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Handicapping the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ cast

davidThe 11th edition of “Dancing With the Stars” starting Monday on ABC at 8 p.m. includes a typical mix of sports figures, washed-up actors, singers in search of a comeback and reality stars. Three have Atlanta ties: actor Kyle Massey, comic Margaret Cho and David Hasselhoff.

Here’s my purely unscientific assessment of each person’s chances of winning. In some cases, there are brief videos on YouTube of them rehearsing which can give you the briefest taste of their dance skills. Otherwise, this is educated guesswork based on their backgrounds and how similar participants in the past have done.

The likely leaders

Brandy – Another R&B singer with one name,  Mya, almost won a year ago. Brandy, now 31,  certainly could go far based on her resume. She has done plenty of dance choreography in her videos such as “Baby.” She looks like she’s in great shape. She will have a fan base ready to vote for her from day one. Her credits include star of “Moesha” in the late 1990s; R&B hits such as “The Boy is Mine,” a duet with Monica; her brief stint as a judge on “America’s Got Talent” in 2006; and her current VH1 reality show with her brother Ray J. Odds of winning: 4-1

Kurt Warner – Athletes almost always do well given their level of conditioning. They understand prep work and can perform on a big stage. The 39-year-old Super Bowl winning quarterback just retired from the Arizona Cardinals. It’s clear he’s still in good shape. Does he have actual dance skills? Pure athleticism and good looks should keep him around awhile even if he has two left feet. And he shows a sense of humor in this video. Odds of winning: 8-1

Jennifer Grey - Women older than 40 tend to do poorly on “Dancing With the Stars.” Jennifer is 50. But she has a major advantage: she played the beloved dance novice Baby in”Dirty Dancing” in 1987. And many DWTS fans loved that movie. Despite being a relative dance novice, she held up well against a pro like Patrick Swayze. She’s the daughter of a dancer/choreography Joel Grey so dance is in her genes. She had a neck injury from a car accident many years ago but said recent surgery has made her stronger.  “I feel better than I’ve ever felt,” she told Access Hollywood. “I haven’t been able to dance or be physical like this for 23 years.”  Check her out with two-time winner Derek Hough in this video for Access Hollywood. She looks sharp below in this “first look” video: Odds of winning: 10-1

David Hasselhoff -
Arguably, the 58-year-old Hoff is the best known celebrity on the cast. His name recognition alone, thanks to “Knight Rider,” “Baywatch” and “America’s Got Talent,” should help him stick around awhile. Simon Cowell of all people has predicted he’ll win. His dancing ability? He doesn’t exactly look like Fred Astaire in this video, but you never know once he’s fully rehearsed (and presumably sober). Odds of winning: 11-1

Rick Fox - At a lithe 6 foot 6 inches tall, the 41-year-old NBA veteran already looks like a dancer. His very status as an athlete makes him a front runner by default. Six of the 10 previous winners were athletes – though no basketball player has pulled off a victory yet. He is also an actor (”Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns,” “The Game”) who oozes charm and make many a voter swoon. Problem: watching him do a waltz in this video below is painful. He looks really really stiff. Let’s hope he can loosen up! Odds of winning: 12-1

Hard to say

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino – Sure, the charming “Jersey Shore” star has danced plenty in clubs. How that translates in ballroom dance is truly impossible to guess. He only had four days to prepare for Monday’s show since he was shooting his MTV hit reality show until a few days ago. But he’s obviously in great shape and will probably spend a lot of time on the dance floor with his shirt off to show off those “Situation” abs. He will draw the vote of younger folks. Will his charisma (and predilection to reference his nickname in third person) rub off on older voters? Odds of winning: 20-1

Michael Bolton – He can sing, that’s for sure. But he’s 56 years old and looks a bit lumbering. He told Access Hollywood he avoided dancing in his videos. So it’s difficult to judge if he will be any good. Regardless, he might stick around a few weeks since I suspect the DWTS demo are huge fans of Bolton’s early 1990s hits. Odds of winning: 25-1

Florence Henderson – The 76-year-old “Brady Bunch” star has some musical theater background and she did some rudimentary dancing on “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.” (see the sample video below if you want to know how truly cheesy awful THAT was.) Based on her body type and her relative health, she will do better than most of the token “older” contestants such as Buzz Aldrin or Cloris Leachman. In fact, I expect she’ll be quite good, giving more geriatric viewers plenty to cheer about. And she looks great! In this video, she says she practices five to six hours a day. Odds of winning: 30-1

