Dancing with the Stars kicked off season 8 with thirteen couples. After watching the first episode, this season’s cast doesn’t appear to be as talented as previous seasons. But there are six couples that definitely stand out as possible contenders for the 2009 trophy.
Lil Kim & Derrick Hough
Dance: Cha Cha
Rapper Lil Kim seemed nervous during her first dance, but she showed enough swagger, attitude, and sex appeal to make her a contender. Plus, she is paired with last season’s champ Derrick Hough who is arguably the best choreographer on Dancing with the Stars.
Jackass’ Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer
It is unlikely that Jackass star Steve-O will win Dancing with the Stars based on his natural dancing skills. But as judge Carrie Ann alluded, there was something oddly beautiful about the couple’s performance. He also lucked out being partnered with the ballroom rebel Lacey Schwimmer, who choreographed some of the most interesting dances on last season’s show.
Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke
Dance: Cha Cha
Gilles Marinia and Cheryl Burke were the hottest couple of the night; both in terms of sex appeal and dancing skills. Gilles and Cheryl have great chemistry. And because Cheryl Burke is the most amazing pro on Dancing with the Stars, any star with an ounce of dancing talent always should be considered a contender when partnered with Cheryl Burke.
The only thing working against Gilles and Cheryl is not many are familiar with Gilles Marini who is known for his role in The Sex in the City movie.
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
An early favorite and the youngest dancer, Shawn Johnson proved during her first performance that she is not just skilled at gymnastics. She was elegant and had good footwork during her waltz. The traits that led Shawn Johnson to become an Olympic gold medalist will help her on Dancing with the Stars. Plus, she is extremely likable and paired with a former Dancing with the Stars champ Mark Ballas.
Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dance: Cha Cha
Denise Richards actually was not as good as I had expected. But her biggest problem, as evident through the tears she displayed during the show, seems to be one of confidence. It also seemed the chemistry was lacking somewhat between Denise Richards and partner Maksim.
However, I think both of those issues can be improved, and she does have more natural dancing talent than some of the other contestants on Dancing with the Stars. Also, it helps that Denise Richards is one of the more well-known stars on season 8.
Bachelor’s Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
Melissa Rycroft was recently seen on another reality show, The Bachelor. She was proposed to during the Bachelor finale and then dumped on national TV six weeks later. Melissa was not originally scheduled to be on Dancing with the Stars, but was a last-minute replacement when Nancy O’Dell was injured.
Having only 48 hours to learn the dance, she showed a natural dancing ability and was arguably the most graceful dancer. This combined with the fact Melissa Rycroft is likable and could gain some sympathy votes from Bachelor fans, makes her a contender for the Dancing with the Stars trophy.
However, I think she is partnered with one of the weaker pros. Tony Dovolani generally does not seem to push his stars to be better, and his dances sometimes are boring. The Waltz generally is his best dance.