Filling The Dancing with the Stars Card: Season 23

Another season of Dancing with the Stars is around the corner, and this week, the cast of 13 “stars” was revealed. To be honest, a handful of these wannabe dancers are so generic and fit into pre-existing DWTS roles that I thought they were already on the show before. Or Marilu Henner was just destined for this show.

A couple seasons ago, I broke down the usual suspects when it comes to casting DWTS, since every star can usually fit into a pre-existing category. I’ve done it again for this season and also determined who actually has a shot of winning the coveted MIRROR BALL TROPHY (it’s worth noting I correctly guessed two of the final three from S21, so I’m pretty much an expert on this kayyyy?).

*denotes winner of season

Season 23 Contestant: Maureen McCormick {Actress}

Filling the Quota: Actress That Was Somewhat Relevant At Some Point In Their Career

Preceded by: Tia Carrere and Tatum O’Neal (S2), Jennie Garth (S5), Shannon Elizabeth (S6), Shannen Doherty (S7), Denise Richards (S8), Melissa Joan Hart (S9), Pamela Anderson (S10 & 15), Ricki Lake (S13), Melissa Gilbert (S14), Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (S17), Danica McKellar (S18)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Artem Chigvintsev

Notes: I have a feeling Maureen will at least make it through the halfway point. She’s got the nostalgia factor going for her, and she’s probably got some moves she’s been hiding since Sunshine Day? Also, I predict she will say something along the lines of this in the first episode: “Hi, I’m Maureen McCormick and I’m an actress. You probably know me best as Marcia on The Brady Bunch… I have asked my TV mom Florence Henderson for some pointers, and she just told me to be confident, and most importantly have fun!”

Season 23 Contestant: Marilu Henner {Actress}

Filling the Quota: Older Actress/TV Personality

Preceded by: Paula Deen (S21), Suzanne Somers (S20), Betsey Johnson and Lea Thompson (S19), Valerie Harper (S17), Ricki Lake (S13), Kirstie Alley (S12), Florence Henderson (S11), Cloris Leachman (S7)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Artem Chigvintsev

Notes: Marilu and Maureen are basically filling the same role, except Marilu lucked out with Derek Hough. Because of this alone, she has a good shot of staying in the game longer than Maureen.

Season 23 Contestant: Jake T. Austin {Actor}

Filling the Quota: Younger actor/singer

Preceded by: Carlos PenaVega (S21), Riker Lynch (S20), James Maslow (S18), Brant Daugherty (S17), Roshon Fegan and William Levy (S14), Romeo Miller (S12), Kyle Massey (S11), Cody Linley (S7)

Usually Partnered With: Alison Holker, Witney Carson, Jenna Johnson

Notes: Usually this person is the underdog, surprisingly good and consistent throughout the show, a force to be reckoned with towards the end. I can definitely see Jake doing this, and he’ll have a good story to tell too: former Disney star who got into some trouble with the law (DUI) a few years ago? Golden. Too bad there’s another cast member who has a better redemption story.

Season 23 Contestant: Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds {Singer/Songwriter/Producer}

Filling the Quota: Rando singer/musician

Preceded by: Andy Grammer (S21), Redfoo (S20), Gavin DeGraw (S14), Master P (S2), Billy Ray Cyrus (S4), Chuck Wicks (S8), Donny Osmond* (S9), Michael Bolton (S11).

Usually Partnered With: Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater

Notes: You’d think musicians would have good rhythm as dancers, but most of the time, it just means their rhythm is better suited off the dance floor. Babyface will probably hang on past the mid-season mark.

Season 23 Contestant: Calvin Johnson {NFL Star}

Filling the Quota: Athlete

Preceded by: Michael Sam (S20), Michael Waltrip (S19), Keyshawn Johnson (S17), Jacoby Jones and Victor Oritz (S16), Donald Driver (S14)*, Metta World Peace (S13), Sugar Ray Leonard and Hines Ward (S12)*, Rick Fox (S11), Chad Ochocinco (S10), Warren Sapp (S7), Helio Castroneves* (S5), Apolo Anton Ohno (S4), Emmitt Smith (S3)*

Usually Partnered With: Witney Carson, Karina Smirnoff, Cheryl Burke, Lindsay Arnold

Notes: I honestly have no idea who this is, but NFL stars usually excel when it comes to DWTS.

