Does Dancing With the Stars Have It Out for Some of the Pros?
By ANGEL COHN
Updated 7:45 PM EDT, Mon, Aug 24, 2009
So last week Dancing With the Stars revealed their season 9 cast, and now they've released the info about which celeb gets partnered with which dancer. Is it bad that I feel for some of these dancers? Even Cheryl Burke, who is stuck with Tom DeLay, who likely won't take her to the finals like Gilles did last season. But while there's a lot of give and take, and I'm sure that producers spend minutes hours figuring out who to pair up with whom, it does seem like certain dancers get the short-shrift more often than not.
Take Edyta Sliwinska. She's been on this show for all the seasons, and she's never won. She came close with Jason Taylor, but is usually ousted in the middle of the pack. Not only did she have the unlucky break of being previously partnered with perma-orange George Hamilton, now she's got his smarmy looking son Ashley to contend with this season. That just doesn't seem fair, which alone wouldn't have caught my attention, but Jonathan Roberts got paired with Macy Gray. He's never won, and has had the misfortune of being eliminated first two times. I think he might have a three-peat on his hands, but probably not the kind he wants... unless he likes getting kicked off early. Anything's possible.
Tony Dovolani has pulled the "older lady" card again (he also danced with Jane Seymour, Susan Lucci and was initially paired with Nancy O'Dell until she injured herself and Tony landed Bachelor dumpee Melissa Rycroft) with Kathy Ireland. Not that she's ancient, but at 46, she's the oldest female competitor this season. She may end up being a powerhouse, but it seems unlikely that he'll make it to the finals again this season like he did with Melissa last year.
Louis Van Amstel got the oddball/reality contestant this season, per usual. In the past he's danced with Lisa Rinna, Trista Sutter, Monique Coleman (from High School Musical) and Priscilla Presley, and now he's got Kelly Osbourne. He just seems to be the pro who winds up with the person they have no idea what to do with. He may be off quickly, which hopefully means more choreography from him on So You Think You Can Dance: The Fall Edition.
Speaking of which, adorable Chelsie Hightower, who got her start on SYTYCD, is back for her sophomore season, and dancing with another unknown. Last year she got rodeo clown cowboy Ty Murray, who had a very limited fan base. This year she's got Louie Vito who is a snowboarder and relatively new face to those who don't obsess over the X-games.
I'm not necessarily a conspiracy theorist, but it certainly does seem to me that some celebs get better prospects. Then again Karina landed the Woz last year, and at least got Aaron Carter this year, who is recognizable and may at least have dance experience with music videos. Maybe it's just a matter of paying dues from season to season, or sheer luck of the draw, but whatever the case, I really do pity Edyta this year.