Who should be in the DWTS All-Star Season? I have strong opinions on this one: no original pairs. I have no interest in seeing Shawn and Mark again, nor do I want to see Evan and Anna (even though they are my favorite all-time on DWTS). It’s time to separate the men from the boys, the real dancers from the pretenders, and the judges’ favorites from the real dancers. There should be no klutzes like SWAT and I, no controversial candidates like, oh, Bristol or Kate, and with one exception, no reality show people. We don’t even like the idea of previous winners returning, but it might be interesting to see some of the earlier winners come back because the competition is so much stiffer now. We even put some very popular pros are in the iffy category along with our recommended substitutes. Why? It's because we’re going with how we really think this should play out; what’s fair, what’s just, what’s equitable, and who we think deserves it the most. So here you have the cast of Season 15 – the All-Star Season – as we think it should be followed by how we think it will eventually end up.
Tristan – He’s the obvious choice for obvious reasons. He’s proven that he can dance with Nancy, with Gladys, and with all the female pros. I dare say he could teach Kate Gosselin or Master P to dance, but we wouldn’t wish Kate on him or anyone else, and even though Tristan brought it up in one of the Dublin Down 330 videos, we really don’t want to see him as a featured performer on “Dancing With Blokes.” Besides, he won Design A Dance. Did we mention he WON DESIGN A DANCE? Oh yeah, and he and Chelsie gave us what we think is the best DaD performance ever. He’s a given. He should be the first pro announced because, well, we said so, and that’s reason enough. Of course, they will probably make us wait until the last possible moment, escalate the drama, and put us all on anxiety alert status.
Henry Byalikov –This one is a no-brainer. Forget that he’s only been with us for one season; he stood out from the first moment he stepped onto the big dance floor, and he has more charisma than the rest of the pros combined (excluding Tristan, of course, who has charisma instead of pores in his skin). In addition, he’s a saint, he gave us an interview way back before the rest did their own thing, he’s the second best dancer on the show (guess who is first), and he has great abs. Nobody on the show can top those abs. Nobody. I mean those are really great abs. Did we mention the abs?
Maks – Maks has to come back just because he’s good, he’s had some great opportunities to win (and probably should have won a couple of them), and because he was always a perfect gentleman to Nancy and Gladys. Sure, he mouths off to Larry, Moe, and Curly, and that’s tacky, but everybody is tacky sometimes, and any way you look at it, Maks is fun, funny, and adorable.
Tony – He gets a free ride because he had Kate Gosselin in Season 10. No further explanation needed. Besides, he probably should have won with Stacy Keibler in Season 2. It doesn’t mean, however, that he’s going to get a repeat with Stacy. Nope. No original pairs for us, no matter who they are. Sorry, Tony, you’re in, but you’ll have to dance with someone else.
Mark – This was a tricky one because we kind of think Mark should take a season off, yet he sort of inched his way back into our good graces. Why? In Season 14, he had a partner who could dance so he didn’t have to showboat and over dance. In addition, he chose Tristan for the Trio Dance, and as a result, we had a good week of the Tristan and Mark bromance sightings on Twitter. That’s good enough for us. Alternate? Sasha Farber
Derek – No, we’re not part of the Derek fan club. We listed him because we want to see if he’ll choose another yellow Samba or Salsa costume. Actually, we’re kidding. We want Dmitry to have this spot. Or better yet, Damian, but we think Damian will stick with DWTS Australia because they appreciate his true talents and for some screwed up reason, DWTS America didn’t bring him back. Dmitry is sexy and a tall drink of water which also means, he can dance with tall celebrities. He also seems to be missing a huge ego which gives him bonus points right there.
Anna – We love Anna, and she is the obvious choice because we cannot imagine a season without her. She's also our favorite female pro, and she did an amazing performance with Tristan in that pro dance in the finale. Based on what we’ve seen, nobody can do a better waltz (think of all those great waltzes with Jonathan), nobody is a better choreographer (think of the magic in Season 10 - she and Evan should have won Season 10 in case we haven’t said it enough already), and she’s gorgeous. Bottom line – Anna is way overdue for a mirror ball trophy.