Season 23 Contestant: Vanilla Ice {Rapper}

Filling the Quota: Rando singer/musician

Preceded by: Redfoo (S20), Gavin DeGraw (S14), Master P (S2), Billy Ray Cyrus (S4), Chuck Wicks (S8), Donny Osmond* (S9), Michael Bolton (S11).

Usually Partnered With: Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater

Notes: Unlike Babyface, Ice actually dances when he performs, so he’s got a good shot here. Will he dance to Ice Ice Baby? 100 million percent yes. (Ed note: I swear I found that video after writing that. Dancing on Ice is a DWTS/Strictly Come Dancing spin-off in the UK. He placed 7th out of 16.)

Season 23 Contestant: Amber Rose {Model/Talk Show Host}

Filling the Quota: Reality TV Star

Preceded by: Kim Zolciak Biermann (S21), Lisa Vanderpump (S16), Kristin Cavallari (13), Kendra Wilkinson (S12), Audrina Patridge and Bristol Palin (S11), Kate Gosselin (S10), Joanna Krupa (S9), Holly Madison and Melissa Rycroft (S8), Kim Kardashian (S7), Trista Sutter (S1)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Louis van Amstel, Mark Ballas

Notes: I never really know what to call Amber Rose, but per her ABC bio, she’s a “proud mother, activist, entrepreneur, spokesperson, talk show host, model, actor and published author from Philadelphia, PA.” Ok then. She’ll do alright. She’ll also get in heated arguments with Maks. But muva won’t be taking home a trophy for Sebastian.

Season 23 Contestant: Terra Jole {Reality TV Star}

Filling the Quota: Inspirational hero

Preceded by:  Alex Skarlatos (S21), Heather Mills (S4), Chaz Bono and J.R. Martinez* (S13), Amy Purdy (S18), Noah Galloway (S20)

Usually Partnered With: Karina Smirnoff, Derek Hough

Notes: The demographic for DWTS LOVES a good inspirational story, one that makes you cry in the video package shown before their dance every week. This contestant usually does really well.

Season 23 Contestant: Jana Kramer {Country Music Star}

Filling the Quota: Rando female singer who needs to overcome adversity

Preceded by: Toni Braxton (S7), Wynonna Judd (S16),

Usually Partnered With: Karina Smirnoff, Derek Hough

Notes: Jana fills two quotas, one as a rando female singer, but the other unfortunately because she recently separated from her husband. Who knows if she’ll discuss why she decided to do the the or if she signed up prior to her split, but she’ll grab some sympathy votes in addition to her natural talent.

Season 23 Contestant: Rick Perry {Former Governor of Texas}

dwts

Filling the Quota: Older actor/Comedian/Not a chance in hell

Preceded by:  Gary Busey (S21), Tommy Chong (S20), Andy Dick (S16) David Hasselhoff (S11), Buzz Aldrin (S10) Tom DeLay (S9), Steve Wozniak (S8), Jeffrey Ross (S7), The Holy Trinity – Steve Guttenberg, Penn Jillette and Adam Carolla (S6), Wayne Newton (S5), Jerry Springer (S3)

Usually Partnered With: Kym Johnson, Cheryl Burke, Emma Slater, Anna Trebunskaya

Notes: Here’s a hint – any older male contestant whose initial promo photo features them standing and not doing any sort of dance move – they probably won’t get too far in the competition.

Season 23 Contestant: Laurie Hernandez {Olympic Gymnast}

Filling the Quota: Female athlete

Preceded by: Laila Ali (S4), Monica Seles and Kristi Yamaguchi* (S6), Misty May-Treanor (S7), Shawn Johnson* (S8), Natalie Coughlin (S9), Hope Solo (S13), Martina Navratilova (S14), Dorothy Hamill and Alexandra Raisman (S16), Lolo Jones (S19)

Usually Partnered With: Mark Ballas, Derek Hough, Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Notes: WE’RE NOT PLAYING COY, WE WANT THIS CINNAMON ROLL OF A HUMAN EMOJI TO GO ALL THE WAY AND WIN THAT MIRROR BALL TROPHY

Season 23 Contestant: James Hinchcliffe {Racecar Driver}

Filling the Quota: Reality TV/Internet Person/WHO?

