As you may have figured out from my earlier 'Rants,' I'm a huge Dancing with the Stars fan despite being a pretty late addition to the fan bandwagon (my obsession didn't officially begin until season 8). So naturally, as a full-blown DWTS devotee, I impatiently sat through Bachelor Pad awaiting the post-show contestant announcement (I could have just waited to tune in after Bachelor Pad was over, but then I wouldn't be much of a reality TV expert, would I?). Then, this morning, I high-tailed it to my computer first thing to check out the official celebrity-pro pairing reveal. Let me just say that aside from Edyta's sad departure (whatever, her choreo ain't all that anyway), this season will not disappoint. Here are my predictions for how these fresh season 11 pairings will fare:
1. Audrina Patridge with Tony Dovolani: I'm almost surprised that Audrina wasn't paired with Derek, who seems to always magically get paired with the season's token "hot girl" (I guess). But despite Tony's demonstrated strength in breaking stiff girls out of their shell, I just can't picture Audrina having any performance ability that doesn't involve blank upward stares and pretend shopping.
2. Brandy with Maksim Chmerkovskiy: All jealousy aside (MAKS IS MINE, BETCH), I think these two may be a pair to look out for. A long-time performer, she may not have a solid dance background like fellow R&B-singer-turned-DWTS-competitor Mya, but she does have the stage presence and rhythm that will serve as a helpful foundation as she builds out her technique. But lieu of her recent personal drama, can she handle a taskmaster like Maks?!
3. Bristol Palin with Mark Ballas: She's already making headlines with her claims that she'll be wearing only "modest" costumes this season, and part of me doesn't blame her due to the inevitable flack she'll get for any slightly suggestive wiggle of her hips. But DAMMIT BRISTOL, ARE YOU TRYING TO COMPETE OR WHAT? GO SKIMPY OR GO HOME.
4. David Hasselhoff with Kym Johnson: Given his latest Comedy Central roast and seemingly good-natured attitude about his spot in the competition, he seems to have the right not-taking-himself-too-seriously attitude that will hopefully help him relax and just have fun with it. Plus, Kym has a recent championship title to protect (along with more recent winner Derek Hough), so she should have some awesome crowd-pleasing moves to break out of her arsenal.
5. Florence Henderson with Corky Ballas: Compared to Corky's last "student," Cloris Leachman, Florence is bound to be considerably more snooze-worthy. However, she does seem to have more learning capacity for actual routines that don't involve gyrating, freestyle, or just moseying about the floor. Do I think she'll be a delight on the dancefloor for however many weeks she lasts? Sure. Do I think she has a shot at the title? No.
6. Jennifer Grey with Derek Hough: Since she seems to be the buzzed-about predicted winner already, I think fans may be overestimating her dance capabilities. Sure, she starred in one of the most epic dance movies of all time, but let's face it -- that was 23 years ago. Derek Hough may be a genius in the studio, but he isn't a time-traveler.
7. Kurt Warner with Anna Trebunskaya: Despite her past success with athletes, these types of competitors are generally wild cards when it comes to performance ability. For example, people like Jerry Rice and Warren Sapp were surprisingly light on their feet and embraced the experience, while Lawrence Taylor just seemed to be completely miserable the entire time, and it showed. I guess we won't know until we see him in action!
8. Kyle Massey with Lacey Schwimmer: One of two things will happen -- either a) he'll be super flamboyant and be the perfect match for attention-hogger Lacey, or b) she'll just make him stand there while she dances around him, per usual attention-hogger Lacey habit.
9. Margaret Cho with Louis Van Amstel: As demonstrated by Louis' recent seasons, he's got a knack for taming the comedian and wildchild types into refined ladies on the dancefloor. Hopefully Margaret's ready to get real and become vulnerable, because many of Louis' pieces turn out to be a total cry-fest.
10. Michael Bolton with Chelsie Hightower: Fresh off her drama-ridden pairing with Jake Pavelka, hopefully Michael can provide her a no-BS clean slate and an open mind, and hopefully in turn she'll breathe a little youthful energy into the singer who hasn't had a decent hit since the Hercules soundtrack.
11. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino with Karina Smirnoff: I'm not gonna lie -- part of me was hoping that they'd find an excuse to pair him with Maks (hey, it's about time they embraced male-male dancing! So You Think You Can Dance tried it!), but I guess Karina is the next best choice. I can already sense a "secret" hookup in the making.. or at least a determined attempt from The Sitch.
12. Rick Fox with Cheryl Burke: Well, he's no Gilles Marini, but if he's got rival-worthy rhythm and a willingness to go shirtless on occasion, he may find himself a faithful fanbase...
Which newly-paired couple seems most promising to you? Weigh in below!