We're a week out from the start of a new season of "Dancing With The Stars". While I spend Mondays in the newsroom, listening to all the guys break down the weekend's football games, Tuesday is my time to break down what happened in the ballroom. Yes, DWTS is my football. (Don't get me wrong, I keep a close eye on my Marshall Thundering Herd, Kentucky Wildcats, and Miami Dolphins, but otherwise I could care less.) So, instead of torturing my coworkers – I mainly have men sitting around me – I'm going to do a weekly wrap-up of each night of competition right here on Laney's Look. I'll give my take on the performances, who went, and who should go.
So I'll kick things off by saying that I think this year's cast is pretty interesting. There are several that I am looking forward to seeing and others that just amuse me. What has me the most skeptical about this season is the new format. I'm not sure how I feel about the once a week format. Basically, from what I understand, each week the judges' scores will be combined with viewer votes from the previous week. That person will be eliminated. Everything that once happened in two nights will be condensed into one night – performances, musical acts, special dances, and elimination. I'm curious to see how it all plays out.
All of that being said, here are my thoughts on this season's dancers.
Amber Riley – I'm a "Glee" fan, so I'm familiar with Amber. The girl has got some lungs on her and can sing. She also has some dance experience, but this – I think – will be completely new to her. She should have musicality, which is a big plus, and I'm sure she'll have a decent fan base that will keep her going.
Bill Engvall – Let me tell you that my fellow DWTS fan – my dad – is excited to see this one. He listens to Bill on Blue Collar Radio, so he's a fan. I think Bill will be a fun one to watch. I've seen a lot of people talking about how they can't wait to see him dance. I think fan votes will probably keep him in the competition than he deserves, but I could be proven wrong.
Bill Nye – This is another celebrity dancer that has many people excited. We all know "Bill Nye the Science Guy". Off the bat I can't see him having the moves. He may have fan votes that can keep him safe for a couple of weeks, but if not for that I can see him being the first to go.
Brant Daugherty – I know very little about this guy. I know he's on "Pretty Little Liars," which I don't watch. I know it's a popular show, and I'm sure he's pretty popular. That should keep him going with fan votes. I think he'll probably be pretty good, though. Will he be good enough to win? I'll wait until next week to decide that.
Christina Milian – Out of the gate Christina is a front runner. Her background lends itself to her picking up on dance and having rhythm. As we've seen in the past, though, being able to dance doesn't always mean you're going to stick around. I question if she still has the fan base to keep her in the running.
Corbin Bleu – Yet again we have a celebrity with a strong performance background. Having started in the "High School Musical" movies, we all know he can dance. Disney stars also tend to fair well in this competition, lasting until the final three or four. I don't think Corbin will be any exception to that rule.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren – The movie "Showgirls" is part of her resume, although to me she'll always be Jessie from "Saved By The Bell"… or even the "other woman" in "First Wives' Club". A lot of DWTS's demographic probably has fond memories of Elizabeth, and I honestly think she'll be able to move. Early on I think she is a contender for the finale.
Jack Osbourne – I never imagined Jacks's sister would make it to the final three, but for weeks we watched her transform in rehearsals and on the dance floor. I think Jack is going to receive plenty of support. Considering his ongoing battles with MS, America is going to want to cheer him on.
Keyshawn Johnson – Now, as I mentioned earlier, I don't follow a ton of football, so I don't know much about Keyshawn. I turned to my "football crew" for a little insight on him. While NFL players typically fair well on DWTS, he doesn't seem to have the same fan base previous football stars have. My guess is that he'll hang in there through midseason before being voted off.
Leah Remini – Leah has definitely made headlines recently for her battles with Scientology. That fact has her in a prominent place. I think people either love her or hate her. Personally, I enjoy her, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she brings to the dance floor. How she will do is a toss-up.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi – Unless you've been hiding under a rock in recent years, you know who Snooki is, even if you don't want to. Love her or hate her, there are plenty of people that can't stop watching. I think she is one contestant that could definitely go either way, it's going to come down to if she can win over the people that aren't fans. That'll take her knowing how to dance.
Valerie Harper – I think Valerie is probably one of the most talked about celebrities this season. I have to say I am inspired by her drive to keep going and to live every day. Many other DWTS fans I know feel the same way. That fact alone should keep her in the competition, even if she doesn't necessarily deserve it.
There you have it… My two cents on this season's cast. Again, these are all simply my opinions without knowing some of the celebrities and having not seen any of them dance. I think the season promises to be a fun one. There will definitely be some comedy along the way, and we'll see how the once a week show format works for the competition.
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