Preceded by: Hayes Grier (S21), Mark Cuban (S5), Rocco DiSpirito (S7), Steve-O (S8), Jake Pavelka (S10), Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (S11), Carson Kressley and Rob Kardashian (S13), Sean Lowe (S16),

Usually Partnered With: Emma Slater, Peta Murgatroyd, Karina Smirnoff

Notes: Although this person has plenty of fans, the contestant has a lot of work to do in the dance studio. He gets frustrated often and knows how to be dramatic in front of a camera. Also, I have no idea who this person is.

Season 23 Contestant: Ryan Lochte {Olympic Swimmer}

Filling the Quota: Male athlete who has to overcome adversity

Preceded by: Michael Sam (S20), Michael Waltrip (S19), Keyshawn Johnson (S17), Jacoby Jones and Victor Oritz (S16), Donald Driver (S14)*, Metta World Peace (S13), Sugar Ray Leonard and Hines Ward (S12)*, Rick Fox (S11), Chad Ochocinco (S10), Warren Sapp (S7), Helio Castroneves* (S5), Apolo Anton Ohno (S4), Emmitt Smith (S3)*

Usually Partnered With: Witney Carson, Karina Smirnoff, Cheryl Burke, Lindsay Arnold

Notes: Apparently Lochte was in talks to do the show before the who #LochteGate happened, so this just happens to be serendipitous timing. He wouldn’t be the first star to help fix their reputation – remember racist Paula Deen? She made it to 9th place and bested four other contestants!

Other Random Quotas Not Filled This Season:

Female Models: Rachel Hunter (S1), Shanna Moakler (S3), Kathy Ireland (S9), Petra Němcová and Elisabetta Canalis (S13), Charlotte McKinney (S20)

Middle-Aged Actor That Were Somewhat Relevant At Some Point In Their Career: John O’Hurley (S1), Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez (S3), Ian Ziering (S4), Ralph Macchio (s12)

Younger Actress: Alexa PenaVega (S21), Rumer Willis (S20)*, Janel Parrish (S19), Chelsea Kane (S12), Sabrina Bryan (S5), Monique Coleman (S3), Kelly Monaco* (S1)

Most likely to be on cover of CosmoGirl or Teen People: Willow Shields (S20), Sadie Robertson (S19) Bethany Mota (S19), Zendaya (S16)

BBW: Patti LaBelle (S20), NeNe Leakes (S18), Amber Riley (S17)*, Sherri Shepherd (S14), Gladys Knight (S14), Wendy Williams (S12), Niecy Nash (S10)

Pop star and-or actor/has plenty of dance experience/ringer: Nick Carter (S21), Alfonso Ribeiro (S19)*, Corbin Bleu (S17), Aaron Carter (S9), Lance Bass (S7), Mario (S6), Joey Fatone (S4), Drew Lachey (S2)*, Joey McIntyre (S1)

Season 21 Predictions: Final Three – Laurie Hernandez, Jana Kramer, and Jake T. Austin

Hamilton Explained: Cabinet Battle #1 (As Kanye Rant Tweets)

Welcome back to Hamilton Explained! It’s been a minute. When the Hamilton soundtrack was released all of these historical and musical references were jumping out at me and I wanted to start unpacking some of them here. I wasn’t counting on a whole community of people doing this very thing over at Genius. Instead of duplicating the efforts from Genius (check out their annotations if you haven’t!) here’s Cabinet Battle #1, explained through tweets from Kanye West’s epic January 27, 2016 rant against Wiz Khalifa.

WASHINGTON:
Ladies and gentlemen, you coulda been anywhere in the world tonight,
but you’re here with us in New York City.
Are you ready for a cabinet meeting???

The issue on the table: Secretary Hamilton’s plan to assume state debt
and establish a national bank.
Secretary Jefferson, you have the floor, sir

JEFFERSON:
‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’
We fought for these ideals; we shouldn’t settle for less
These are wise words, enterprising men quote ‘em
Don’t act surprised, you guys, cuz I wrote ‘em

8th I made it so we could wear tight jeans

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

JEFFERSON & MADISON:
Oww

JEFFERSON:
But Hamilton forgets
His plan would have the government assume state’s debts
Now, place your bets as to who that benefits:
The very seat of government where Hamilton sits

HAMILTON:
Not true!

