Dancing With The Stars, Season 16 – Meet The Cast

One-Sentence Summary:  The pros are back and ready to dance with people they never heard of.

Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 6.34.34 PMOur Thoughts:

Rachel:  The illusion netting and spandex is back for Season 16 of Dancing With The Stars, and as usual, they are pushing the definition of “star” to the max.  It’s also my first season without Maks in the line-up.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  We all know how I love to bitch & moan about him…  I think I might miss it. Well, at least we still have Val and his chest to keep me occupied.

And in case you missed it last season.  We will be live tweeting the show, so make sure you’re following us on Twitter – @twowineybitches.  Original, right?  Join the conversation and let us know what you think as the stars take the floor for the first time.

Here is our guide to the latest motley crew of pros and the people that will be stepping on their toes…

ALEXANDRA RAISMAN

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER:  MARK BALLAS

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ABC Says:  Just 18 years old, Alexandra Raisman captained the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team to its first team gold medal since the 1996 Olympic Games. Raisman added the United States’ first ever gold medal in the floor exercise and also won a bronze on the balance beam, making her the most decorated American gymnast in London.

Rachel Says:  How can I not love a fellow Member of The Tribe that danced to the Hava Nagila and brought home Olympic gold?  Excited to see Alexandra rock the floor again.  I also love her partner, Mark.  To me, he is the edgiest of the pros, so I think this could be a really winning combo.  Thus far, she’s my fave.  Then again, she’s the only person I’ve discussed.

ANDY DICK

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: SHARNA BURGESS

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What ABC Says:  Andy Dick is an American comedian, actor, writer, director, musician and producer. Dick grew up in the Chicago area where he participated in many stage productions. During his senior year of high school, Dick’s love of performing proved decisive as he was elected homecoming king.

What Rachel Says:  Really?  Seriously?  No.  There’s no surprise the newbie pro, Sharna, got partnered with this guy.  He’s not long for the dancing road.  At least I  hope not.  He bugs.  Big time.

D.L. HUGHLEY

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: CHERYL BURKE

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What ABC Says:  D.L Hughley, one of the most popular and highly recognized standup comedians on the road today has also made quite an impression in the television, film and radio arenas.  First and foremost a standup comedian, his fifth stand-up special Reset premiered on Showtime in 2012 and is currently available on DVD.  Known for being astute and politically savvy, Hughley served as host of the late night talk show D.L. Hughley Breaks the News on CNN. He was both star and producer of his namesake television show that ran on ABC and UPN The Hughleys. He is one of the standout comedians of the hit comedy docu-film The Original Kings of Comedy.

What Rachel Says:  OK, I like DL.  I’ll like him more if he makes me laugh this season.  Being that he’s a comedian, I’m thinking there’s a good shot of that happening.  Granted, Andy Dick aslo calls himself a comedian.  He’s in good hands with Cheryl, but not good enough for him to usurp Alexandra’s #1 spot on Team Rachel.

DOROTHY HAMILL

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: TRISTAN MACMANUS

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What ABC Says:  Dorothy Hamill captured the Gold Medal at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria at the age of 19. Overnight, she became one of those rare champions who transcended her sport and captured the country’s imagination.

What Rachel Says:  Just seeing Dorothy’s name brings back disturbing memories of more than one tragic elementary school picture of me sporting the pageboy haircut she made famous.  I see she intends to torture me further by insisting on still having the same ‘do 30+ years later.  Thankfully, I’ll be spending more time watching cutie Tristan than Dorothy, so I might not be totally traumatized by visions of pageboy hair, plaid shirts and the scarves my mother insisted I wear.  I don’t know about her.  She seems more suited to old YouTube videos of Battle of The Network Stars.

INGO RADEMACHER

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: KYM JOHNSON

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What ABC Says:  Soap opera star Ingo Rademacher is best known to audiences as the charismatic Jasper “Jax” Jacks on ABC’s General Hospital. Rademacher originated the role of “Jax,” having first aired on General Hospital in January of 1996. His other television credits include Hawaii Five-OTitansVeronica’s Closet, and According To Jim.

What Rachel Says:   I was going to go off on a tangent about how no one watches soap operas anymore until I remembered a certain Winey Bitch that DVRs General Hospital every day.  So, I guess she’s the one keeping these shows in business.  I’m not mad at him, if he is indeed as cute as the picture makes him look.  Partnering with Kym might make them the hottest couple on the floor, but I’m not ready to give him William Levy status yet.  I’ll need a little ass shaking first… please.

JACOBY JONES

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: KARINA SMIRNOFF

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What ABC Says:  Jacoby Jones is a professional football player for the 2013 Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens. Jones began his professional career after being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2009 and was signed by the Baltimore Ravens in 2012.

What Rachel Says:  Aw, hell no.  There is no part of this die-hard Steelers fan that is going to root for a Raven, especially the first Raven to return a punt for a touchdown against the Steelers.  He might be lovely as a person, but he is getting no love over here.  None.  {{{  Folds arms & huffs in a display of faux defiance. }}}

KELLIE PICKLER

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: DEREK HOUGH

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What ABC Says:  Kellie Pickler grew up immersed in country music in the small town of Albemarle, North Carolina with the words of Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton shaping her musical footing.  At the age of 19, she gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of American Idol, and in 2006, signed to 19 Recordings/BNA Records to release her debut, Small Town Girl, which has gone on to sell over 800,000 copies and produce three singles: “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder,” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.”