Margaret Cho – The “Drop Dead Diva” actor and stand-up comic is a wild card. Like Niecy Nash, she has a sizable niche audience that will vote for her but she’s going to need a wider one to stay alive in the competition. Her humor and personality may help her, like it did with Nash. She definitely looks like she’s in  better shape than she was a few years back. And she joked with Access Hollywood that when her “All-American Girl” sitcom was on ABC in 1994, the execs made her lose a ton of weight. Now with “Dancing With the Stars,” she’ll have no choice! Odds of winning: 40-1

Bristol Palin – She might be as bad – if not worse than – Kate Gosselin last spring. But she also might get votes simply because she’s a Palin. It seems Kate had a following that kept her afloat an extra couple of weeks. Mark Ballas, her dance partner below, does show what appears to be major patience with a dance novice. Odds of winning: 100-1

Probably out early

Kyle Massey – This 19-year-old Disney veteran (”That’s So Raven,” “Cory in the House”) has no real dance experience and he isn’t exactly svelte. He’s not terribly well known outside of that Disney demo and perhaps the parents. Is that group big enough to keep him around? If he’s half decent, he might. And he has oodles of chipper confidence, which can’t hurt. Odds of winning: 125-1

Audrina Patridge – Pretty women with middling dance skills are often the first ones out on the show. She has been a bit of tabloid fodder as a “Hills” gal but otherwise, I can’t imagine she’d have much of a voting fan base to keep her around early on. And there is no sign she has any particular dancing background. Some oddsmaker has her at 8:1 odds of winning. Mine are far less optimistic. In this video, she shows no signs of personality and you certainly need some to get votes. Odds of winning: 500-1

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54 comments Add your comment

Bill

September 17th, 2010
8:47 am

Who cares? They lost my interest when they picked a Palin to participate.

Too Easy

September 17th, 2010
9:07 am

And, Bill, you lost my interest when you blogged.

Taylor Hanson

September 17th, 2010
9:09 am

Come on Bill…she puts out.

snafu

September 17th, 2010
9:22 am

Dancing with the Stars? Really,..Lost all cred when this idiot Palin was put on.never watch..waste of time!!!

Not a 'Bill' fan

September 17th, 2010
9:26 am

Really Bill!?? You’ve lost interest because she’s a Palin? Seems pretty shallow to me.

Mr. Ed

September 17th, 2010
9:39 am

Can you really blame Palin’s boyfriend? I would have taken a hike too. Could you imagine being married to her the rest of your life?

Especially considering you had to deal with that political loon of a mother in law.

No you didn't say that

September 17th, 2010
9:54 am

Mr. Ed, your name says it all….the south end of a northbound mule!

I stand alone

September 17th, 2010
10:17 am

WOW, Hassellhoff may be just as bad as Holyfield and MasterP was.

Michael Bolton will be a delight to see.

Margaret Cho will talk too dang much (like Nicey Nash did).

Florence Henderson will be a delight.

Booger Sandwich

September 17th, 2010
10:24 am

Enter your comments here

Booger Sandwich

September 17th, 2010
10:24 am

I thought HasselDorfer was dead. Wishful thinking on my part I guess.

db

September 17th, 2010
10:25 am

Palin is considered a so called star because of her mom????

I stand alone

September 17th, 2010
10:29 am

I don’t care what anyone says, I just hope her Mom doesn’t run for President!

| aris-dance.com

September 17th, 2010
10:29 am

[...] Read more… [...]

Jubie

September 17th, 2010
11:49 am

Oh I hope Palin wins. I will be voting for her. I can’t wait. I hope her mom is on the show too. She is not on the show for star quality db, but as a wild card, like Buzz Aldrin was. I think this will be exciting.

war eagle

September 17th, 2010
12:33 pm

Michael Knight will win!
Hey Len! Don’t Hassle, THE HOFF!

Mr. Ed

September 17th, 2010
12:43 pm

@No

If that’s the case. Please pucker up.

Hee Haw!

No you didn't say that

September 17th, 2010
12:46 pm

@Mr. Ed, that’s okay, you can pucker up for your own. I don’t care for kissing a@@es.

