Well kids, bet you didn’t realize this, but ABC’s popular dance competition show, Dancing with the Stars — where C-list celebrities (okay, more like D or E-list) duke it out on the dance floor — is coming back for its 14th season in March. I hate admitting I watch this show, but it’s one that my mom and I look forward to. We never vote, but we love the costumes so we put up with Tom Bergeron’s lame jokes and Len Goodman’s kill-joy attitude.
The latest 12 contestants were announced and for the first time I had only heard of 5 of them, not the majority like in past seasons. At first I felt like I’d been living under a rock for the last ten months, but then I did a little research (if you’re a regular reader, then you know I never do this) of the new dancers and it made sense to me why they were chosen. I then started to wonder which ads I’d be subjected to based on this year’s contestants: these are my predictions!
1. Sherri Shepherd is an actress, comedienne, and one of the co-hosts for ABC’s popular daytime talk show The View (I’m sure it was a complete coincidence she was asked). She was probably selected to pull in the 25-45 year old woman demographic. Unfortunately, paper towels, toilet paper, and minivan commercials will be on the rise since that’s apparently all women of this age worry about according to advertisers.
2. Jack Wagner is a soap actor who has most recently been on The Bold and the Beautiful, Melrose Place, and General Hospital (aired on ABC). His acting career has spanned several decades and different types: TV shows, theatrical performances, and TV movies. He’ll be sure to get the attention of the soap fans out there (I’m sure he’s the one my 85 year old grandmother will be rooting for). Get ready for lots of pharmaceutical ads for aliments you didn’t even know you could have!
3. Martina Navratilova is the only tennis player in history to win Grand Slam titles in four different decades, including a record 9 Wimbledon singles championships! She is currently the Fitness Ambassador for AARP, and in 2010, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is now cancer-free and has become a champion for breast cancer awareness. Look for ads that empower women as well as young girls; I predict lots of Nike and ADIDAS commercials.
4. Gladys Knight will make you stand up and sing “That’s What Friends are For” when you see her descend down the staircase. She has recorded more than 38 albums over the years, including four solo albums during the past decade alone. I’m pretty sure this is someone I’ve heard my mom talk about. She recently appeared in the Tyler Perry film I Can Do Bad All by Myself, so be looking for ads promoting his latest films and projects.
5. Melissa Gilbert didn’t instantly make me go, “oh her!” but when I realized she played Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, I remembered her (or at least when she was nine). She’s done a lot since her days on the prairie, including making her directorial debut with the ABC after school special Me and My Hormones (wow, another ABC connection. Shocking). She’s a devoted mother to her four sons, so be ready for laundry detergent commercials, as well as ads for Walmart and Honda minivans.
6. Katherine Jenkins is one of the contestants I had never heard of before, but apparently she’s a Mezzo Soprano who has sold over seven million albums since her career took off in 2004. She is also known for her long-standing work with the British Forces Foundation and has made various trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to help entertain the troops. This support for the troops has led her to being referred to as the Forces Sweetheart. I think ABC is hoping that America’s military families will appreciate having someone to root for.
7. Jaleel White, or as he’s better known, Steve Urkel from Family Matters, will be showing off his mad dancing skills (hope they’ve improved since the nineties). He played a role in the feature film last year Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer, and produced and starred in his own web series Fake It ‘Til You Make It. He seems to be pretty big with the kiddos as well as their parents who remember him from back in the day. Look for ads featuring upcoming kids and family movies during the commercial breaks.
8. Roshon Fegan is another contestant that I’d never heard of. Chances are though, if you don’t regularly watch Disney Channel (which is owned by ABC) he’s a fresh face. He’s this season’s required ‘teenybopper-heart-throb’ to get parents and kids to sit and watch together in peace. Look for lots of ads promoting anything Disney or family related, especially those Disney theme park commercials that we all know and love.
9. Donald Driver is a receiver for the famed Green Bay Packers and will be this season’s quintessential “sports celebrity” to get guys interested to watch. He comes from a very interesting background; he grew up homeless and lived in a U-Haul truck for a period of time. Because of his past he became very community-minded. He his wife, Betina, created the Donald Driver Foundation in 2001 with a focus on homelessness, education, and health and wellness initiatives. Bring on the ads for the guys in the room; truck and car commercials and some ads focused on the snack aisles of the grocery stores.
10. Gavin DeGraw will also be on this season, which will be great to promote his latest CD, ‘Sweeter,’ which dropped in September. He’s best known for his singing career (“Chariot” and “Not Over You” probably come to mind) and for “penning” the One Tree Hill theme song. He’ll bring in the female 18-34 demographic probably, so lots of makeup commercials.
11. William Levy is an interesting choice for DWTS, but one look into his eyes and you’ll know why this “Brad Pitt of Mexico” was chosen. He’s been on several telenovas which will pull in the Hispanic market that ABC has maybe been hoping to attract. Not that I’m complaining, I wouldn’t mind seeing him samba or waltz!
12. Last but certainly not least is Maria Menounos, who has been seen on TV for years, whether on Entertainment Tonight, Today, Dateline or Nightly News. With her work she has traveled to El Salvador, South Africa, and Afghanistan to report on earthquakes, the AIDS epidemic and the war. Instead of passively sitting back, she created the charity “Take Action Hollywood!” — which tries to use the powerhouse of the entertainment industry to educate, empower and raise social awareness. She’ll be sure to bring in both female and male demographics!
Whether you love or hate this show, you have to admit it sure gets people talking. We’ll see how accurate these predictions are when the season starts up on Monday, March 19th at 8/7 central.
Who do you see going to the finale? Who do you think will be the first to go? Do you even care? Shout off below!