It’s that time of year again, ladies and gentlemen. We are gearing up for the Season 18 cast announcement in just a few weeks, so in the meantime, our imaginations have gone a little crazy as we think of possible celebrity and pro combinations. We realize that chances are pretty good that not one of these will actually happen, but we are hopeful. We have created a season we refer to as “the good, the bad, and the worse” but you have to admit that this could be hugely entertaining. We also know that some of the pros we have listed might not be pros this season and some of the pros would never be matched up with this type of celebrity, but we can dream. We also are not making this fair; in fact, we are suggesting the best match-ups from our perspective, and some pros might be mentioned twice and some not at all, but it’s our blog, and we can take all kinds of liberties. We will probably be doing part two of this soon because we already have a list of celebrities and pros that we couldn’t fit into this one, and as the rumors start flying and we get closer to the cast reveal, we will get a little more serious and come up with our actual predictions. In the meantime, we think ABC should seriously consider these celebrities along with our pro recommendations for Season 18.
Tim Tebow – He said last season that he wouldn’t do DWTS but that was before he had been cut from his NFL team and to date, he hasn’t signed with anyone. He is currently doing broadcast work with ESPN but ESPN is ABC so DWTS could happen. He probably can’t dance a lick and his strong religious convictions might mean that he would keep his shirt on and his pants wouldn't be too tight, but in our opinion, that’s a good thing. It means one less oiled, waxed chest and reduced chances of a wardrobe malfunction. We think Sharna would be perfect with him, but she was paired with a football player last season. ABC might think Peta, but we vote for Peta to get a real challenge instead of a cake walk. We can see this working with Emma Slater, but Cheryl might be a good option too.
Dennis Rodman – Nobody is more controversial, loud, and annoying, but ABC hasn’t shied away from controversial, loud, or annoying. Now don’t go crazy and think that we are members of the Rodman Fan Club, and yes, the word train wreck occasionally crosses our minds, but if you want flamboyance and outrageous costumes, he’s your man. We would like to see Peta take on the Rodman Challenge and see how it goes because let’s face it, she hasn’t had a real challenge since her first season and even then, Metta World Peace got along with everybody and did his best. So we say, bring it on, Rodman.
Lucy Hale – This idea was suggested on the Facebook Fan Page, and a couple of us discussed it and we love the possibilities. We realize that ABC would probably think 1) Derek 2) Mark 3) Val 4) Henry 5) Sasha but we say Tristan is the perfect partner. She’s artistic, she can act, she can sing, and she’s beautiful. She’s also 24 so it’s not icky, and it would actually give Tristan a chance to dance, choreograph, teach, and do a rumba that is about lust and love instead of being told that it would not be appropriate to do a rumba about lust and love and then being told that while it wouldn’t be appropriate to do a rumba about lust and love, he still should have choreographed a rumba about lust and love. You get the point. We want a rumba with lust and love. Lucy Hale would be a great partner for such a dance. Lust. And. Love.
John Zimmerman - Who, you might ask? John Zimmerman. Former pairs figure skater. Current skating coach. Great bedhead. Good looking. Sexy. Handsome. He would be a great partner for Anna Trebunskaya and would likely get her a mirror ball. Unfortunately, with Baby Trebunskaya coming soon, we don’t know if our favorite female pro will be back for Season 18. Another brilliant option would be Sharna who would probably rock the world of everybody if she had a partner like John. He’s now 40, he’s still got it, and we want real chemistry – not the phony kind we’re seeing from a lot of pairs these days. (The kind with the facial expressions that look more like constipation than selling sex.) If not Sharna, then Karina. We figure Peta and Cheryl have had enough of the sexy, rip the shirt off types, and Emma hasn’t quite yet earned the privilege, so we say Anna, Sharna, and Karina are the best pros for Mr. Zimmerman.
Kyoko Ina – Who, you ask again? John Zimmerman’s former pairs skating partner, and yes, we might have mentioned her before for previous seasons, but we don’t give up. Exotic, beautiful, sexy, expressive, and athletic, she would be perfect for Tristan. She may be touring with Stars on Ice this time around, but we want her on DWTS anyway. The obvious candidate for her pro partner iis Tristan, and yes, we realize we that before this blog is over he could have 12 or so partners, but too bad. He’s due another figure skater, he’s due that whole love/lust rumba thing we keep harping about, and she could deliver it. She might not be as well known as some other celebrities, but who cares? A week on DWTS with Tristan as her partner would make her a household name. If not Tristan? Well, nobody except for possibly Gleb. Yeah, that might work.
