SAN DIEGO, February 24 – Oscars, schmoscars. Whatever. America is waiting for the big announcement Tuesday morning: who’s going to be on Season 16 of Dancing With The Stars?
The announcement will be made at 7 a.m. Eastern February 26 on ABC’s Good Morning America, which will broadcast live from Los Angeles. Twelve individuals will be selected. There have been plenty of rumors, and at least one confirmation prior to the official announcement.
Producers follow a formula casting the show, with certain “types” chosen each season. There is nearly always a young Disney star, as Disney owns ABC. ABC reality show and soap opera stars often get a slot, such as Bachelorette and Season 15 winner Melissa Rycroft, or General Hospital’s Kelly Monaco.
Singers are popular choices from various genres: Gavin DeGraw, Katherine Jenkins, Brandy.
Many athletes participate. NFL players have been popular favorites and also extremely successful: Donald Driver, Hines Ward, and Emmitt Smith have all won the Mirror Ball Trophy. Olympic gold medalists have never lost when cast on the show: Kristie Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Evan Lycacek, Apolo Anton Ohno. That’s quite a statistic.
Call it the Gray Panthers choice, an older film, TV, or music star: Florence Henderson, Gladys Knight, and (gulp) Cloris Leachman. Call it stunt casting, but controversial picks generate a lot of buzz: Bristol Palin, Chaz Bono, Kate Gosselin, Tom DeLay.
So who’s going to fill these roles in Season 16? Will we get some choices out of left field?
We have one official announcement already. ABC used the huge audience watching the Academy Awards to run a commercial telling fans that Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who ran back a punt return in the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory over the 49ers, would be on Dancing With The Stars. Jacoby told ABC talk show host Jimmy Kimmel two weeks ago with real enthusiasm he’d do the show if asked. The audience will love his outgoing personality, as long as he doesn’t stink doing ballroom.
The other competitor confirmed by my fellow boxing columnist Steve Kim of MaxBoxing.com and reported by the Ventura County Star newspaper is boxer Victor “Vicious” Ortiz. Ortiz is a good-looking 26-year-old with a winning smile who’s frequently seen on the red carpet at Hollywood events or at entertainment events in Las Vegas. Ortiz is recovering from a broken jaw, which will keep him out of the ring but not the dance floor. Boxers haven’t done too well on the show in the past with the exception of Laili Ali. Perhaps Laila will give Victor some tips.
On Sunday, TMZ reported that American Idol season five competitor Kellie Pickler and country singer Wynonna Judd will be on the show. Two country singers seems like one too many for the show’s casting formula, but perhaps Wynonna will fill the “celebrity losing weight and getting fit” role (Kirstie Alley, Ricki Lake). Pickler would be the first Idol to be on the show.
TMZ also reported that Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman will be on the show. This rumor has been floating around for several days as reported earlier on the excellent fan website PureDWTS.com Raisman appeared on DWTS along with the rest of the Fierce Five as supporting performers for Shawn Johnson last season, and she’s been touring in a glitzy arena show. She seems like an obvious choice and a lock.
TMZ reports that Bachelor star Sean Lowe will be part of the cast. Lowe would fulfill the the ABC reality show spot. Bachelorette Emily Maynard has also been rumored to be in the mix.
It’s being reported that someone from the ABC soap opera General Hospital will be on the show. My bet: actress Finola Hughes.
The wildest rumor floating around about potential cast members: Mama June from the reality series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. June Shannon has recently lost 100 pounds, and she would slide right into the controversy/stunt casting spot. The TLC cable network which airs Honey Boo Boo denies this rumor, but it hasn’t stopped the rumor from circulating.
Among the more intriguing rumors involved actress Katie Holmes, recently split from actor Tom Cruise. Holmes and her daughter Suri are fans of the show, and Suri has reportedly told her mama she should be on the show. Holmes and DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba are among the founders of the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which provides dance scholarships.
Two Kardashians have already been on DWTS. Could Kourtney be the next one? Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Adrienne Maloof has also been mentioned. If you like train wrecks a la Kate Gosselin, this would be the one.
Miss Alabama Katherine Webb, the object of Brent Musberger’s affection, was reportedly overheard telling a friend she was asked to appear on the show, but no confirmation. Another beauty queen, Miss America Mallory Hagan, has been also been floated as a potential candidate.
Other names that make some sense as possibilities: model Christie Brinkley, former teen singer Tiffany, child actress Danica McKellar, actresses Valerie Bertinelli and Fran Drescher.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis is a huge fan of the show, and she’s been in the audience a dozen times. She’d be a very popular choice and a lot of fun to watch.
Producers have made no secret that they’d love to get William Shatner on the show, but he has turned them down so far. Good move, Bill. Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, loves the show and confirms she was asked to appear this season, but she declined.
All the speculation will end Tuesday morning. The fan blog PureDWTS.com plans to live blog and tweet the event for the hard core fans. Fans who scooped up free tickets to attend have to arrive 90 minutes before the start of the live broadcast. On the West Coast, that’s 4 a.m. – meaning fans will arrive at 2:30 a.m. Now that’s a hard core fan. We’ll have a full report at a slightly more decent hour on Tuesday here on Communities.
Who would you like to see on Dancing With The Stars this season? Tell us in the Comments section.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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