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Handicapping the Dancing Stars!

Let the TRAIN WRECK begin! (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Season 12 of Dancing With The Stars debuts tonight and the pressing question is “Will anyone watch?”  The producers of Dancing have taken a lot of heat for this season’s cast.  In fact, many faithful fans have suggested that there really aren’t “stars” in this year’s batch of hopefuls!  All that said, I’m still going to watch (because it’s a potential TRAIN WRECK) and your resident TV hound is ready to handicap the field. 

The eleven stars competing for this season’s Disco Ball trophy are (imagine a drum roll) Kirstie Alley, Mike “Psycho Mike”Catherwood, Chris Jericho, Chelsea Kane, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ralph Macchio, Petra Nemcova, Romeo, Hines Ward, Kendra Wilkinson, and Wendy Williams.  So, now, I will do my very best to look into my disco balls and predict who will be dancing all the way to the finals!

Kirstie Alley-  And here’s where the TRAIN WRECK begins!  The Fat Actress and Cheers star is probably going to be way out of her league on this show, but she’s going to be sticking around for a while.  Alley is a BIG personality in a season that’s relatively personality-free!  And she’s infamous for being a gigantic hag, which promises fireworks with her partner, Maks!  She is going to be a RIOT!  If she can dance too, she COULD make the finals.

Mike ‘Psycho Mike” Catherwood-  With the nickname “Psycho Mike” you’d think Catherwood would be photographed holding an axe and some random body parts.  But, instead, he looks like the posterchild for Crest White Strips.  In case you don’t know who he is, Catherwood is a radio guy (a Dr. Drew sidekick).  He has made a few tv appearances (you may have caught him on The Bachelor or filling in for Regis on Live with Regis & Kelly).  While “Psycho Mike” has “the look” to go along way, I’m just not sure he has the name recognition or fan base.

Chris Jericho-  The WWE star has the best female partner available in Cheryl Burke.  Having claimed Disco Ball trophies with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith, Burke’s a two-time DWTS champ.  She has the talent to make anyone look good and will . . . as long as Chris doesn’t accidentally body-slam or pile-drive her!

Chelsea Kane-  I’m sorry.  Who?  Just kidding.  The star of Disney Channel sitcom Jonas L.A. is ready to burn the floor and history is on her side.  Last season, fellow Disney star Kyle Massey cha-cha-cha’d from virtual obscurity to a 2nd place finish!  I’d look for Chelsea to make the Top Three!

Sugar Ray Leonard-  Next to Kirstie Alley, Sugar Ray is the most recognizable name and face in the cast!  Fellow boxer Muhammed Ali always claimed to float like a butterfly, but it’s Sugar Ray who’s going to have be light on his feet now!  The 80′s “Boxer of the Decade” has already been top-of-mind recently.  One of his former bouts was an important plot device in the Oscar-nominated film The Fighter. Sugar Ray was smooth in the ring and hopes to be smooth on the floor!  Will he be able to Step Up?

Ralph Macchio-  Isn’t it amazing?  The Karate Kid looks exactly the same today as he did back in 1984 when he was perfecting the “crane” technique.  Too bad Mr. Miyagi isn’t around to give “Daniel Son” some dancing advice.  (But then again . . . I’m not sure how catching a housefly with chopsticks will help you with an Argentine Tango!)   Filling in for Mr. Miyagi, that CRAZY Karina Smirnoff, who’s been a sourpuss ever since she and Mario Lopez lost the Disco Ball trophy to Emmitt and Cheryl!  Last season, a 1980′s movie icon (Jennifer Grey) went on to win the trophy.  I think little Daniel Larusso can do the same!  (That’s if no one “sweeps the leg!”)

Petra Nemcova-  No one on this season’s cast of DWTS has a story more inspirational than this Czech supermodel.  In 2004, Petra survived the Thailand tsunami by desperately clinging to a palm tree as her boyfriend/fiance was dragged out to see.  Petra is gorgeous, graced the cover of the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, and has a great partner in Dmitry Chaplin.  I expect this supermodel to be SUPER!

Romeo-  Do you realize that Romeo has sold over 10 million records worldwide?  Don’t feel too bad.  I had no clue either and, quite honestly, I can’t imagine who bought them!  But, here’s the cool thing about Romeo being on DWTS.  He has the chance to erase some of his family’s shame.  His dad, Master P, was on the show and was one of the WORST DANCERS in its history.  And here’s the other cool thing.  Romeo has an alterior motive for being on the show.  He is pushing a national platform in support of education and he’s become an outspoken voice in the fight against dropping out of high school.

Hines Ward-  Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver and Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward has a lot to live up to!  Football players have done really well on Dancing With The Stars and he looks to carry the torch (or the ball!).  And, if he has any rhythm at all, Hines may have a shot at Disco Ball Trophy-glory!  His partner is Kym Johnson, who Quick-Stepped her way to the title with Donnie Osmond just a couple of seasons ago!

Kenrda Wilkinson-  Have you ever seen Viagra do the Rhumba?  LOL!  For a show dominated by female voting, here’s the one contestant that will have the guys letting their “fingers do the walking!”  We already know this Playboy Bunny-turned reality tv star is going to look great in everything she wears!  And, if she can move, she’s going to be a contender!  Also on her side, her partner, Louis van Amstel.  Louis is an amazing dancer and has served as DWTS’s lead choreographer.  Kendra has the chance to be AWESOME . . . but the guys aren’t going to care if she’s not!  They’ll vote if she trips and twice if she has a wardrobe malfunction!

Wendy Williams-  Each season of Dancing With The Stars has sassy comic relief.  This season will have two doses.  We’ve already covered Kirstie Alley and now we turn our attention to talk show host Wendy Williams!  Williams will pick up where Niecy Nash left off a couple of seasons ago.  Wendy’s personality will keep her on for a bit, but I think she’s going to have a difficult time getting her groove on.  While she may have some built-in rhythm, Williams is a big girl.  And I don’t mean that in a deragatory sense.  She’s just tall and big-boned.  Looking graceful is going to be a challenge for someone as tall as one of those tree people in Lord of the Rings.

Dancing With The Stars Season 12 premieres tonight on ABC.  Let the games begin!  It’s time to shake a groove thing!

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