ABC has announced its list of hoofers for the upcoming thirteenth season of “Dancing with the Stars” (premieres Mon. Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. EST) and, while the list holds a few surprises (Chaz Bono?), most of the names are no-brainers or outright head scratchers. Here’s the final list (and if you don’t recognize the names, I’ve tried to provide a little information about each “star,” too).
David Arquette (Courteney Cox’s estranged hubby)
Nancy Grace (commentator, pundit and angry woman)
Kristin Cavalleri (reality TV star of “Laguna Beach,” “The Hills”)
Ricki Lake (talk show host, star of “Hairspray”)
Chynna Phillips (singer, Wilson Phillips)
Carson Kressley (former “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” guru, fashion TV host)
Ron Artest (basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers)
Hope Solo (U.S. soccer star)
Elisabetta Canalis (Italian actress and George Clooney’s ex)
Rob Kardashian (a lesser Kardashian)
J.R. Martinez (retired Army soldier and “All My Children” star)
Chaz Bono (Sonny and Cher’s son)
So, it looks like Ryan O’Neal (who was rumored to be on the list) dropped out of the running to be replaced by Carson Kressley. Maybe O’Neal realized he was stuck with the token “oldie McOlderson” title, which couldn’t have been a big stroke for his ego.
While I’ll admit to being curious to see some of these celebrities kick up their heels (I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Nancy Grace in anything but a close-up shot — for all I know she doesn’t have feet), other stars seem to qualify only as space fillers. Given how well Kim Kardashian performed on the show (she didn’t), do we really need her brother, Rob? I’m sure Elizabetta Canalis will be beautiful and (possibly) graceful, but if her greatest claim to fame is being George Clooney’s ex, does that really constitute even D-list stardom (apparently, yes)? Still, we should be able to expect some wackiness from David Arquette (but hopefully not Adam Carolla-level wacky). Carson Kressley could have some panache, and even if she can’t dance Ricki Lake will probably go far as most affable. But I’m rooting for J.R. Martinez, if only because he has military discipline behind him and an inspirational story — severely burned while serving in Iraq, he’s used his experiences to become a motivational speaker and eventually land on “All My Children.” If he has even an ounce of rhythm, I’m thinking he has my vote.
How do you think each new contestant on “Dancing of the Stars” season 13 will do? Vote here and share your opinions.