Scott Baio – We would love, love, love to see Scott on the show. He’s 53 now, still as handsome as ever, and would be a great celebrity for Cheryl or Emma. We believe he would rock the Latin dances, and we visualize a superb jive. We know nothing about his dancing skills but he just seems like a perfect fit.
Troy Aikman – He has been rumored a few times, but nothing came of it. Still, the retired former NFL quarterback turned broadcaster has charm to spare, good looks a-plenty, and we know how ABC loves football players on DWTS. He might not be the best dancer, but he also might surprise us. We don’t think any of the previous DWTS football players have been that spectacular, but they do have a lot of fans. We think Emma would be a good choice for Troy, and she showed us last season that she can adapt.
Nadia Comaneci – She would be a huge addition to the cast, but we can’t see her with Tony, Derek, or Mark. There’s no doubt that she and Tristan would make it work, but the name that sticks out as a choice for her is Gleb or even Julz Tocker, although we don’t think they will bring Julz in as a pro, particularly since they didn’t use him at all in Season 17. To that we say, “Harrumph.”
Bart Connor – Nadia’s husband and an American gymnastics legend, he would be wonderful, and it would be even better if he and Nadia were on in the same season. His partner? Cheryl or Karina
Oksana Baiul – We have casually mentioned her before, and we will think she might be a good fit for DWTS. She has the talent, athleticism, and attitude to be very entertaining, and we think she would be a decent partner for Sasha. He worked wonders with Snooki, and we think he’s one of the best teachers on DWTS. Yeah, we like this pairing. Another option might be Val, but honestly we’re not sure she’s enough of a challenge, and we really want to see Val get a partner who isn’t as athletic as some of his previous ringers, er, we mean celebrities. Still, it could work, and she would not make it easy for him. She has an edge and would push him. We like that idea.
Dominique Moceanu – We’re pretty sure that we’ve mentioned her a time or two before, but she would be a worthy competitor, and any pro would be fortunate to have her as his partner. She’s strong, athletic, pretty, and dedicated. We guess it would be crass of us to put all the good celebrities with Tristan, so we will behave and go in another direction. She’s 32 now – how did that happen? Anyway, we’ve given a lot of thought as to which pro would work, and we came up with one you probably aren’t expecting. We’ve become fans of the work of Julz Tocker, and think he would pull out all kinds of surprises instead of tons of predictability we have come to expect from many DWTS pros. It’s a little too obvious to put her with Sasha, and we’re not sure Henry is the right fit, so we keep coming back to Julz.
Dominique Dawes – Here is another one we’ve wanted on DWTS for a while, and we want her with Tristan. There is just something about her talent, looks and lines that scream “perfect partnership.” If not Tristan? Bring back Sonny Pedersen. Hindsight is always better, but we think his talents were vastly underused.
Katey Sagal – She is hilarious, fun, and striking, and had Tristan not had the history of partners on DWTS that he has had, we would love to see her take a turn on the dance floor with him. She’s 59, and to our knowledge, she has no ringer status other than her background in music. Some options for her – Henry (if he makes it to the pro ranks), Tony, Derek, or Val.
Paul Wylie- If there was ever a Cinderella story of Men’s Figure Skating, it might be Paul Wylie, and I still remember when we won that Olympic silver medal in Albertville in 1992 and captured our hearts. He would be a great addition to the cast, and he reminds us of people like Gavin DeGraw – stars that everybody loves. We would love to see him dancing with Kym. Sharna would be another interesting possibility.
Wanda Sykes – We love this funny lady, and her sarcasm, wit, and biting humor would put any pro in his place. We would love to see how Derek could handle a partner who is as tough as nails and willing to stand up to him when necessary or just because she wants to. Derek is good, so let’s see how good. Besides, they would be a laugh a minute. Or at least until Derek got tired of what might be a regular goof-off fest in rehearsal, but the footage would be Emmy worthy. There’s that E word again. If Derek is a no-go, then Val would be perfect.
Queen Latifah – She’s a tall one – as in 5’10”, but that okay and she’s another one that would be perfect for Tristan. They would be hilarious and probably create some great dances, however, we really would like to see Tristan get a chance to turn up some serious heat. It might work with Queen Latifah, but we want to take it in a different direction. We think Tony might be fun with her. If not Tony, Henry could be interesting. Gleb might be great fun too. He has a wicked sense of humor.