What Rachel Says:  I could have sworn she was on this show already.  Maybe she just sang.  Or maybe my Swiss cheese brain is confusing American Idol with this show.  It’s possible.  She’s lucky she has Derek as her partner, because methinks she might need someone with a whole lotta patience.  I’m not saying she’s an airhead… Yes, I am.  She’d be screwed if Maks was her partner.  I think she’ll be entertaining for sure, but not sure if she’s going to be able to rock the choreography.  I give her a middle spot in the pack.

LISA VANDERPUMP

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: GLEB SAVCHENKO

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What ABC Says:  Hailing from London, restaurateur, designer, author, philanthropist, producer and television personality Lisa Vanderpump moved to the United States eight years ago.  Vanderpump is best known for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which she joined in 2010. In 2013, Bravo launched Vanderpump’s own reality television show, Vanderpump Rules. The show follows Vanderpump as she balances her motherly instincts with a shrewd business sense while keeping the passionate and volatile staff at her West Hollywood restaurant in line.

What Rachel Says:  Holy airbrushed photo, Batman!  Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love me some Lisa.  Her particular brand of humor and snark makes me laugh.  I’m not sure, however, that I’ll be as enthused about her moves on the dance floor.  I’m gonna root for her, but I think she’ll only last a few weeks… or until the pink stretch fabric runs out.  Newbie pro, Gleb, being paired with her doesn’t make me think the producers expect her around that long either.  You know they bank on the pro faves sticking around for a while.  Oh come on.  You know they do.

SEAN LOWE

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: Peta Murgatroyd

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What ABC Says:  Sean Lowe has set hearts aflutter as the star of the The Bachelor which just concluded its 17th season on ABC. Sean’s “rosy” journey to The Bachelor was not without its, well…thorns. Originally as a contestant on the eighth edition of The Bachelorette, Lowe was eliminated right before the show’s finale. But heartbreak didn’t derail his pursuit of love and happiness as Lowe soon signed on as ABC’s next Bachelor.

What Rachel Says:  Oh boy, Val has a stiff competitor in the pecs category and I have no doubt they will be exploited to the max.  Sean made a fan when he picked my girl Catherine to receive the final rose on The Bachelor.  Apparently America at large is a fan too seeing as how he scored a coveted 12th spot on the show.  He’s dancing with hottie Peta.  I’m thinking Catherine might have another woman to worry about.  OK, maybe not.  We know he’s a goodie goodie.  Then again, you know how those fame aneurysms can screw with someone’s head.  However, if his dancing looks anything like his kissing, he won’t be doing a little bump & grind with Peta for long.

VICTOR ORTIZ

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: LINDSAY ARNOLD

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What ABC Says:  Victor Ortiz is a living, breathing example of the American dream. From a broken home in a small town in Kansas to the bright lights of the boxing ring, Ortiz has used every obstacle he has encountered along his journey to fuel his strength and attain his dreams.  As former Welterweight Boxing Champion, Ortiz finally found his life’s calling as a world class athlete. The nickname “Vicious” describes Ortiz when he’s in the ring, but his million-dollar smile is a preview to his heart of gold. His ability to connect with people on a human level has kept the spotlight from blinding him. Realizing the importance of hard work, dedication, and family at an early age, Ortiz always finds a way to give back.

What Rachel Says:  I got nothing here.  Never heard of the kid.  Never heard of his partner either so that doesn’t help.  However, I like his story.  I like it a lot.  I’m a big fan of the “American Dream” tale and have a feeling there might be a hanky moment for me when he inevitably tells it.  I’m imagining that will be the night of the “Memorable  Moment” dances.  I’m getting misty just thinking about it.  Careful Alexandra, he has #1 potential.

WYNONNA JUDD

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: TONY DOVOLANI

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What ABC Says:  Five-time Grammy winner and New York Times bestselling author, Wynonna Judd has always revolved her career around telling stories. Whether performing alongside her mother as one half of the legendary duo The Judds, or pushing the boundaries on her own mega-successful solo path, Judd’s ability to reach the heart of the human spirit through her bold and unflinching honesty, is the entertainer’s true gift.

What Rachel Says:  I know who Wynonna Judd is, but know pretty much nothing about her.  I think I like her.  I can’t come up with a reason why I don’t, and everyone knows it’s not at all hard for me to come up with reasons to not like someone.  So, the jury is out.  Dance for me, Wynonna.  Dance for me and I shall decide if you stay or go… in my own mind.

ZENDAYA 

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: Val Chmerkovskiy

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What ABC Says:  Multi-talented actress and singer, Zendaya, stars as Raquel “Rocky” Blue, one half of the comedic duo, in the hit Disney Channel series Shake It Up! and is currently recording her debut album on Hollywood Records.

What Rachel Says:  Who?  Never heard of the kid.  Apparently she’s famous enough to have only one name though.  Not gonna lie…. I can already tell she’s going to work my nerves the way little Disney darling Chelsea Kane drove me bananas.  It’s not going to help that she’s dancing with Val’s pecs, but I fear she’ll be around for the long haul.  Those Disney kids always are.  Blech.

Bottom Line:

Rachel:  OK, so as of right now, I’m fully Team Alexandra.  Who are you rooting for on night one?  Don’t forget to join us on Twitter!

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