JEFFERSON:
Ooh, if the shoe fits, wear it
If New York’s in debt—
Why should Virginia bear it? Uh! Our debts are paid, I’m afraid

Don’t tax the South cuz we got it made in the shade

Oh niggas must think I’m not petty cause I’m the best that’s ever made music

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

In Virginia, we plant seeds in the ground
We create. You just wanna move our money around

14th Nigga it’s called creativity #youshouldtryitsomeday

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

This financial plan is an outrageous demand

Second, your first single was corny as fuck and most there after

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

And it’s too many damn pages for any man to understand

3rd no one I know has ever listened to one of your albums all the way through

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Stand with me in the land of the free
And pray to God we never see Hamilton’s candidacy
Look, when Britain taxed our tea, we got frisky

7th I am your OG and I will be respected as such

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Imagine what gon’ happen when you try to tax our whisky

6th don’t ever come out the side of your neck at me

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON:
Thank you, Secretary Jefferson. Secretary Hamilton, your response

HAMILTON:
Thomas. That was a real nice declaration

Welcome to the present, we’re running a real nation
Would you like to join us, or stay mellow
Doin’ whatever the hell it is you do in Monticello?

If we assume the debts, the union gets
A new line of credit, a financial diuretic
How do you not get it? If we’re aggressive and competitive
The union gets a boost. You’d rather give it a sedative?
A civics lesson from a slaver. Hey neighbor

11th I showed you respect as a man when I met you

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Your debts are paid cuz you don’t pay for labor
“We plant seeds in the South. We create.”
Yeah, keep ranting
We know who’s really doing the planting

Bro first of all you stole your whole shit from Cudi

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

And another thing, Mr. Age of Enlightenment

Don’t lecture me about the war, you didn’t fight in it

10th don’t you ever in your fucking life speak sideways about a nigga that’s fighting for us I do this for all of us

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

You think I’m frightened of you, man?
We almost died in a trench

maybe I couldn’t be skinny and tall but I’ll settle for being the greatest artist of all time as a consolation

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

While you were off getting high with the French

15th Nigga I tried to call you and you changed your number

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Thomas Jefferson, always hesitant with the President
Reticent—there isn’t a plan he doesn’t jettison
Madison, you’re mad as a hatter, son, take your medicine
Damn, you’re in worse shape than the national debt is in
Sittin’ there useless as two shits
Hey, turn around, bend over, I’ll show you
Where my shoe fits

Don’t ever ever ever come out the side of your mutherfucking neck bro or bruh or however you say it Mr. Waves

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON:
Excuse me? Jefferson, Madison, take a walk! Hamilton,
take a walk! We’ll reconvene after a brief recess. Hamilton!

HAMILTON:
Sir!

WASHINGTON:
A word

MADISON:
You don’t have the votes

JEFFERSON/MADISON:
You don’t have the votes

JEFFERSON:
Aha-ha-ha ha!

JEFFERSON/MADISON:
You’re gonna need congressional approval and you don’t have the votes

JEFFERSON:
Such a blunder sometimes it makes me wonder why I even bring the thunder

MADISON:
Why he even brings the thunder…

WASHINGTON:
You wanna pull yourself together?

HAMILTON:
I’m sorry, these Virginians are birds of a feather

WASHINGTON:
Young man, I’m from Virginia, so watch your mouth

9th me and Cudi created this shit

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

HAMILTON:
So we let Congress get held hostage by the South?

WASHINGTON:
You need the votes

HAMILTON:
No, we need bold strokes. We need this plan

WASHINGTON:
No, you need to convince more folks

HAMILTON:
James Madison won’t talk to me, that’s a nonstarter

WASHINGTON:
Winning was easy, young man. Governing’s harder

HAMILTON:
They’re being intransigent

WASHINGTON:
You have to find a compromise

HAMILTON:
But they don’t have a plan, they just hate mine!

You have distracted from my creative process

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON:
Convince them otherwise

HAMILTON:
What happens if I don’t get congressional approval?

