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Dancing With The Stars Season 16 – My Early Picks

Photo courtesy of abc.com

The Dancing with the Stars Season 16 cast — and the professional partners they’re paired up with — have been announced. So it’s a good time to start picking my favorites, even though the ones I choose early rarely make it as far as I think they will.

I’ve got to say, first off, that I’m not totally psyched about this season’s competitors. But there are several I’m thinking will do well. There are two Olympians in the running this time — one current, one former. And the gymnasts tend to do well in this competition. Aly Raisman I’m not that familiar with, but Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill…there’s a name I grew up hearing. While she’s been out of the skating spotlight lately, I expect she’ll earn some high scores in the dancing competition.

Other athletes, Baltimore Raven Jacoby Jones and boxing champ Victor Ortiz, will definitely have the stamina for this competition — but will they have the skills? It’s hit-or-miss with them. Only time will tell if they’ll be an Emmitt Smith or a Jerry Rice — or a Ron Artest (Meta World Peace??) or Sugar Ray Leonard (not a HORRIBLE dancer…but not what I expected from him!)

A couple of country artists are in the running, too…Wynonna Judd (a household name in country music) and American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler, whose music career has skyrocketed in the past several years. I expect them both to do well.

There are several actor-types this season. I’m not expecting actor/comedians Andy Dick and D.L. Hughley to “wow” me. I’ll be as bold as to say that I think Andy will get kicked off the show first. And I know so little about actress/singer Zendaya Coleman that I can’t make a decision on her yet.

In the Reality Star category is “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump. Since I’ve never watched the show, I can’t decide how the Brit will do, either.

So what about the “hot” factor? For me, that’s going to go to Aussie “General Hospital” actor Ingo Rademacher. He’s got the look…but will he have the moves (ala Gilles Marini or William Levy)? I can’t wait to find out!

One thing that’s got me stunned about this season is how many new professional dancers there are. Gleb Savchenko, Sharna Burgess and Lindsay Arnold are all newbies to the show. Tony, Cheryl, Karina, Val, Mark, Kym, Derek and Tristan are all back…but no Maksim? What gives? I wonder if he’s decided he’s been through enough seasons with no mirror ball trophy that it was time to take a break. (I actually did find out the real reason…from Us Weekly.)

So even though the cast isn’t that thrilling to me, I’m a die-hard fan…and I will be tuned in (excitedly) on March 18th for the big premiere!

Here are the competitors and their professional partners:

Aly Raisman – Mark Ballas

D.L. Hughley – Cheryl Burke

Jacoby Jones – Karina Smirnoff

Lisa Vanderpump – Newcomer Gleb Savchenko

Andy Dick – Newcomer Sharna Burgess

Victor Ortiz – Newcomer Lindsay Arnold

Zendaya Coleman – Val Chmerkovskiy

Ingo Rademacher – Kym Johnson

Kellie Pickler – Derek Hough

Dorothy Hamill – Tristan McManus

Wynonna Judd – Tony Dovolani

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