Kym – We love Kym. She’s cute, sweet, and would do some great pro dances with Tristan. She doesn't showboat, and she's a great teacher. We know she can dance just about anything, but I remember reading somewhere that her favorite dance is the foxtrot. Can you imagine Kym and Tristan doing a foxtrot demo? Epic.
Karina – We were never huge Karina fans until Season 12. She was great with Ralph, she was adorable with J.R., and she was even more so with Gavin DeGraw. In addition, she is sexy, she dances like a dream, we want to see more performances with Karina and Tristan, and we’ve grown to love her.
Peta – She’s in because she won Season 14, but we don’t think that’s quite good enough. Not yet. We want to see how she might do with a less popular celebrity than a football player – a non-athlete maybe. We’re not so sure Peta would have won last season without a celebrity who had a mega fan base – such as a football player, and we’re not sure she would have won without having a partner who had enormous physical size and strength to do the lifts that were a huge part of her choreography. We could be wrong, but we want to see what she can do with a not so popular athlete or an ordinary bloke (like how we threw a Tristan word in?). We get the feeling that she may rely a bit too heavily on flash instead of substance, and we're hoping another season proves us wrong.
Chelsie – We want her back because she is lots of fun and we loved her with Ty, and we loved her Samba with Tristan. She’s energetic, energizing, and different. Besides, she fits with the celebrities we have chosen.
Sharna – We chose Sharna because it’s time for a change, and Sharna is kind, sweet, a heck of a choreographer, and Cheryl needs to take some time off for a season or two. Chances are it will be Cheryl in instead, but in lieu of Cheryl, we would choose Sharna. She’s edgy and pushes the limits, but she doesn’t cross the line like some pros do.
Gilles Marini – finished 2nd in Season 8 – He is arguably the best male pro (or second best male pro) ever on Dancing With the Stars. He was fun to watch, he was a great student, and he was sexy without being over the top. Free of injuries, he could be amazing again. He can smolder with the best of them, but let's see him heat things up with a different pro.
Evan Lysacek – finished 2nd in Season 10 – The other best male pro ever on Dancing With the Stars (yeah, we have 2 of them). He and Gilles are in a class by themselves, and in our opinion, both Gilles and Evan should have won their respective seasons. Evan is hopefully going to be competing in the Winter Olympic Games, so chances are, he won’t be available, but we sure would love another chance to see him. Talk about lines and extension…. Alternate: Mario Lopez
Joey Fatone – Finished 2nd in Season 4 – He’s fun, he’s cute, and we’re not quite ready to label him with ringer status even though he’s been dancing in the Las Vegas show for weeks. If he ends up too well-trained, we would be in favor of a replacement player - oh, say, maybe Cameron Mathison from Season 7.
Cristián de la Fuente – Finished 3rd in Season 6 – What can we say about Cristián? He was good. Really, really good. As we go back and look at Cheryl’s past partners, it gets a little much to see the number of heartthrobs or labeled heartthrobs who have danced with her – Gilles, Cristián, and William immediately come to mind. Let’s see how Cristián works his magic with another pro. Frankly, the scores didn’t show it, but he was heads and shoulders above William Levy in every department. He’s the Latin heartthrob we really want to see again. No offense to William who seems like a sweetheart, but he couldn’t match Cristián’s skill, charm, and charisma. Or heat.
Mark Dacascos – Finished 6th in Season 9 – What a treasure! And what a letdown he must have had. He was good. Lacey probably wasn’t the best partner choice because she was too willing to let him use his martial arts skills in the dance. There were times when that just didn’t work although he did some amazing moves in the jive and paso that were perfect for those particular performances. Then there was that whole disaster of a week when he was filming in New York, Lacey got sick and couldn’t rehearse, Tony stepped in to help him learn the Samba, and ultimately Mark flew back to LA, and Anna met with him beginning on Saturday. Because she didn’t know the choreography, she had to teach him two new routines for the Monday show. Two days to learn two routines, and both of them were magnificent. I thought their Samba was a good one, but the judges annihilated them, and he went home. I think he has everything necessary to win this thing with the right partner. And we have just the right one for him. If anyone deserves a second chance on DWTS, it is Mark Dacascos.