Ellen

September 17th, 2010
12:50 pm

I hope Sarah Palin will be featured on the sidelines as her daughter, Bristol, dances. Sarah will look even more like a political heavyweight inculcating her daugher in the family business of self-promotion. Kinda like a white women Al Sharpton…

Mr. Ed

September 17th, 2010
2:11 pm

@No

You’re so mean, it’s kinda turning me on.

Here’s a tail swat just for you. Slap!

PullinForPalin

September 17th, 2010
3:12 pm

Bristol (Myers) Palin for president in 2012. Better her than Sarah. Amend the constitution to let her run. Run Bristol run.

RR

September 17th, 2010
4:31 pm

I thought it was a good cast until they announced “The Situation” was in it. I’ll be watching, but taking my breaks during his dances. I can’t stand anyone from that jersey show. I’d rather watch the daughter of a political figure than that moron.

H Obama

September 17th, 2010
5:14 pm

I will be watching and if there is any way to put a tax on this show then watch out. All of these pretty men give me a stimulus.

Bill is an (oxy)Moron

September 17th, 2010
6:31 pm

So you lost so much interest in the show that you read a story about it and felt compelled to comment? CLEARLY you have no interest at all, right? C’mon Bill (and others like you) get over yourself.

Keep the Change

September 17th, 2010
7:35 pm

Yeah, Ellen, Sarah Palin is exactly like Sharpton, and you are as dumb as a post.

PALIN 2012

Scott Anderson

September 17th, 2010
10:11 pm

Bristol is a star because she got knocked up and was on national TV during the campaign. What a fine example to teens everywhere.

The more exposure you get the more millions you pull in. Take that advice from her mom and run with it. I mean dance with it Bristol.

Too bad Levi wasnt there as a judge . I would pay to see that.

I wont be watching this Palin ego crap

JM

September 17th, 2010
10:18 pm

I hope Bristol Palin takes it!

Flash

September 17th, 2010
10:51 pm

It should be called” Dancing with Mostly Wantabes” Only a couple of real stars in the group. The Palin baby mamma is here because her mother used to be somebody. The Situation wants to be somebody. At least he is here of his own merit. Something Palin baby mamma can not say. The rest of them should at least be somewhat interesting.

gail

September 17th, 2010
11:50 pm

i hope jennifer gray and derek go all the way.he a good dancer and she is to

JP

September 18th, 2010
1:00 am

I would rather have Sarah Palin than the pathetic excuse we have now…guy has no clue. Country is going down the toilet quickly.

SU

September 18th, 2010
3:22 am

Well B Palin’s on the show to do exactly what we’re doing here: keep the family name in the spotlight by any means. The execs know she has no chance of winning, but the name alone will generate some ratings. Expect her to stay around for a few weeks even though she’s likely in the bottom 3 talentwise. Why? Republicans are undergoing training on how to use a redial button.
Politically, I can’t wait til 2012 when the name will go away for good.

Anyway, I actually like Jennifer Grey, Brandy, and Kurt Warner from the clips. Grey actually looks pretty smooth considering her age and a prior surgery. She’d be my #1 based solely on the previews. Brandy’s in great shape and, barring any issues, should reach the final three based on her background and the early previews. Kurt Warner, I’m impressed.

One more thing that happened under George Bush’s watch that Republicans will try to blame on Obama besides the war and the economy: Appearing on a reality show now qualifies you as a STAR? Really?

IndieDogg

September 18th, 2010
4:40 am

Wow. You have to wonder about some people. With so little to make their life interesting that they actually make themselves feel good by trashing a girl who’s someone’s daughter. Look, folks, if you don’t like Sarah Palin’s positions on issues (yes, she has them, but somehow I don’t think that’s really what this is about), then hey, don’t vote for her. Why does she threaten you so much that you feel obligated to get personal and throw all the hate (your own insecurity, if you want a shrink’s opinion) around? To beat an old phrase to death, “Get a life.” With a caveat, “Of your own.”

Flash

September 18th, 2010
8:41 am

IndieDogg : Did you not just do the very thing you accuse these people of doing? Good heavens Mr.
Get A Life.

CW

September 18th, 2010
11:05 am

As if Sarah would bypass the chance (ANY CHANCE) to be seen in public. You can count on her being front and center…. even if it means stealing the spotlight from her own daughter!!! Just pathetic.

dude dude

September 18th, 2010
11:14 am

Hah originally I wasn’t cheering for Bristol, but all the people here seem to hate her for little reason :D . I’m cheering for her now just to hear pissed off people. Oh and I hope Sarah Palin does run in 2012, because it’d be a sure win for the democrats. There are a lot of stupid Americans who will vote party lines, but not that many are stupid enough to put her in charge. It’s win-win all the way around!