WASHINGTON:
I imagine they’ll call for your removal

HAMILTON:
Sir—

WASHINGTON:
Figure it out, Alexander. That’s an order from your commander

The Kimye Pregnancy – A Retrospective

Over the past weeks, months, and — has it been years? — we’ve grown accustomed to the Kim Kardashian/ Kanye West pregnancy. It sort of seemed like it would always be here, you know? I mean it seemed like it would never END. But it’s over now, and maybe you’re starting to feel a little lost. Whose pregnancy couture will I judge now? Not Kate Middleton’s, because they’re putting her away until the baby comes. Whose baby names will I bet on? Again, not Kate Middleton’s, because there are like 10 acceptable Royal British Baby Names.

The only thing to do, then, is to look back at the fond memories. Grab a nice cup of tea, queue up some sentimental music (I suggest Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel), and remember the gestation that was.

Early December:

  • Kim Kardashian slams pregnancy rumors as “absolutely not true”.
  • Kim and Kanye are “just friends,” and she’s ostensibly involved with Gabriel Aubry.

Later December:

  • Kim Kardashian confirms pregnancy rumors as “absolutely true.”
  • The internet sees a spike in “I’mma let you finish” jokes — highest since 2009.

Winter-ish:

  • Kim and Kanye start to be sighted in public, looking like a couple who went to prom together because neither of them had dates yet.

Winter of my discontent:

  • Kim starts sporting “maternity fashions.” All of them are actually worse than the shirt my mom wore during all 4 of her pregnancies, a red number that read “I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant.” I want one of those, but only to wear when I’m looking a little fat, just to mess with people a bit.

The Longest Spring Ever:

  • Kim Kardashian keeps being pregnant. Forever. Never NOT pregnant. Also, Keeping Up With The Kardashians begins airing episodes that feature the pregnancy, because if there’s anything worse than going to the doctor, it’s going to the doctor with Kanye West’s fetus and Kim Kardashian.

May:

  • The invite to Kim’s baby shower is leaked (read: is released by Kris Kardashian). It looks like a prop from an episode of Are You Afraid Of The Dark. When you’re asleep, the tiny Kardashian ballerina escapes, dances into your ear, films your insides, and licenses the footage to E!.
  • Rumor has it that the music box plays “Mama,” a very sweet song by Kanye. Is that really the most apt Kanye tune though? I like picturing Kanye staring into the music box, shell-sh0cked, as it chirps “18 years, 18 years, she got one of your kids, got you for 18 years…”.

June:

  • Kanye West cheating stories begin to surface. Kim laughs them off, but I bet it’s that kind of laughing where you’re also a little sad. And also no sound is coming out. Plus there are tears in your eyes. And your nose starts running.

Crying. She was probably crying.

  • While we’re talking about the Kanye West of it all, Amber Rose is pregnant, too! You may be familiar with Amber Rose from her previous work, standing near Kanye West at industry events and being photographed at basketball games.

    That help? The father is Wiz Khalifa, who I just found out is younger than me. Ugh. Can’t stand people who are younger than me.

FINALLY:

    • The pregnancy comes to a close. Kim has a baby girl. Twitter explodes into a million pieces. They don’t release the name right away because they HATE US and don’t want us to be happy.
    • Despite this being the longest gestation ever, the baby was somehow actually born early, most likely to coincide with the release of Yeezy’s new album. It’s nice to have everything drop the same week, you know?
    • Rumor has it the baby is named Kaidence Donda. I for-real almost called Cadence but spelled weird as the name. Donda, I’ll give you, because that’s Kanye’s late mom’s name. But Kaidence though? I can’t wait to see her compete in Little Miss Southern Arkansas Glitz Supreme in 2017 or so, because that is straight-up Toddlers and Tiaras business. Who knows – Media Takeout is almost always wrong, anyway.

Wait, no. Nope. Just kidding. North West is the name. Suddenly, my parents’ naming philosophy (“let the 8-year-old decide”) isn’t so bad. It’s a better tactic than “things your great-uncle would find funny,” anyway.

Funny. Now the name Kaidence sounds almost classy and beautiful. Well done, Kardashian-Wests. I suppose.

I hope the retrospective hasn’t made you miss the Kardashian pregnancy too much already. Whenever it gets tough, just remember — we haven’t lost a celebrity pregnancy, we’ve gained a celebrity baby.