Ralph Macchio – Finished 4th in Season 12 – Ralph wasn’t the best technical performer, but he is a born entertainer, and who didn’t love Ralph? In addition, he improved every single week. He and Karina were magical, but let’s see how it works with another partner. We have some ideas.
Lisa Rinna – Finished 4th in Season 2 – She was amazing, she had all the right moves (probably better overall than Stacy Keibler) and we still remember that little snippet of a waltz she did with Tristan when Nancy was asking for a few hints.
Stacey Keibler – Finished 3rd in Season 2 – She and Tony were good; we think she and another pro would be better. And probably sexier.
Mel B – Finished 2nd Season 5 – She and Maks did some of the most memorable Pasos ever on DWTS; now let’s see how much she could turn up the heat with someone else. It’s impossible to recreate the same chemistry, and to see who really has “it”, we need to see her with another pro.
Melissa Rycroft – Finished 3rd in Season 8 – I’m not a fan of reality stars on this show – ever, and I’m the first to admit that when I heard she was replacing Nancy O’Dell, I almost went into convulsions. Melissa proved to be the exception. She was smart and not afraid to show it. She was fun, likeable, and for Tony, a dream partner. Everybody loved her, and so do we.
Kelly Monaco – Winner of Season 1 – Why Kelly? We want to see how the Season 1 winner stacks up against those who came along later when the standards were much higher and the expectations greater. We think she’ll do just fine. Alec Mazo isn’t around now, but we have a great partner choice for her.
Mya – Finished 2nd Season 9 – We’ll just say it. Donny was not a better dancer, but the day Donny went onto GMA to help announce the cast, I knew he was going to win it. He could have danced like me and won. He could have not shown up to dance and would have won. It was a given, and frankly, I never liked his dancing. I was always uncomfortable watching it. Mya is as close to a ringer as we’ll get in this group, but she and Dmitry were sizzling. She would sizzle more and go further with someone else. Her freestyle could have and should have been the best ever. The music was amazing, but the choreography held her back. Too bad. She wouldn’t have won anyway because she had to deal with the D-factor (Donny), but it would have been fun to see her dance full out.
The Dream Match-Ups:
Tristan and Melissa (Team Sex It Up) - The easy choice here would be to recommend Mya as Tristan’s partner, but we never take the easy path. Melissa was good, she listened, she didn’t argue, and she improved every week. Let her sizzle in the Samba with Tristan, glide in the waltz, flirt in the Cha Cha, and wow us with the Rumba, because, let’s face it – these are 2 gorgeous people who could create some serious dance floor magic. And we mean the heat would be overpowering. As far as we’re concerned you can’t have too much heat in the ballroom. Just remember that look Tristan gave Chelsie at the end of the Design a Dance Samba. Any questions?
Maks and Stacy Keibler (Team Tall and Taller That Might Not Have A Single Spark) – This one might fizzle fast, but it would give us a chance to see how good Stacy is, and how long Maks’s patience would last with somebody who has the innate skills she does. Would they have the chemistry? Now that’s the burning question. When I watch early season performances again, I don’t see the chemistry that we see with some couples now. This would be a very interesting pair. Could they pull it off? No clue.
Dmitry and Mel B (Team Tall Drink of Water With a Little Edge)– This one might just blow up fast because Mel B is a strong personality and just might try to railroad Dmitry, but he is a great choreographer, and this partnership could also be explosive – in a good way. I can see them doing an unforgettable Rumba, Argentine Tango, and Paso.
Tony and Lisa Rinna (Team Totally Who The Heck Knows) – I have a good feeling about this one. I can see them meshing well personality wise, style wise, and dance wise. She’s strong, talented, and fit; he deserves another chance – let’s see how far he could take her. I think she’s one of the best dancers ever on DWTS. She was good with Louis, but she might be even better with Tony because Tony would let all of that passion out. Would it work? This is anyone’s guess.
Henry and Mya (Team Volcanic Eruption) - You know you want to see this one. She has the skill to match Henry’s extraordinary choreography. He’s popular and might just bring her the mirror ball trophy. They are both intense, passionate, and playful. Both are athletic, powerful, and charismatic. They could completely bowl over most of the rest of the competition, and then wouldn't it be DWTS Heaven to see Henry and Mya up against Tristan and Melissa in the finals? Oooh, I love this possibility.