DKS

September 18th, 2010
11:21 am

Brandy was also an unwed mother, except Brandy lied that she was married to save her fan base. That scandal followed with her killing someone’s mother in a car accident that was Brandy’s fault. Why people act like that doesn’t matter but go after Bristol because you don’t like her mother, beats me. Some of you have your morals up your behinds, which explains why you have an imbecile like Obama in office.

jj

September 18th, 2010
12:01 pm

I’ve been watching DWTS from the beginning. I sometimes don’t watch until week 5, when the bad dancers and ringers are mostly gone. This year, I am so revolted by the thought of Mama Falin grinning like an idiot in the front row, we will skip the whole year. I don’t like the gimmick aspect of their choices – I come for the dancing and the growth. This year, none of their choices grab me, and I’ll pass. (I’ll probably watch the last few weeks)
(I wasn’t going to watch last year, because of kate h8. But her bad behavior somehow made it worth while)

jj

September 18th, 2010
12:05 pm

DKS – we have an ‘imbecile’ in the office because of the EIGHT wonderful years of cheney/bush.
Nobody minds bristol that much – it’s the mom we loathe, and the fact that both are getting shoved down our throat. (our behinds are still healing from the previous occupation)

middleroftheroadandsotiredofalltheretoric

September 18th, 2010
12:29 pm

get a grip, folks. do palin and republican supporters have to Obama bash in everything! People are bashing Palin because she can’t dance, she hasn’t done anything notable on her own but ridden the Palin gravy train, and because she can’t dance. she got pregnant having premarital sex and now tells others not to do what she did and obviously from her recent re-engagement is still doing. would she be DWTS if she had a different mother? As bad as some of the others may be at dancing at least they got here on their own.

DKS

September 18th, 2010
12:42 pm

jj – You can’t blame Bush for everything. It’s getting old. Obama’s been in two years, which is plenty of time to have turned around the economy and other ills. Ronald Regan started turning around the woes of the Carter government almost immediately.

Jubie

September 18th, 2010
2:03 pm

Well you never know dude there were enough stupid people to put the moron we have now in charge.

David

September 18th, 2010
4:02 pm

i hope the obama girls hold out as long as the palin girl but i doubt it? will the press libel them too? i doubt it

DKS

September 18th, 2010
4:18 pm

middleroftheroadandsotiredofalltheretoric – Brandy is also an unwed mother. Hypocrite much?

Marianne

September 18th, 2010
8:10 pm

I’m waiting for Michael Bolton to work some magic…Michael is a perfectionist and will work hard to finish well.
It is disappointing that Bristol is now considered a celebrity of sorts..and now Mommy will be there to try and collect some votes. What a pity!

Christina

September 19th, 2010
10:08 am

Bristol looks like a big old stick in the mud in this video. Maybe she would have a little more rhythm if she quit gnawing on that gum ala Britney Spears.

Vivacious

September 19th, 2010
11:25 am

Palin = Grifter

Robert S

September 19th, 2010
11:34 am

Sure, Bristol’s a celebrity — it makes perfect sense to become famous simply by virtue of having been knocked up at 17-years old, right? Actually, “unfounded celebrity” seems to be all that family has going for it — mother or daughter — so yet another desperate bid to keep the name “Palin” in the spotlight doesn’t surprise me a bit. DWTS serves their purposes perfectly.

ithinkformyself

September 19th, 2010
11:48 am

Harry Reid and Pelosi have been in charge since ‘06. Unemployment went from 4.7 to now what 12%?

Blame Bush? Yeah, right.

Flash

September 19th, 2010
2:45 pm

“ithinkformyself” You don’t think much do you?

Big Daddy LongLegs Obama

September 20th, 2010
10:43 am

My fellow Americans. My teleprompter is down so I will be brief. Beginning very soon we will implementing a TV Viewers tax. Each citizen will be taxed on the amount of television viewed as well as the type of programming viewed.

For example, shows such as DWTS will be more heavily taxed than say programs on your local PBS station.

Thank you and Goodnight.

plow

September 20th, 2010
4:24 pm

@Big Daddy – I learned that when a man thinks of another man as “Big Daddy” it is a freudan slip ;0 notice the mouth in my smiley is open.