Dancing With The Stars 2013: From Dorothy Hamill to Real Housewife

This season's contestants were revealed today on ABC’s Good Morning America. Some rumors were true, along with a few surprises. Photo: The Season 16 cast of Dancing With The Stars / Twitter-Wynonna

SAN DIEGO, Feb 26, 2013 –  Season 16’s Dancing With the Stars cast includes the usual mix of athletes, Olympians, singers, comedians, reality stars and a Disney kid.

A new batch of contestants were officially announed today on ABC’s Good Morning America. They will hit the ballroom with their professional partners on Monday night, March 25.

Many of the rumors circulating turned out to be true. Due credit to fan blog PureDWTS.com for its spot on intelligence reports, along with TMZ and Radar Online; Communities Digital News takes a bow thanks to our confirmation of Victor Ortiz. But there were a few complete surprises.

For those of you who can’t stand the suspense, the Season 16 competitors are Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff; Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold; Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough; Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovoloni; Dorothy Hammill and Tristan McManus, Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas, Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko, D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke; Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess; Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson; and Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy. Read on for the details.

The Dancing With The Stars Season 16 cast members: 

Two of the competitors were already known before the annoucment: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, and welterweight boxer “Vicious” Victor Ortiz. Jones drew the popular Karina Smirnoff as his professional partner. Ortiz wil dance with a new professional on the show, Lindsay Arnold. Arnold was a competitor last year on the popular dance competition show So You Think You Can Dance.

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Kellie Picker, Season 5 competitor on American Idol and successful country music artist. Pickler recently made headlines by shaving off her blonde hair in support of her best friend battling cancer. She is dancing with Derek Hough, who wasn’t expected to be on the show this season. This should make a lot of fans happy, and it should make Pickler happy as Hough has won more seasons than any other pro. 

Wynonna Judd, part of The Judds country music duo with mom Naomi, and solo artist. Putting two different female country music performers on the show sets up an interesting rivalry. She will dance with last season’s winning pro, Tony Dovoloni. 

1976 Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill is one of the few announcements that stayed under wraps until today. She will dance with Tristan McManus, who seems to have the assigned role of dancing with the mature ladies on the show. 

2012 Olympic gold medal winning gymnast and memberof the Fierce Five, Aly Raisman. All of the Fierce Five gymnasts appeared on Dancing With The Stars with Shawn Johnson last year, and this was a widespread rumor that was proven to be true. No pressure Aly, but a gold medal winner has never lost on the show (unless you count previous winners Apolo Ohno and Shawn Johnson losing to Rycroft last season). Raisman drew Mark Ballas as her partner, who also danced with Johnson when she won in her first appearance.

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Lisa Vanderpump of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, helps meet the quota of reality show competitors. The British born Vanderpump, AKA Pinky, calls herself a Restaurateur, Designer, Actress, and Humanitarian on her website. She will dance with new professional Gleb Savchenko, a six-time Latin ballroom champion from Australia. 

D.L. Hughley, standup comedian and star of his own ABC TV series, The Hughleys. Comedians haven’t done all that well on the show in the past. Not to jinx you D.L., but just saying. At least partner and previous winning pro Cheryl Burke will be kept laughing.

Along with dueling country singers we have dueling comedians. Andy Dick is best known for starring on the comedy News Radio, and for his numerous run-ins with the law. Dick will compete with a pro given a promotion from the troupe, the fiery Sharna Burgess and one of the few that can probably tolerate Dick’s antics. 

Rumors about a General Hospital soap opera star being on the show proved true. Ingo Rademacher will dance with popular pro Kym Johnson, a previous winner with Hines Ward.  

The Disney spot is taken by Zendaya Coleman, who is known just as Zendaya. The 16-year-old is an actress, singer, and dancer who currently stars on the Disney Channel comedy Shake It Up as Rocky Blue. Zendaya is a tall 5-10 without heels, so she drew the tallest male pro, Val Chmerkovskiy.

Let’s admit it here. The All-Star season was not as exciting as expected. Perhaps lightning simply can’t strike twice. It wasn’t my favorite season, though I was delighted that the deserving Melissa Rycroft and even more deserving pro Tony Dovoloni won. So let’s get back to the train wrecks, surprises and triumphs of a fresh group of competitors.

What the Season 16 cast lacks in star power, it makes up for in potentially interesting personalities. Who will shake it with style on the dance floor?

Certain types of competitors tend to do extremely well on DWTS. Every single Olympic Gold Medal winner who has competed has made the final, and four of five have won: Kristi Yamaguchi, Apolo Anton Ohno, Shawn Johnson, and Evan Lycacek. Three NFL players have won: Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, and Donald Driver. Add race car driver Helio Castroneves and that makes eight of 15 past winner professional athletes.

Of the rest, there have been three singers (Drew Lachey, Donny Osmond, and Nicole Scherzinger), two soap opera stars (Kelly Monaco and J.R. Martinez), a model/host (Brooke Burke), an actress (Jennifer Gray), and last year’s All-Stars winner, reality TV’s Melissa Rycroft.

So while it’s fun to see boxers and comedians, they generally don’t end up holding the Mirror Ball Trophy in the end.

Why do stars who have enormous success in other fields agree to compete on Dancing With the Stars, risking public embarrassment and rejection despite a lot of hard work? It can jump start a stalled career; it can certainly get someone in shape. Wynonna said after being asked for six years to be on the show, it was finally “the year of doing things that scare you.” She also said she wanted to get down to her original weight… of eight pounds, 15 ounces.  

Dancing With the Stars debuts Monday night, March 18, 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, and airs on Monday and Tuesday nights on the ABC Television Network.

What do you think of this season’s competitors on Dancing With The Stars? Who looks like an early favorite to you? 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 +


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.  



Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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