Mark and Kelly Monaco (Team No Over Dancing Please)– Kelly is probably the weakest of the field, so let’s see how –or if – Mark can pull this off. He has a tendency to over dance to showcase himself when his partner is weaker, and that drives us crazy. We think Kelly would surprise us all and be absolutely brilliant, and she’s a tough cookie. She’d probably smack him if he tried to dance around her.
Anna and Gilles (Team Spontaneous Combustion) – Obviously Evan is the ideal partner for Anna, but no matter how spectacular they were in Season 10, we don’t want to see the originals matched up again. Gilles and Anna could be even better than Gilles and Cheryl were. Why? We think Anna is one of the most innovative choreographers on DWTS, and these two have such exotic good looks that the intensity would burn the place up. It's a perfect pairing, in our opinion.
Kym and Evan (Team He Should Have Won With Anna So Here’s Another Shot) – Kym deserves the guy with this kind of talent. She may have won two mirror ball trophies, but we don’t think that her partners had anywhere near the kind of ability that Evan has. Both Evan and Kym have exquisite lines and extraordinary extension on every move. Obviously that whole Olympic thing might get in the way. If Evan’s not available, bring in our second choice – Mario Lopez. They would be smoking hot too, and we would call them Team Pass Out Cold Because of the Heat.
Karina and Cristián (Team Karina and The Real Latin Heartthrob) – This one would be fiery hot and technically brilliant. Without the injuries, he would shine. There is no doubt at all that they would have chemistry – probably more than he and Cheryl ever dreamed of having. She is just so darned good, and he is just so darned sexy and talented that this could very well be a winner. Just imagine them doing a real Argentine Tango. The fire department would be on standby.
Sharna and Mark Dacascos (Team You Thought Sasha Could Backflip?) – Can you imagine these two together? With their strength, athleticism, and flair, they could win this thing in a stunning upset. The Lacey/Mark pairing was never a great one, but Sharna and Mark? Hot, brilliant, and incredible. Talk about bringing the WOW factor. And talk about an epic freestyle.
Chelsie and Ralph Macchio (Team Adorable) – We think this one would be fun, flirty, hilarious, and a huge fan favorite. Chelsie’s exuberance and passion for dance and Ralph’s great attitude and performance skills would be a great ratings boost. I don’t think they would win, but they would make the season worth watching for sure. And who knows? They might pull off the impossible.
Peta and Joey Fatone (or Cameron) (Team Amusement Park) – Any way this one goes – Peta and Joey or Peta and Cameron would be loads of fun. Both Joey and Cameron have great senses of humor, both are naturally funny, and both can dance. I can see this one as being hugely entertaining, and it would be one wild ride.
How we think it will end up. The pairings above are how we want it to end up. Unfortunately, we never seem to get what we want. Here’s how we think it will end up.
Tristan – Melissa Rycroft (Team Razzle, Dazzle, and Sex It Up) – note this is the only one that is both the one we are predicting and also the one we want. It’ll never happen.
Maks – Mel B (Team Déjà vu)
Val – Marie Osmond (Team Please, No)
Derek – Brooke Burke (Team At Least She Isn’t Co-Hosting)
Mark – Sabrina Bryan (Team You Didn’t Get the Votes the First Time, But What the Heck)
Tony – Stacy Keibler (Team Really Tall Pretty People)
Anna – Joey Fatone (Team Laugh a Lot, Goof Off, and Win Lots of Hearts)
Cheryl – Gilles Marini (Team It Was Great Once, It’ll Suck This Time)
Kym – Donny Osmond (Team Please No, Part 2)
Karina – Ralph Macchio (Team All-Around Adorable)
Lacey or Chelsie– Drew Lachey (Team Push the Limits)
Peta – John O’Hurley, Mario Lopez, or Cameron Mathison (Team Maybe It’ll Work, Maybe It Won’t)
And there you have it. Our prediction is that our predictions will be 99% wrong. But it’s fun anyway.