We say there is something fishy going on. No way would ABC allow the cast to be revealed a week before the cast announcement on GMA. Sometimes we get the information a day or two ahead of time, but even then there are huge surprises on reveal day (Gladys Knight and Dorothy Hamill, for example). We think that we have all been played this week and probably at least half of it is nonsense. That being said, we’re going with what we know or what we think we know and making our bold predictions along with a few extra added touches. We’re even naming the teams so go with it. We’re having fun, having some serious moments, and having some margaritas (or Venti Starbucks beverages). Here we go…your cast for Season 17, just like ABC wants it. If there are only 12 spots, somebody big is going to be left out. What we can’t figure out is who. There are just a lot of wild cards this time around, and we count Gleb, Sasha, Henry and even Emma among them. Gleb and Sasha are keeping quiet, and we like that. Tristan is way too quiet, and we’re not sure we like that, but would he do anything else?
Snooki/Mark Ballas – Team You Can’t Take the Joisey Out of the Girl - We still think there is something weird going on and ABC wants us to buy into the Sasha/Snooki pairing, which we believe would be hilarious and brilliant. ABC will probably not do what we think since they sometimes have screwed up logic (like the time they gave Bristol to Mark for All Stars and took his own champion, Shawn, and passed her along to Derek. Yeah, that made sense. Especially since Shawn was so tall and all.) What we aren’t going to do is go the predictable Mark Ballas/Gabby Douglas guess because the fans would have a cow – 3 Olympic gymnastics champions as his DWTS partners and another gold medalist from a different sport. We don't think so. We think that they will give Mark a challenge but one who will let Mark show his fun side again. It’s been a while. This just might be one of our favorites because we love comic relief, and this will bring it.
Amber Riley/Derek Hough – Team We Don’t Mind And Aren’t You Surprised - Yes, she is a bit of a ringer, and yes, she has a ton of Twitter followers, but she might be a good fit with Derek and it shouldn’t throw us all into a major revolt. She’s adorable and talented and will be fun to watch. In all honesty, the only reason we pick this pair is because of all of the mystery Twitter follows that seem to happening this week. We don’t see her as that young, and Derek’s people (PureDH) insist his partner is young. We would have thought really young – as in Bella Thorne and watch the producers create a Disney rival with Derek’s cousin, Ross, as the opposition, but we will concede this one. Amber is likely his partner, and we’re okay with it because she might make Derek lighten up. We hope so.
Jamie Lee Curtis/Tony Dovolani – Team Maybe/Maybe Not Because This Could Be Entertaining - She hasn't been a big fixture in the rumor mill but we think she could be one of those surprises. We just don't see her with Derek even though she was cheering on Jennifer or Ricki or somebody when they were with Derek. We were inclined to think she might go with Gleb, who has a great sense of humor and is very pretty in case you didn't notice, but we’re sticking with Tony on this one. It fits. We had thought of Leah Remini too for Tony, but that doesn't seem like a blend of personalities that would work at all. He and Jamie Lee might have quite a few laughs and entertain us too.
Valerie Harper/TristanMacManus – Team Maybe It Will Happen But..." – This could certainly happen, and we would be fine with it, but SWAT just has this nagging little itch behind her right ear, and Shakes has a pain in her left knee which means 1) it’s probably going to rain or 2) something just isn’t right with the DWTS rumors. We have no doubt that Tristan was at the DWTS rehearsal studios (or somewhere else) teaching Valerie. On second thought, it’s probably not at the DWTS rehearsal studios because Kat would have caught him on video or so would more of the paparazzi hanging out there. We think it’s more likely that she will do some appearances and dance but compete full out and sign on for a whole season? We’re still not convinced. Like we said, that is just fine too, but there is just too much information out there right now that most of it has to be false. So we are going with Option 2: A shocker of a celebrity just like in Season 14 and 16. We see them as being the last couple introduced (again) and we have no clue who it could be. So there.
Elizabeth Berkley/Val Chmerkovskiy – Team Blah and Backfire - Does anybody really think that Val will get anything less than someone like Elizabeth? She’s the right age, the right occupation, the right body type, but not the right height. It’s like Zendaya but with more ballet and more maturity. We call ‘em Team Backfire because the fans are not going to buy this one. She doesn’t have the legion of Twitter followers that Zendaya does, and this just doesn’t work for us. We want to see her heat things up with Gleb, and we think the height thing will be a major distraction. Zendaya wore flats half the time; Elizabeth Berkley would look silly in flats. Now we still aren’t convinced that Elizabeth is Val’s partner, and we think she may very well end up with Gleb and Christina could end up with Val. We just cannot see them pairing Val and Elizabeth when there are much better alternatives to someone with her height and beautiful lines. It’s entirely possible that ABC was messing with us with that little teaser and might have fooled us by using Elizabeth’s very familiar voice.
