Photo Credit: ABC
Wasn't it lovely to start the day with Tom Bergeron, the reality TV host who makes Ryan Seacrest seem gloomy? If you missed Bergeron's guest spot on Tuesday's Good Morning America, then you didn't get to hear the biggest entertainment news of the day: The Season 16 Dancing With the Stars cast has been chosen, and guess who's on the list!
No, not George Clooney. Sorry, not Anne Hathaway, either. Stop guessing Oscar winners! The cast is, as always, an odd assortment of middling-level stars and off-season pro athletes out to perfect their dance moves and raise their profiles (not necessarily in that order). Here's this season's list of brave contestants and their pro partners -- and our pick for who will make it to the finals, who will be eliminated early, and who will hold their own.
Jacoby Jones, 28 (Baltimore Ravens receiver) and Karina Smirnoff
Expect big things from Jones. Just ask Emmit Smith or Jerry Rice or Donald Driver. Football players kill it on this show.
Dorothy Hamill, 56 (iconic, '70s-era Olympic figure-skater) and Tristan MacManus
Figure skating is basically dancing on ice, right? So just plain dancing, without the skates? No problem! Kristi Yamaguchi won Season 6. Evan Lysacek was the Season 10 runner-up. Hamill should do just fine.
Aly Raisman, 18 (2012 Olympic gold-medal gymnast) and Mark Ballas
Remember the huge advantage that the flipping, tumbling Shawn Johnson had over her fellow contestants during Seasons 8 and 15? Yeah, Aly's got that, too. Our money's on her to win this.
Will Hold Their Own
Wynonna Judd, 48 (country music star and tabloid target) and Tony Dovolani
Judd's a performer, so she might have some dance in her background somewhere. Plus, as one of the more famous contestants, she may be starting out with a larger fan base voting for her. Will she win it? Probably not. Will she achieve her expressed goal of losing weight? Without a doubt.
Kellie Pickler, 26 (country music star and American Idol alum) and Derek Hough
She's cute, and she can probably dance. Doubtful she can out-cha-cha the athletes in this contestant pool, though.
Victor Ortiz, 26 (pro boxer) and Lindsay Arnold (new pro, formerly seen on So You Think You Can Dance)
Fans will enjoy seeing him shirtless, but can he dance? That's a mystery. He could be a break-out star here, or he could be a hunky guy that voters keep around for a while just to see him flex.
D.L. Hughley, 49 (comedian and commentator) and Cheryl Burke
Hughley has a clever wit, which is why this stand-up comic and actor is often asked to guest host talk shows. Do brains translate into fancy footwork? No.
Ingo Rademacher, 41 (General Hospital hunk) and Kym Johnson
Soap stars like J.R. Martinez and Kelly Monaco have had success on DWTS. Still, the little-known Rademacher is a bit of a wild card.
Won't Last Long
Lisa Vanderpump, 52 (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) and Gleb Savchenko (new pro, formerly of the Australian DWTS)
Practicing too much might cause Ms. Vanderpump to break a nail. And that's not allowed in the contract she's signed with RHOBH.
Zendaya Coleman, 16 (Disney Channel's Shake It Up) and Val Chmerkovskiy
As Roshon Fegan, Chelsea Kane and Kyle Massey can attest, Disney Channel stars don't make it to the DWTS finals. Who knows why? It just seems to be a rule.
Andy Dick, 47 (comedic live wire) and Sharna Burgess (new pro from DWTS Troupe)
Unless he's got some secret dance regimen he's been practicing in his basement, Dick doesn't appear to be a fan of the soft shoe. And comedy can't save you from the tango.
Season 16 will premiere on March 18 without three pro dancers -- Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Anna Trebunskaya and Chelsie Hightower -- who have left the show. We'll miss them. But as long as good old Tom Bergeron returns, we'll keep coming back, too!