Well, the cast for the upcoming season has finally been (officially) announced. Here are my pre-season opinions on the cast and their partners.
Antonio Sabato Jr, 42, General Hospital (partnered with Cheryl Burke)
The 'hot' guy of the season. He'll stick around for a bit just because the ladies want to see him with his shirt off. If he can actually dance, he'll make it far.
Alfonso Ribeiro, 42, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (partnered with Witney Carson)
Carlton! He has rhythm, I think, and I'm pretty sure that famous dance of his will make an appearance at some point during the show. Hopefully he's a better dancer than his character was. Pretty sure this will be a fun partnership.
Bethany Mota, 18, YouTube sensation (partnered with Derek Hough)
I think I've seen her in the recent youtube commercials. No clue what her dancing ability is but she has a large fan base. Whether or not they'll vote it a different matter. Given she's partnered with Derek there's a good chance the producers think she will go far.
Betsey Johnson, 72, fashion designer (partnered with Tony Dovolani)
Poor Tony, he's always with the older ladies. If she can't dance, she may be one of the first ones out.
Janel Parrish, 25, Pretty Little Liars (partnered with Val Chmerkoskiy)
Don't watch the show, but it's safe to assume this is the 'Disney kid' of the season.
Jonathan Bennett, 33, Mean Girls (partnered with Allison Holker)
Another good looking guy, but maybe not in the same league as Antonio. My real issue is on his partner Allison. She's not a ballroom dancer, she's contemporary. That's what So You Think You Can Dance uses her for as an All Star. So even if she's had a whole slew of lessons recently, I don't know if her choreographic repertoire of steps will be as wide as the other pros. It waits to be seen. Most likely they'll have contemporary for the first show.
Lea Thompson, 53, Back to the Future (partnered with Artem Chigvintsev)
No clue what her ability is but Artem's hot. They'll be promoting him as winner of Strictly Come Dancing but he also started out on SYTYCD. Although they failed to mention him on that show too.
Lolo Jones, 32, Olympian (partnered with Keo Motsepe)
This could be an explanation as to why she ended her track season early. Keo was in Burn the Floor which is a really good ballroom show.
Michael Waltrip, 51, NASCAR champion (partnered with Emma Slater)
Our last race car driver won even if he wasn't the best dancer of the season. But personality will really factor into how far he gets from the starting line.
Randy Couture, 51, MMA champion (partnered with Karina Smirnoff)
I'm going to put Randy into the 'boxer' category, they don't really do too well. Maybe Karina can work him into staying a little longer or it may be another early exit like last season.
Sadie Robertson, 18, Duck Dynasty (partnered with Mark Ballas)
Reality show star. She's young and the show kept topping the ratings last fall. We'll see how that will eventually translate to placement.
Tavis Smiley, 49, talk show host (partnered with Sharna Burgess)
I have no clue who this guy is but he's also an author. Shall we assume no fanbase?
Tommy Chong, 76, Cheech and Chong (partnered with Peta Murgatroyd)
Entertaining but I'm not sure of his dance ability.
Of course I end up being surprised sometimes.