‘Dancing With the Stars’: Early read on Season 7


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By now, you’ve probably read about the lineup for Season 7 of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ which kicks off on Sept. 22.

This time around, we’ve got not one, but two Olympic gold medalists -- Misty May-Treanor and Maurice Greene -- but neither beach volleyball nor track would seem to present as big an advantage as ice skating did for Kristi Yamaguchi, the Season 6 winner. That said, of course, Olympians certainly know how to be disciplined in their training and how to handle adversity. And May-Treanor signaled a willingness to do absolutely anything when she presented her bikini-clad bottom for the president to slap. (He declined.)


In the category of athletes, there’s also Super Bowl champion Warren Sapp. Will he do as well as fellow NFL star Jason Taylor did last season? And what matters more, athleticism or deep experience with the reality genre, as represented in chef Rocco DiSpirito?

I was interested to see that Brooke Burke was included, as I only know of her because of her frequent appearances in the pages of Us Weekly. But she shouldn’t be underestimated -- any woman who can churn out that many children in close succession and retain such a tight abdomen is a force to be reckoned with.

Now, if you thought Priscilla Presley and George Hamilton were old and Mario was young, think again. Season 7’s cast includes 82-year-old Cloris Leachman and 19-year-old Cody Linley.

Adding drama to the lineup are Toni Braxton, who suffers from pericarditis, and Susan Lucci, who, as Erica Kane on ‘All My Children,’ has staged a prison break and fought a grizzly bear.

Initially, when rumors of the Season 7 cast began leaking out, I had high hopes for Kim Kardashian. But when I learned of her recent scrape with a broken hotel mirror, I had to reconsider, since those seem like the sorts of injuries that Kim might repeatedly face. I mean, come on: How did that mirror get broken in the first place?

One of the more marquee names of Season 7 is Lance Bass, known for being semi-famous and then publicly gay. Several news outlets, in daring reporting, inquired whether he’d be paired with a male pro; the answer is no. I hardly find this surprising given that I harbor suspicions about the sexual orientation of some male professional ballroom dancers, and they’re always paired with women. So what has Lance been up to lately? Apparently, supporting Christina Applegate through her double mastectomy.

Perhaps reprising the role of Adam Carolla last season is comedian Jeffrey Ross. It remains to be seen whether he also has a movie to plug.

Finally, in a worrisome choice, the producers included Ted McGinley. I did not realize this, but McGinley is considered the ‘patron saint’ of because he frequently appears on television series shortly before they commence sliding in the ratings and ultimately being canceled. Are the ‘DWTS’ producers playing with fire?

Weigh in with any predictions on likely favorites or those certain to hit the exits in the early weeks. If it helps you in your prognostications, here are the pairings. See you in late September!

-- Sarah Rogers