Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Official: Dancing With the Stars has Jumped the Shark

Before I comment on the next season of DWTS, I noticed that Idol is adding a fourth judge to the table. No, it won't be the High Lord. Nor will it be Jennifer. It's Kara DioGuardi.

Who?

Apparently, she's a successful songwriter who's penned hits for Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood and Pink. I could pick her out of a lineup, but any new blood is good news for the show. Especially now that Nigel has left the show.

I just hope she can bring some fresh phrases and a level head to the show. If she starts slurping up one singer ahead of the rest, I'll hope she gets the Dunkleman treatment. Otherwise, we'll see how she pans out.

Now on to today's big news . . .

ABC announced the cast of season 7 of Dancing With the Stars.

Over the past few weeks, there have been some leaks, and by and large, there aren't many real surprises on the list.

Here are my quick hit thoughts on the celeb dancers based on my impressions of how I think they'll dance. Note that I have no inside information; these are just my gut feelings.

The Contenders

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
Boy-banders have traditionally done well beginning with Drew Lachey and continuing on through Joey Fatone and Sabrina Bryan (I know, she's a girl-bander). He's good looking and will draw heavily from people who are inclined to vote for people who are of the gay. I think he'll start strong and perform at a high level. He needs to avoid peaking too early. Being pared with Lacey (of SYTYCD 3) might hurt him because she's new and I've never seen her choreography.

Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo
She strikes me a someone who could be a very good dancer. She's got a lot of class, but might come off as a little stuffy. She could be this year's Vivica A. Fox or she could be Lisa Rinna 2.0. After winning the rigged first season of DWTS, Alec has drawn a crop of sub-par celebs and this may be the year he gets back into the top tier and goes deep into the competition.

Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Fresh off of repeating as an Olympic gold medalist, I only hope she wears some more of those beach volleyball outfits. Only without the tape. Athletes have traditionally done well on the show because they're disciplined, competitive and in great shape. Unless she has less rhythm than Monica Seles, Misty could do very well. let's just hope that Maks's hot streak continues into this season.

Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke
Being pared with the two-time champ/taskmistress automatically makes Maurice a contender. After being saddled with Ian Ziering and Wayne Newton, Cheryl gets a chance at a third title. Another athlete, all he needs is a little bit of natural talent and Cheryl will get the more out of him than any of the other pros will get out of their partners.

Eye Candy

Kim Kardashian and Mark Ballas
What do I know about Kim? 1. Her dad helped OJ stay out of jail (the first time). 2. She's Reggie Bush's girlfriend. 3. Her mom and Bruce Jenner have a TV show on E!. 4. There's a sex tape of her circulating on the internet. Her public persona is that she should be lumped in with Paris Hilton and Nichole Ritchie as just another vapid, mindless bimbo. She'll certainly be pretty, but she could just be another Shanna Moakler or Shandi Finnessey. Being pared with the defending champ will help, but I'll have to see her dance before I think of her as anything but a pretty face. I only hope she has the competitive fire of Shannon Elizabeth.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
Getting paired with one of the show's rising stars will help Brooke. Derek has shown that he's a good choreographer and has done remarkably well with Shannon and Jennie Garth. Brooke looks great in a bathing suit, which means she'll look great on this show, but I don't see her bringing much else to the table.

Cody Linley and Julienne Hough
First of all, I don't know who the hell this kid is. I wouldn't know him if he introduced himself to me. I put him in this category because he's on Hannah Montana and they don't allow ugly people on that show (they even made Billy Ray cut his mullet off). He may be a good dancer; if he is, the Future Mrs. High Lord will certainly turn him into a great dancer. If he's a crappy dancer and gets eliminated early, I may quit watching.

Sentimental Favourites

Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas
Apparently Corky is Mark's dad. That's kind of appropriate considering that he's also young enough for his partner to be his mother . . . kind of like three generations all on one show. If I were a betting man, I'd put the over/under on this couple at 1½ weeks. Frau Blücher is a wonderful actress, but I'd worry about her breaking a hip or her pacemaker exploding. Don't expect any lifts or twirls and do expect lots of talk about her being "an inspiration".

Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani
Despite killing Stacy's chances at winning with his crappy choreography, Tony has had a slew of unlucky/bad picks with celebs. Starting with Sara Evans's unfortunate withdraw and continuing, Tony has gotten a string of partners who were never contenders to begin with, although he lasted a lot longer with Marissa than I thought he would. Susan will be this year's Jane who will be kept around due to the soap opera crowd, but won't be able to compete with the rest of the field.

Ted McGinley and Inna Brayer
Ah . . . where to begin . . . In case you didn't know, the world of Jump the Shark revolves around Ted McGinley. While I'm not convinced that he's going to kill this show, I don't think he'll last very long. To be fair, he hasn't always destroyed a series he's come in contact with (The West Wing, for example). It might help him that his partner is a virgin to the show. With any luck, she doesn't have access to the interweb and will never try to find out what Jumping the Shark means.

Train Wrecks

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Former NFL players have a strong track record on this show. Emmitt won, Jerry and Jason had strong showings. I don't see Warren going quite as well. I hear he's lost some of his playing weight but I don't think of defensive linemen as being agile and quick. Still, he had to have some moves to be the sack beast he was. He's lucky to have gotten Kym, who is due to have a good season after being shafted with Mark Cuban and Penn Gillette.

Jeff Ross and Edyta Śliwińska
Think of Adam Carolla . . . only not as funny . . . and that's Jeffrey Ross. I hope he tries, but I get the feeling that he may be the first to leave. That would be a shame because Edyta tends to wear the least amount of clothes and likes to shimmey around a lot. I don't know that I'd give odds for them at greater than 10,000 to 1. And that's to make it to week 4.

Rocco DiSpirito and Karina Smirnoff
Another celeb making the rounds on the reality show circuit, Rocco strikes me as someone who is very competitive, but I just don't know that he has the talent. Karina has done well in the past, but she has also had her share of duds (not her fault). I'd look for him to the third or fourth dancer eliminated.

Sadly, Samantha "Vacant Look" Harris is still around bring her particular brand of unintentional comedy to the show.

I guess that balances keeping Tom around . . . because he's only the best reality TV show host alive.

Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno are back for more and I think the show will have another strong season. It's still the athletes's to lose, but this years show appears to have a reasonably deep field.

We'll just have to see how things shake out.

I hope everyone is ready for school to start.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This is awesome!

Sorry to be such a stranger lately, but I've been on a little summer hiatus. There's been some travel, some new stuff showed up at the house and I've really just been a lazy bum.

I'll try and make it up to you later.

Meanwhile, check this out:



Oh, and who else has heard that Nigel is leaving American Idol. I hope it wasn't the viewer phone calls that cost him his job.

In other news, since football season is coming up, I'm starting up a Pick 'Em league. The first 50 people to sign up are welcome. If you would like to participate, please send me an email and I'll get you the log in info. You will need a Yahoo! login to participate.