Season 21 of DWTS is going to be interesting. The “stars” come from all over the place and to me, looks like producers were scrambling trying to fill in spots at the very last minute. Here goes…
Paula Deen and Louis Van Amstel. In case you didn’t already know, Paula is HUGE in the cooking world. She has 14 cookbooks and in recent years launched a digital lifetstyle network called Paula Deen LIVE! after she was booted from Food Network for making racial slurs in the public eye. Louis has been on and off of the show, as a pro dancer, since season 1.
I personally don’t think Paula and Louis will make it very far. Although Paula has an odd demographic, that could work in her favor, I’m unsure how well she is going to be with the actual dancing. Her big personality is only going to get her so far and her age is also something that can limit her. She is more prone to injuring herself during this process and having her body just get the best of her.
Hayes Grier and Emma Slater. WHO THE FUCK IS THIS KID? I have never heard of him before in my entire life. Or maybe I’m just old. I don’t know. Apparently he is a YouTube and Vine sensation according to any pre-teen girl you ask. Though what do they know? They aren’t exactly experts when it comes to scoring out talent. Hayes did a “Whip/Nae Nae” short as a promo and the kid is so awkward when it comes to dancing. The only reason he makes it far is because these girls will stay up past their bedtime and vote for him. Emma Slater has been on the past four seasons of DWTS. Unfortunately her partners were always subpar, however last season she managed to get Bill Engvall into 4th place. I love Bill and his comedy and Emma is an excellent dancer and choreographer, but Bill shouldn’t have lasted that long. There were too many rednecks voting for him, just as i fear will be the case for Paula Deen.
Alexa Penavega and Mark Ballas. You may recognize her from a little film called “Spy Kids”. She has also starred on Broadway in Hairspray and has been a feature character on the show Nashville. I’m going to put it out there that this girl knows what she’s doing, She’s been in show biz her whole life pretty much. Her partner Mark has been a pro dancer for a total of 13 seasons (WOW) and he’s not afraid to take risks with his choreography and bending the rules of traditional ballroom dance. These two are going to go extremely far. Alexa Penavega is also married to current competitor Carlos Penavega, making them the first married couple to compete at the same time.
Kim Zolciak Biermann and Tony Dovolani. Kim you may recognize from being all over the television network of Bravo. She was a cast member of the Real Housewives of Atlanta and eventually got her own spinoff called Don’t Be Tardy. The name of her personal show is a spinoff of her song that apparently reached No. 3 on ITunes. Who knew? Tony has been dancing as a pro on the show since season 2 and has had an array of past celebs be his partner(s). The great thing about them together is they both have giant personalities which can take them farther than expected in this competition. Kim also has a background in dance and cheerleading from her girlhood days. And (fun fact) Tony lives in the same town that I grew up in with his wife and kids and owns and operates a dance studio there as well. He’s a personal favorite of mine.
Gary Busey and Anna Trebunskya. Gary Busey has a slew of film credits under his belt. He has also appeared on Celebrity Apprentice and Celebrity Wife Swap. His part Anna has been a pro since season 2, but has appeared on and off of the seasons. Her recent hiatus was for the last 6 seasons. Gary is known to be an oddball at red carpet events and is a tad coo coo for coco puffs. He and Anna probably won’t make it very far in the competition, unless people are just voting to see what kind of weird shit he does when he’s performing. He’ll be gone within a month most likely,
Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerovskiy. Tamar is related to the grand and almighty Toni Braxton. She’s also a grammy nominated singer, talk show host, and reality tv personality. Val is a seasoned pro. Having competed since season 13 though the end results have been a roller coaster ride. Though Tamar is talented and has the potential to be really great on the show, I’m not sure how their two personalities are going to get along. It could be rough seas from the get-co and that could jeopardize their performances.
