were eliminated first last season, but he definitely will go farther with Grammy-winner Macy.

12. Tom DeLay and Cheryl Burke
He is the most buzzed-about contestant this year, and Cheryl knows how to shape a winner. But DeLay's 62, and at least half of voters are Democrats.

13. Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya
Ultimate Fighting Championship champ Chuck is called "The Iceman," which doesn't sound very warm and fuzzy at all.

14. Kelly Osbourne and Louis van Amstel
Louis last danced with Priscilla Presley in Season 6, and look how that turned out. Plus, we all may have a bit of Osbourne fatigue.

15. Snowboarder Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower
Chelsie finished fourth last season with Ty Murray, so she's fresh on everyone's minds. But with the Winter Olympics still six months away, Louie's off everyone's radar.

16. Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough
I know Derek won Season 7 with Brooke Burke, but if there's anything the public won't have it's a pouty supermodel. Anyone who saw an episode of "Superstars" this summer knows what I mean.

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