Christina Milian/Gleb Savchenko or Henry Byalikov – Team Could Be Great But Will Likely Be Not So Great - Yeah, Gleb is in LA and yeah Henry is not, but something in this one also made our ear/knee twitch. Problem with it is either way, she is a ringer in the biggest sense. But then again, no more so than Elizabeth Berkley, Corbin Bleu, and half a dozen other celebrities who have been rumored this season. Christina with Tristan would be perfect, and Christina with Gleb or Henry might be okay but probably not as smoldering as a Christina/Tristan pairing.
**WILD CARD #1 ** -Gabby Douglass/Sasha Farber – Team We Just Aren't Sure This Is Happening - The gymnast and the gymnast. It’s a match made in DWTS heaven and it gives our Sasha a chance to teach, something he is very good at. He’s also one hell of a choreographer and would make good use of her strengths without breaking every rule in the ballroom book. If not Gabby, we will buy into the Snooki/Sasha plan. They would be hilarious and Sasha wouldn’t let Snooki be anything less than Snooki. We would have a blast either way.
Ross Lynch/Lindsay Arnold or “Team We Can't Predict A Disney Finalist” – This was almost too easy. Lindsay was brought in last season with training wheels. She didn’t really earn the right to ride her two wheeler without those baby wheels, but ABC planned it that way. Turn her lose with Victor, an elite athlete with an attitude and see how she fares. Not so well, in our opinion. She didn’t have the discipline or control to be a pro, but that wasn’t her fault. She has amazing potential and is a marvelous dancer. Besides, she has legs to die for. He is Derek Hough’s cousin, blonde, and with Lindsay they will be an average age of something like 12, have enough blondeness that won’t yet resort to dark roots because of their youth, and have enough energy to take over the competition. Problem is that just ain’t gonna happen. Ross may have a ton of votes, but we aren’t convinced that Lindsay does. It’s just odd because someone like Sharna could turn him into a contender. Oh yeah. Ringer.
Kenny Rogers/Peta Murgatroyd – Our first thought was Tony Kanaan, but as of yesterday, he hadn't heard if he was on or not, so that seemed screwy to us. Peta has already had two athletes in prime physical condition, an actor who had been a fan favorite until he became a diva during the All-Stars, and another partner who was in prime shape (Sean), who also happened to have, for reasons unknown to us, millions of fans. We haven’t yet been impressed with her costume choices or choreography, so this is the time to put up or shut up and train someone who is different. He still has the fan base but he would be a challenge so oh why not. His name has cropped up a few times so this just might be the time. If not Kenny, we will backtrack and go with Tony Kanaan. Or William Shatner.
Corbin Bleu/Cheryl Burke – Cheryl and Karina played the game in Vegas and dropped hints as to Karina’s pro. Karina has stated publicly that she wanted John Stamos on DWTS and Corbin Bleu too. Karina is following Corbin on Twitter, and he is following her. In spite of Jack Osbourne follows by Cheryl's publicist, we don't see that pair happening. Karina and Cheryl were up to no good in Vegas and throwing around names like Beckham and “Ryan”. We think they were trying to play us.
John Stamos/Karina Smirnoff – We think this is the season Karina gets her wish fulfilled by Santa and John Stamos (also coveted we believe by Peta and Sharna) becomes her partner. He will be a blast and while he may not win, he will show everybody a great time. We love this idea. We think the bare feet and the deep "Ryan Lochte" voice on Dancing ABC's video are a way to psych us out, and that it isn't Lochte at all but John Stamos.
J.C. Chasez/Sharna Burgess– We think J.C’s denial is reason enough to put him in…or maybe it’s just wishful thinking. We can’t find the perfect celebrity for Sharna yet based on the rumors, and we are starting to think Emma might be out and there might be seven male celebrities and 5 female. If that’s the case, we think Jack could end up with Sharna. But for now, we’re going for the big shocker. Okay, so maybe J.C. is a stretch. How about Keyshawn Johnson? Let’s see how Sharna does with the football player.
**WILD CARD #2**Jack Osborne/Emma Slater – This could work well. Emma’s a great teacher and she would teach Jack better than any pro. She will be thrilled to be a pro and she will make him a good dancer. What’s not to love about this? The only problem is that we are not sure that there is going to be a 50/50 split on male/female celebrities and there just might be seven male pros and five female (0r seven and six if ABC pulls a fast one). If that’s the case, we think Emma will be left out, Jack will go with Cheryl, John Stamos will disappear off the radar, Corbin would end up with Karina, and J.C. would break our hearts.
Oh yeah. We are guaranteed to be wrong. Just call us skeptical with the rumors, denials, and follows when compared to the secrecy by DWTS. We also know that ABC might, and probably will, throw half a dozen big whoppers of surprises on Wednesday. So just imagine the possibilities but count on this instead: Derek with Christina, Gleb with Elizabeth, Val with Ringer Girl, er, we mean somebody like Bella Thorne, Mark with Amber, Cheryl with another Latin lover type, Sharna with Keyshawn, Karina with Ryan Gosling (yeah, okay we like to dream big), etc.