Chaka Khan and Keo Motsepe. Chaka is a 10 time grammy award winner, having 22 albums, singing in 8 different genres, acting, producing, song writing, philanthroping (that’s probably not a word) and a whole bunch of other stuff. She’s an all around awesome lady. Keo has only been dancing for the past couple of seasons and his partners have been a huge giant thumbs down. Keo hasn’t had a moment to shine yet on the show, which is unfortunate. And although Chaka is awesome, I’m not so sure that these two are going to make it past week 5. Age is at a disadvantage for Chaka. Not to mention the ginormous age gap between the two partners. Anything romantic or sexy could be uncomfortable to watch with these two..unless Chaka is a cougar. If she is, she’ll probably be all over Keo.
Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold. Alek is a Army National Guard Specialist. I don’t know what that is personally, but that sounds super important. He stopped some French guy from massacring a bunch of people on a Belgian Train while he was on vacation. And that’s awesome and heroic. His partner has only competed as a pro once in Season 16 and she was also a competitor on So You Think You Can Dance. I’d be surprised is this young guy has an ounce of rhythm in his body. He’ll end up mashed in the middle somewhere. I don’t expect anything grand to come out of any of his performances. More than likely
Andy Grammar and Allison Holker. You may recognize Andy more for his voice with his hits “Fine By Me” ” Keep Your Head Up” and most recently “Honey, I’m Good”. This is Allison’s third season competing. She is last year’s runner up champion. i personally don’t know how well Andy Grammar grooves. i’ve been trying to see him in concert for a couple years and something always stops me (most recently he was performing in my hometown and i had to miss it due to my ankle injury). I’m excited to see what he can do. My prediction is he will end up somewhere in the middle.
Victor Espinoza and Karina Smirnoff. Victor is a Triple Crown Champion, winning the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and The Preakness. He has won over 3000 races in his career and donates 10% of his winning to beating childhood cancer (AWWWW). Karina has been a competitor since season 3 and has finished in 2nd place twice and winning the mirror ball for season 13. I personally wonder how tall Victor actually is, and if his height is going to be an advantage or a disadvantage in the competition. i do hope that he will put his hispanic roots to work in the Latin dances. He’ll probably finish somewhere in the middle.
Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough. Bindi is best known as the late Steve Irwin’s only daughter. She has followed in her father’s footsteps becoming a wildlife conservationist and acting in a handful of films with heavy animal themes. Derek is a five time champion of the mirror ball trophy. I’m excited to see what Derek can pull out of Bindi as far as her being vulnerable. He has a knack for that with all of his partners.
Carlos Penavega and Witney Carson. Carlos is best known for being involved in Nickelodeon’s musical/comedy “Big Time Rush” and eventually touring worldwide with the ensemble cast. He recently released his first solo single in Spanish charting in the Top 10 of Latin ITunes song chart. Witney has been competing since season 19 and won the mirror ball trophy with Alfonso Ribeiro. I’m excited about these two being partners. Boy band members tend to do well on the show and Witney’s choreography is always awesome and innovative. Carlos is married to current competitor Alexa Penavega, making them the first married couple to duke it out in the same season.
Nick Carter and Sharon Burgess. Nick Carter hails from the BEST SELLING BOY BAND IN HISTORY the Backstreet Boys. Being a member for the past 22 years, he knows his way around the dance floor and stage (I’ve witnessed such things for myself a multiple of times with him 5 feet in front of my face). He is my clear favorite of the celebrities for this season. So far he has done the best Whip/NaeNae promo for the show. Sharna is a 6 time competitor, most recently coming in third with Noah Gallaway who had lost an arm and a leg while serving our country. These two will make it to the semi finals. Believe me. Between her choreography and Nick’s charms they will make it to the top.
My predictions for the semi finalists are (in no particular order, except Nick winning, bc duh)
Nick and Sharna
Alexa and Mark
Carlos and Witney
Bindi and Derek
Tune in with me on September 14 at 8pm (EST) on ABC for the 2 hour season premiere. Be sure to vote for your favorite via phone, Facebook, or ABC.com
And be sure to check back here for my weekly input on each couple’s performance every week! I mean i do know a thing or two about ballroom dancing.
*Editing note because I have OCD…What the hell Tony? Why won’t your picture line up with Kim’s?