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

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Mid-Olympics Round Up

It seems like the Opening Ceremonies just happened, but we are now halfway through the 2016 Olympic Games. Crazy, right? We like our athletic competitions with a heavy dose of pop culture and human interest stories – so while most Olympics recaps will focus on who won what, we’re more interested in the hilarious, inspiring and hard-to-believe moments of the games. Here’s our round up of some of the most captivating moments of the Rio games so far:

Tonga Changed Lives

Dropping The Racket And Getting The Point

Raise your hand if you would’ve just given up and fell to the ground in agonizing defeat.

I Don’t Think The Leg’s Supposed To Bend That Way

French gymnast Samir Ait Said, and expected medal contender, landed completely wrong after going on the vault, leaving him in pain and had to be carted away on a stretcher. Turns out his left leg had a double break but he’s miraculously already back on his feet and on the mend. Obviously he can’t compete in the Games anymore, but at least he can walk! GRAPHIC IMAGE OF HIS 90 DEGREE LEG BELOW:

The Summer of Leslie Jones Continues

SNL star Leslie Jones got unwanted attention on Twitter when she had to put racist and sexist trolls on blast, but she also garnered support from the thousands of other nice human beings with the Love For Leslie J tag and even got the attention of Twitter bosses to help change their policies. This time around, she’s trending for a much more positive reason, thanks to her energetic tweets, pix and videos supporting Team USA. Former SNL producer/Late Night with Seth Meyers producer Mike Shoemaker took note of Leslie’s posts, and got the attention of Jim Bell, the executive producer of NBC’s Olympics coverage, and next thing you know, he officially offered Leslie a correspondent job at the Games and she’s down in Rio giving her commentary live! The power of social media, y’all.

And she’s been killin it at the Olympics too:

So What Do You Say To Second Chances

Laurie Hernandez MVP of Life and the Olympics

She also winked at the judges before her final floor routine during the team all-around, so she’s basically our favorite.

Ellie Downie Gets Knocked Down But Gets Back Up Again

17-year-old British gymnast Ellie Downie, another medal contender, was in the middle of her floor routine for the qualifying round when she turned too slowly on one of the passes and basically landed on her neck. It was scary (as evidenced below) and she decided it didn’t feel right and had to walk away without finishing. She got checked out and instead of pulling out, she surprisingly returned for the vault and help move the Great Britain team to the finals.

The Most Enthusiastic Chinese Athlete

Fu Yuanhui placed third in the semifinals of the 100m backstroke, but she thought she placed fourth until this reporter told her she was one second faster than she thought. Her response: “I was so fast!” This video went viral and here we are obsessed with her and her hipster glasses and dorkiness.

Aly Raisman’s Parents

Lynn & Rick continue their 2012 streak of being the best and most stressed parents in the stands. Katie Ledecky’s parents come in a close second.

 Name All The Babies Simone

August 11th, 2016: A really great day for Olympians named Simone.

A) Simone Biles lived up to expectations and won the gold for the all around competition. She also cried when she finally won, which is emotion she’s never really shown before. Whereas I tend to cry every 5 seconds during the Olympics.

B) Simone Manuel, who didn’t exactly have as much attention on her as Simone Biles, seemingly came out of nowhere (to pedestrian swimming fans) to win the women’s 100m freestyle and tied for gold. On top of that, she scored an Olympic record and became the first black American woman to win an individual swimming event. Basically, she is now America’s hero athlete and should probably be on the Wheaties box now? 

Monica Puig’s First Gold for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico isn’t doing great (short recap: the US gov’t attracted business to PR with corporate tax breaks which expired in 2006; financial collapse followed; PR borrowed money by issuing municipal bonds – mainly to private investors; the gov’t cannot repay their debt obligations; the island isn’t eligible to file for bankruptcy or seek funds from the IMF; terrible budget cuts have ensued;  yikes). But last week, Puerto Rico got a much-needed morale boost from Monica Puig, the first-ever athlete to win a gold medal for the island. Even more amazing, she was unseeded and beat the #2 seed, Angelique Kerber, for the win after rounds of improbable victories. The crowd chanted ‘si se puede’ and we both definitely cried.

In related news, I have a lot of Puerto Rican relatives-in-law – a few of whom are tennis pros – and literally every one of them used the word ‘wepa’ in their Facebook statuses that night.

We Want To Hold Ryan Held

Ryan Held was overcome with emotion during the medal ceremony after winning the 4×100 meter relay and began crying during the national anthem. Then WE began crying during the national anthem — not because we felt bad for him, but because we were so happy for his success and because masculinity is a prison and we’re so proud when someone breaks out.

Katie Ledecky Is Waiting

Katie Ledecky finished her race before any other swimmers were even in the frame. It’s fine; she can wait.

The Pool Looks Bad

The pools in Rio, while technically safe, look very murky and gross thanks to an interaction between peroxide and chlorine. It has since been drained. I’m sure this did nothing to help public confidence in the Brazilian water quality.

7th Best Steeplechaser In The World With One Shoe

Ethiopian steeplechaser Etenesh Diro (ranked 4 in the world) lost her shoe with two and a half laps left in the race. She still finished seventh and advanced to the finals. If you had any delusions that Olympians really are like you and me, now’s the time to let them die.

Phelps Face

We’ve already discussed this, but Michael Phelps’ grouchy face earned him the coveted (?) prize of most memed athlete of the 2016 Olympic games. He also won a few other competitions this week, so it’s fine.

Teach Us How To Say Goodbye

First of all, we’ve reached that point where Hamilton has so saturated popular culture that news outlets feel the need to show off that they know what it is. Second, One Last Time from Hamilton is the only proper way to express how we feel about Michael Phelps’ final race, so we don’t at all blame NBC for going there. Twenty-three gold medals and 16 years since we were first introduced to the 15-year-old baby Olympian, it’s time to teach us how to say goodbye. Enjoy your vine and fig tree, Michael.

 

Ryan Lochte Reaches Peak Ryan Lochte

Just when you thought Ryan Lochte had reached his maximum ‘jeah’ level he bleaches his hair, gets distracted playing with a bend-y thing when Michael needs him, and – best of all – responds to BRAZILIAN KIDNAPPERS with a simple ‘whatever’ when robbed at gunpoint.

“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over. They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”

Oh, Ryan. Then he said that Michael Phelps would be back in 2020 (wishful thinking, maybe?) and his best bro was forced to tell a major news outlet that Ryan “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”