For example, Cheryl Burke’s new partner William Levy triggered our “Who?!” button, but they explained he’s known for appearing in Jennifer Lopez’s video for “I’m Into You.” Remember when most of us weren’t too familiar with Season 8’s Gilles Marini, except for his role as the majorly hot guy in the Sex and the City movie? Cheryl Burke got Gilles and DWTS was his major “Who is THAT hottie?” debut. We still think they probably should’ve won their season. (Sorry, Shawn Johnson.) Will Cheryl do the same with William Levy? He’s in good hands.
Twenty-year-old Disney star Roshon Fegan is another guy giving us major “Who?!” vibes, just like Kyle Massey did back on Season 11. Lacey Schwimmer (we’ll miss you!) danced with Kyle back then, but this time Chelsie Hightower got the new Disney kid, just like she got young, energetic Louie Vito and Romeo. This is good for Chelsie since she tends to do better with young, hip guys with swagger as opposed to, you know, Michael Bolton.
Gavin DeGraw is the bold-faced name that was accurately spoiled way in advance and he’s a big catch since he’s an active touring Top 40 musician with major hits on the radio right now. So … way to luck out again, Karina Smirnoff. She’s on a streak right now — Ralph Macchio, J.R. Martinez and now Gavin.
Kym Johnson just patiently coached funny guy David Arquette through Season 13 and now she’ll patiently coach funny guy Jaleel White (forever Urkel!) on Season 14.
The two guys who usually get hot young things got the hottest, youngest lady stars — Derek Hough got nervous laugher Maria Menounos, 33, and Mark Ballas got gorgeous opera singer Katherine Jenkins, 31.
The ladies of the cast are a bit older this season and the dowager duchesss of them all is Gladys Knight, 67. Tristan MacManus lucked out to get the biggest name of the cast but she is another older firecracker, like Nancy Grace, just a bit older and less … confrontational? We’ll see how she dances but we really hope team MacKnight (can we start calling it that now?) has that same spark and chemistry as Team MacGrace.
Tony Dovolani almost always gets seasoned ladies who seem like they may be a bit stiff on the dance floor. Chynna Phillips turned out to be a great, if nervous, dancer but it remains to be seen how tennis star Martina Navratilova, 55, will do. It would be nice if Tony got another sexy young thang instead of letting those partners always go to Mark or Derek. Mark has had a streak of them lately.
Peta Murgatroyd returned after her debut season and she got another athlete, Donald Driver. Hopefully he’ll stick with that name for the entire season, instead of changing it to Metta World Peace.
Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya are kind of a wild card couple right now. He has a huge soap opera fan base but Anna is at her best with funny guys like Jerry Rice (who also plays pretty good football, we hear) and Carson Kressley, who needs to return on his own to do … something/anything this season.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy is back after all and he actually got someone new, for him. He usually gets the hot firecrackers who can put up with his intense, passionate, competitive nature, but instead he got Melissa Gilbert, 47, who has yet to show signs of being fiery and headstrong. This is probably a good thing. Maybe she can bring out Maks’ softer side.
Who got luckiest this season? Definitely Maks brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, who upgraded big time from George Clooney’s ex, Elisabetta Canalis, to The View’s Sherri Shepherd. Sherri’s personality is already dominating the season. During the cast intro on GMA she shouted cute notes out and seemed to just be a ball of energy. She and Val are the pair to watch right now.