Carla Hall – She could be fun, and she’s different. She’s tall and 49 years old, but her height shouldn’t matter since they didn’t mind pairing Zendaya and Elizabeth with Val. We vote 1) Val 2) Derek 3) Tony Why? Val and Derek need challenges, and she may or may not be one. She’s fun, upbeat, and affirmatively wants to do the show. Let’s see if Val and Derek in particular can step it up. Tony would work because of height but honestly we think Tony needs a break. Will he get one? Not likely. ABC will keep him around.
Chuck Norris - Who doesn't know who Chuck Norris is and who doesn’t want to see a tough guy pull out all the stops on the dance floor? He is also starting to be a tad controversial and ABC hasn’t shied away from controversy in order to get ratings. Cheryl would be the perfect partner; she is confident and a great teacher. She would take Chuck and run with him. Just look how far she went with Jack, and we thought that was going to be a train wreck.
Ellie Kemper - She was in The Office and also in Bridesmaids and is adorable. She is sweet like Tristan but I'd like to see them get sexy on the dance floor. Not to mention the hoards of The Office fans would be salivating all over this. In this case, it’s Tristan as the best pro choice. She’s 5’5” so that’s a good match height-wise. We can see the producers placing her with Mark Ballas but we don’t think her potential would be reached there. Sasha might be a good possibility too even if there wouldn’t be much difference in heights.
Corin (Corky) Nemec – Do you remember him from the 90's "Parker Lewis Can’t Lose" and the cult following worthy miniseries "Stephen King's: The Stand"? He is the type of "where are they now" celebrity that DWTS likes to bring on the show. Emma would be a great partner for him. She's bubbly and fun and that matches his personality. We don’t know if he is physically able to do the show due to his accident last year, but when he is ready, he could be a great cast choice.
Todd Eldredge – DWTS needs another male figure skater, and we know we've mentioned Paul Wylie and John Zimmerman already, but Todd is another great option. His lines are exquisite, he’s classy, and he would bring some depth to the legions of male celebrities. We can see him being paired with Kym, and we might see her pick up her third mirror ball trophy with this talented man.
Suzanne Somers – At age 67, she still has it, and we would like to see Derek work through this. She is physically fit, talented, and still reasonably well known, so he would still have three advantages before they ever make it onto the dance floor. We are very curious to see how this would work out because she doesn’t have youth on her side, She also doesn’t have the fan base of people like Donny Osmond or Jennifer Grey, and they were only 50 when they won. Derek, you're the one for her.
Johnny Damon - We’ve enjoyed a few of the football players on DWTS, but we’re sick of the same old thing, and there has never been a baseball player on the show. We’re not sure why, because many are retired. They are agile, in great shape (mostly) and might be able to move like Jagger. Or like Carson anyway. We vote Johnny Damon, and we would pair him with Sharna. Johnny has lots of fans (Boston, New York, and just about everywhere else), and is a truly likable guy. Why not give Sharna an athlete two seasons in a row? They gave Peta two male athletes in a row: Metta World Peace and then Donald Driver. We all know how that turned out. Let Sharna get a chance to shine. In fact, we’ll say we want a final that includes Sharna, Tristan, and their celebrity partners.
Tila Tequila – We don’t have to really like a celebrity to think he or she would be good for the cast, and we think DWTS might (and this is a very big “might”) be able to humanize a few more celebrities. We would put her with Val because he is one of those celebrities who needs a huge challenge for a change, and this would be a good place to start. This is Val's season to have that big challenge (along with possibly Derek, Mark, and Peta), It is hard to teach a celeb who has never danced before to stand out, but it is equally challenging to get the fans to find your celebrity likable enough to keep voting. We’re not setting anyone up for failure but like Derek, Mark, and Peta who are all very talented pros, they seem to be in that good luck pool where they are always given someone with a good chance at doing. Show us what you've got, Val, when you've got someone like Tila as your partner. If could prove very interesting. Mark is a close second for her. Derek is a third choice. Any of the 3 would face plenty of challenges here, and it would be great entertainment.
Nigella Lawson - This seems like a natural partner for Tony because he comes across as such a gentleman. Nigella is one of those women you love to hear talk, and she also has some serious credentials. We haven’t had a celebrity chef on DWTS since Rocco, and it’s time to try it again. Besides, it will mean one less football player or reality star. Next.
Richard Karn – We want to see Al Borland dance! Coming off a very hot season for Bill Engvall, Richard seems like Season 18's best bet. Peta is due her turn with an older partner so she can stop playing up the sexual tension in rehearsals and concentrate on some solid dancing. Would Al Borland win the MTB? Not likely, but he's that feel good sort of guy that you just want to get better.
Part 2 of our suggestions coming soon. Leave your comments on this one here or on the forum thread for MacMusings. We would love to hear from you all!