Let’s break it down. The pros, the celebrities, the age, the way it goes on DWTS, and the way it needs to be for Season 17. We have thought for a while that things have been messed up with the way the celebrities have been traditionally assigned to pros, and we use the word traditionally because there is a trend that fits right into the word “tradition.” Certain pros get the younger, more fit celebrities who have millions of fans, twitter followers, and facebook “likes.” Others are stuck in the DWTS rut and get celebs that fit into other categories. Keep in mind that it took us the better part of a day to get these statistics in order, and the ages might be off by a year either way, but the numbers are in the ballpark, and in baseball terms, it becomes pretty apparent who is going to hit a home run, and who will strike out at the plate unless some production changes are made in a hurry. By the way, we’re not know for our math skills so things might be a little off here, but you will still get the picture.
Let’s take a closer look. Here are the average ages of the celebrities assigned to what we refer to as the “major pros” followed by our Season 17 suggestions. Or directives. Whatever.
Tristan (4 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age 55 – Need we go on?
Kym (13 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age 44.85 – 2 MBTs- Donny Osmond, duh, and Hines Ward (football, Super Bowl MVP, another no-brainer)
Tony (15 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age 41 – 1 MBT – Melissa – Take 2.
Cheryl (15 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age 39.9 – 2 MBTs (Drew and Emmitt) but she hasn’t won since Season 3. In all fairness, she also had Wayne Newton and Tom DeLay to up the age average substantially.
Anna (10 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age - 39.9 – Still waiting… She's had one legitimate contender in Evan Lysacek. Jerry was entertaining but not likely to win a MBT.
Maks (13 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age - 38.3 – He has had winners – big winners – with Mel B and Brandy, but for whatever reason, it didn’t work.
Louis (9 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age - 35.33- He's had youth and talent – Lisa Rinna, Sabrina, Kendra, Kelly O…but no MBT.
Karina (13 Season) – Average Celebrity Age 34.44 – 1 MBT with J.R. Martinez – well deserved.
Derek (11 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age 34.2 - 4 MBTs - – Brooke, Nicole, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler. All athletic, entertainment material, and extraordinarily fit.
Peta (4 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age 33.25 – 1 MBT – Donald Driver – Not the greatest dancer that season, but he had the football player thing going for him when in that season, it was huge. She got lucky. Really lucky.
Val (4 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age 32.35 – Elisabetta, Sherri, Kelly, and Zendaya. Really? Time to age that up a bit, we say.
Chelsie (7 Seasons) - Average Celebrity Age 32.1 – We’re not sure what this says actually. Chelsie has had some great, young celebrities to work with and she had a superstar during the All Star Season, but nothing has happened yet. Her first season was her best, but we also think a lot of it is that she plays by the rules of the ballroom, and we say, “Good for you!”
Mark (12 Seasons) – Average Celebrity Age 25.9 – 2 wins – Kristi and Shawn – See below. We don’t want to bore you with too much repetition but we probably will anyway.
Age doesn’t matter? Bull dinky. Tristan’s celebrities have averaged a full 20+ years more than Derek’s, and nearly 22 and 23 years older than Peta and Val’s celebrities – and they all became pros at the same time. His celebrities are still nearly 10 years older by average than the closest pro, Kym. Is that fair? Nuh uh.
So here is what we propose for Season 17:
*Tristan gets the biggest ringer in the history of ringers; you know the one – she can dance, sing, entertain, has 38 million twitter followers, uses social media as often as we eat chocolate, is known and loved by everybody everywhere.
*We love Derek, but Derek needs a huge challenge. His oldest celebrity was Jennifer Grey, who still, any way you look at it, was the lead in Dirty Dancing. Ricki Lake was about 44. That is nothing. She was a mere infant in comparison to Tristan's celebrities. Derek needs more “challenge.” He needs someone who will push him and make him work from the basics and see how his patience hold out. Facts are facts. We want to really see him teach somebody who doesn’t have the talent because sometimes being a good teacher isn’t good enough. Not everybody can be good at Calculus, no matter how good the teacher; the same applies with the Samba.
*Maks is due another ringer. If he comes back, he should get a contender. He has had some good ones, but he’s had some huge challenges too. We think that they purposefully give him partners that he will clash with for dramatic effect instead of partners that he can really teach.
*Val has had it made for four seasons. Yes, he’s had to teach. Yes, he’s had to entertain. Yes, he’s had to choreograph strong routines, but last season just gave made us agitated. Not his fault, but that whole Twitter thing annoyed us - the Hip Hop “voted” dance, and the Hip Hop that wasn’t Hip Hop freestyle from a trained Hip Hop dancer just gave us HipHopPhobia, and we hope we never hear the words Hip Hop again. We still don’t understand how he got a ringer like Zendaya, and don’t let the age thing fool you. She had a lifetime of experience, millions of Twitter followers who knew how to burn up the Twitter votes, so yeah, she was a blessing to whoever was her partner. Now we need to see Val get someone, say, 40-50 years older than Zendaya so we can see if the Hop Hop thing will work as well next time. Or the Samba, Cha Cha, Argentine Tango, or even the Surfer Flamenco. Okay, forget that one. We never, ever want to see that again. Or the dancing in the Speedo thing, a la Season 15. Eww.
*Mark has 2 wins – with 2 Olympic gold medalists – and last season, he had another Olympic gold medalist (age 19) so it’s time for him to get a few more big old challenges too. Throw him a Susan Lucci at least...he's a talented teacher, and he could handle it. And if not, we’ll find out.
*Kym – It’s interesting that the age of her celebrity partners is second to Tristan, and she’s had a couple of stinkers in the group, but overall, she’s been paired well and we don’t see that she would be particularly successful with a teenage partner. That won’t work. 30s, 40s. That’s the best age group. She does well with most of her partners so why ruin a good thing?
*Peta – She’s had the luck of the draw thus far and she deserves a HUGE challenge. Metta World Peace didn’t advance past the first round, but he was relatively young, strong, athletic. Donald was an active football player, thus ensuring a huge voting base. Gilles? Please. He was one of the most talented and popular celebrities ever – until All Star season arrogance took a front row to appealing to the audience. Sean? Young, fit, strong, handsome – couldn’t dance much, but he had a huge fan base because of that show. She needs older, less fit, and way more challenging.
*Karina- Seems like she's been the most well rounded when it comes to her partners. She’s had them all, and she’s taking her knocks but she’s had extraordinary talent. Sigh…we want to see Tristan have a celebrity with extraordinary talent from Day 1.
We could go on and on and on about the rest of them, but you see where it’s going. The numbers speak for themselves. It’s Tristan’s turn, and we need to lower that average – by a lot. Talk about deserving a mirror ball trophy….this is the man who deserves at least a chance for it. Every other pro has had that chance. Tristan has had great celebrities but as wonderful as Dorothy might have been, we don’t think the crazy rigors of the last few weeks of Season 16 would have gotten them to the finals against a 16 year old dancer, a 19 year old Olympic gymnast, a 26 year old perfectly fit country music star, or a 29 year old football player in prime physical condition. Please. [insert eye roll here]. Dorothy would have been 40, 36, 30, and 27 years older respectively. It was an impossible situation. Now it’s time to make things possible.