'Dancing with the Stars' forecast: Looking into the crystal mirror ball
Jennifer Grey ahead of the pack? Clearly. Margaret Cho already on borrowed time? For shame!
Still, Zap2it has its ideas of how this season will go down. So while the Sept. 20 gets closer and closer at hand -- it must be, because The Situation has finally joined rehearsals -- lets take a look at our competitors stack up.
Florence Henderson: When Aaliyah sang "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number," she was justifying her (alleged!) secret teenage marriage to R. Kelly -- not septuagenarians in sequins. Mrs. Brady has a special place in all our hearts, but even if she skirts by for a few weeks, she'll absolutely never win.
Kyle Massey: Odds-makers have Massey in the lower end of the middle, but name recognition is going to be a problem for him. Demographically, his biggest voting body (tweens!) doesn't tune in.
Margaret Cho: Comediennes [editor's note: that word makes us shudder] are often alienating figures and all of Cho's tattoos will scare away plenty of the middle-aged voting populace. So while she'll likely have the best color commentary, it probably won't win her many calls.
The dark horses
Bristol Palin: Writing Palin off immediately out of the gate seems a little naive. ABC courted her for a reason -- there are plenty of Palin family devotees among you -- and while she does have the handicap of a frosty demeanor, she's already showed signs of warming up. Maybe she'll surprise us.
Michael Bolton: Does M-Bolt still have sway with the moms of America? The verdict is still out on that, and so's any early assessment on how well he might fare.
Kurt Warner: There's generally only room for one stand-out athlete in any given season of "DWTS," and as you're about to read, Warner's not it. Barring an early show of skill, he'll fall pretty quickly.
Audrina Patridge: Young, pretty and enthusiastic, the "Hills" star has the makings of a dream "DWTS" competitor. Her Achilles heel? Twofold. Patridge is on the quiet side, so she runs the risk of not showing enough personality. And she's been partnered with Tony Dovolani, who doesn't have a history of going very far.
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino: The Situation shares Audrina's age and lithe physique, but he's also got a critical mass of media attention. And with a top-rated season of "The Jersey Shore" airing on MTV, his fame is the most current.
David Hasselhoff: His strongest competition may trump him in youth and flexibility, but David Hasselhoff more than makes up for it in stage presence. Love him or hate him, he's an entertainer and a national treasure. We're rooting for him.
Rick Fox: Sure, he's tall. But he's also a charmer with unparalleled crossover appeal between his successful basketball career and more recent acting gigs. People are betting on Fox going far in the competition, and we have to agree.
Brandy: "DWTS"revives careers like Brandy's almost every season. She may be '90s superstar, who's not nearly as popular as she once was, but she's also got a lot left in her. She's really, really likable. And the natural synergy of pop star and dancer shouldn't hurt her either.
Jennifer Grey: Picture it now... it's early November, three contestants remain, the studio lights have dimmed and the "DWTS" house band begins its best rendition of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Then, she appears, flecks of light from the mirror ball trophy hit her face as she runs across the floor, leaping into Derek Hough's arms. They've already won.
But that's just our two cents. Who will you be rooting for during the premiere?
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Photo credit: ABC