SAN DIEGO, March 19, 2016 – If you’re placing a bet on the winner of “Dancing With the Stars” this spring in Season 22, you would be foolish to ignore our predictions. We’ve got a smoking hot track record. We called it for Bindi Irwin last season (OK, along with Nick Carter), and Rumer Willis the previous season.
In all we’ve been right on target nearly every season. Join our weekly DWTS chat (below) to share your predictions and fan observations.
“Dancing With the Stars” debuts Monday, March 21 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on the ABC Television Network. Join our weekly chat, here on CommDigiNews.com
But we love our surprises too. Last season it was American hero Alex Skarlatos making the finals, and who can forget Tommy Chong’s fantastic run?
This spring, DWTS producers have gone back to their tried and true formula for cast choices. There isn’t an internet star or a teenager in sight. Instead, we’ve got TV actors from our favorite shows of the past, NFL players and other athletes, and a few names straight out of the news headlines in the lineup.
No matter the mix of stars and returning pros, fans can always count on a dramatic mix of successes and failures, surprises, disappointments, overcoming the odds and a hot mess or two. It’s what we love about the show in addition to the ballroom dancing.
Our pre-season predictions return in our traditional three categories: The Also-Rans, The Jury Is Out, The Contenders.
The DWTS Also-Rans: Mischa Barton, Doug Flutie, Marla Maples, and Geraldo Rivera
This season’s cast has no teens, and it has only three competitors over 50: former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, the ex-Mrs. Trump Marla Maples, and 72-year-old Geraldo Rivera. Sorry for all of us in the AARP crowd, but they are all here.
The season is grueling and it’s a real challenge with a lot of athletes in this year’s cast to keep up. Geraldo Rivera is far from your typical 70-something. He’s in exceptionally good shape from running after people who don’t want to talk to him and mixing it up on Fox News.
But it’s still going to be a test for him. He should stick around a few weeks and his fans might keep him in the mix longer.
Doug Flutie may have some dance skills, but he will compete for votes with two other active NFL stars and this will hurt him. Marla Maples is out of those “out of the headlines” choices, but it’s hard to figure out where her vote will come from. It pains me to have Mischa Barton here, but frequently on DWTS a gorgeous woman simply can’t let go enough to shine, and comes off stiff (Elisabetta Canalis, Paulina Porizkova, Susan Lucci, Denise Richards, Holly Madison, Kathy Ireland, Shannon Doherty, Kim Kardashian).
The DWTS Jury Is Out: Nyle DiMarco, Kim Fields, Von Mller, Jodie Sweetin
This group is a wild grab bag, starting with Nyle DiMarco, the deaf model who recent won on “America’s Next Top Model.” Partner Peta Murgatroyd will have a challenge with choreography and training, but if Nyle’s fans follow him here, they will give him every chance. Von Miller has the same problem as Doug Flutie, competing against two other NFL names for votes, and it’s like Steeler Nation will come through for Antonio Brown like they did for Hines Ward. Miller would have to be that much better than Brown to stick around into the final few weeks.
Kim Fields and Jodie Sweetin will also be splitting the TV nostalgia vote between fans of “The Facts of Life” and “Full House.” Sweetin has recently returned in “Fuller House,” and new fans know Fields from “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
The DWTS Contenders: Antonio Brown, Wanya Morris, Paige VanZant and Ginger Zee
We have 100 percent confidence your winner will be one of these four competitors. Of the three NFL players, Brown has the most talent and the most rabid fans who will vote. He’s dancing with the show’s best choreographer (after Derek Hough), Sharna Burgess. She’s never won and she’s hungry. This is a formula for success.
Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men will have all the right moves from his days on the stage, and fan appeal in the same way as Season 21 finalist Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys fame. Morris drew pro partner Lindsay Arnold and they seem to be a perfect match. Lindsay came close last season with Alek Skarlatos. She’s got a lot more to work with here.
Paige VanZant’s name might not be familiar to you, but keep your eye on this 21-year-old mixed martial arts athlete. She’s smoking hot, she’s got Mark Ballas as a partner, and her parents owned a dance studio. The only question mark is whether her UFC fans will watch and vote, and whether the general DWTS audience will embrace her over better known names.
Ginger Zee brings the entire “Good Morning America” and ABC machine with her in her role as the show’s meteorologist. She’s lively, she already looks smashing in a skimpy costume after just having a baby, and she’s dancing with former Mirror Ball Trophy winner and fan favorite Val Chmerkovskiy.
Three months from now, don’t be surprised to see Wanya and Lindsay, Antonio and Sharna, and Ginger and Val fighting for the Mirror Ball Trophy, with Wanya and Lindsay pulling it out for the win. You read it here first.
Our Communities disco ball is nice and shiny in its spot above the virtual ballroom floor, ready for our first live chat of Season 22 on Monday, March 21 at 8 p.m. How will the fresh new competitors react when they are hit with the bright lights and the music? Who storms out on to the floor with confidence, and who needs more rehearsal time?
Week 1 Assignments
The couples will dance a Cha Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Jive, Tango, or Quickstep for week one. All will advance to week 2 of the competition.
Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: Quickstep, “Bad Man” by Pitbull
Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff: Foxtrot, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska: Cha Cha Cha, “Treasure” by Bruno Mars
Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jive, “Move” from the musical “Dreamgirls”
Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe: Tango, “Confident” by Demi Lovato
Kim Fields and Sasha Farber: Cha Cha Cha, “Sax” by Fleur East
Marla Maples and Tony Dovoloni: Quickstep, “Sparkling Diamonds” from the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack
Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev: Tango, “in The Night” by The Weeknd
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: Cha Cha Cha, “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: Foxtrot, “Ain’t Got Far To Go” by Jess Glynne
Von Miller and Witney Carson: Foxtrot, “My House” by Flo Rida
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: Cha Cha Cha, “Motownphilly” by Boyz II Men
Voting information: Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday nights during the show and up to one hour after the end of the DWTS broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Tuesday evenings.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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