We have to be realistic. As much as we’d love, say, Bradley Cooper on Dancing With the Stars Season 16, it’s not likely an A-list actor will be enlisting for sequin duty this spring. But some people will sign on, probably a cast of 10 to 12 celebs. Here are a few folks The Powers That Be should consider calling for the spring 2013 season, which starts Monday, March 18 on ABC.
Tim Tebow, 25
The New York Jets quarterback was high on dream cast lists last year and there’s no reason why we can’t bring him back now. Both Karina Smirnoff and Chelsie Hightower have said they’d like Tim as their celeb partner. And even though DWTS alumni Erin Andrews and Emmitt Smith have said Tebow can’t dance and wouldn’t do well, that’s actually a good thing, since he’s young and fit and popular and that’s enough of an advantage.
Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney or Ryan Lochte
Olympians tend to do well on DWTS, and Shawn Johnson has shown exactly how well female gymnasts can do. The Fierce Five gymnasts of the London Olympics danced with Shawn during her All-Stars Freestyle, and they all seemed to have a great time. McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas both said they would "definitely" do DWTS. Then there’s Ryan Lochte, last summer’s flavor of the minute, who has also expressed interest in DWTS. Gabby and McKayla would probably be better dancers, just a guess, but a season filled with Ryan-isms sounds pretty irresistible. Plus, shirtlessness!
Dolly Parton, 66
Dolly is a country goddess, and a hilarious spitfire to boot. Plus, Bachelorette Emily Maynard worships her. If they do cast Emily, it’d be fun to see Dolly there too. But if we had to pick one, sorry Em, but we’d pick Dolly. Unfortunately, Dolly thinks she would be terrible on DWTS, which is why she’s turned the show down for many years now. But starting out as a bad dancer is very in right now, since DWTS lost viewers during All-Stars, which was almost exclusively cast with great dancers.
David Cook, Jordin Sparks ... or someone else from American Idol
Someone needs to finally cross the studio hallway from American Idol to DWTS. We usually get stars from ABC and Disney shows, since they are under the same ownership, but it’d be nice to break out of that box and do more off-network casting. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are arguably the most famous of the FOX show alumni, but also most likely the busiest. There are plenty of other winners to choose from, so pick someone who isn't touring in the spring of 2013. Call up Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery or Phillip Phillips to see if they'd do it. If not, go for a runner-up like Adam Lambert, Lauren Alaina, Jessica Sanchez or David Archuleta. We love them too!
Dia Frampton, Chris Mann, Javier Colon or someone else from The Voice
The Voice keeps borrowing viewers from DWTS, so let's return the favor by featuring one of their most popular stars. Javier Colon won Season 1 and Jermaine Paul won Season 2 .We're not sure about Season 3 yet, but DWTS could tap one of the Season 3 finalists for Season 16 or another favorite from the past two seasons. Yeah, the singers probably have some kind of contractual thing with NBC, but maybe the networks can make nice through the mutual interest of getting mileage out of a budding star.
Christina Aguilera, 31
On that same note, since Christina won't be a coach on The Voice next season, why not steal her from NBC and give her the full DWTS treatment? She can show off her moves — and her inevitable weight loss.
John Rich, 38
We've been hearing John Rich on DWTS for a while now — Big & Rich's "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" is the song used in Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke's iconic Season 2 Freestyle. John was a judge on Nashville Star and won The Celebrity Apprentice, so we know he’s down with reality TV. It’d be fun to see him shake it out there.
Serena Williams, 31, or Venus Williams, 32
Athletes tend to do well on DWTS, and athletes with big personalities are the most fun to watch. The Williams sisters have a long rivalry on the tennis court, so why not bring it to DWTS? They could cast both sisters — they’ve never done anything like that before — or see which lady might be most interested. They are both into fashion and would probably enjoy the funky DWTS costumes, and we love when intense athletes show their vulnerable and fun sides.
Sig Hansen, 46
In May 2010, Deadliest Catch star Sig Hansen told Jay Leno he was “addicted to Dancing With the Stars” and wanted to compete on the show. He later announced that he was planning to dance on the March 2012 Season 14 but, obviously, that didn’t happen. We always love the contestants who are major DWTS fans before they show up, and don’t sign on just for the money or as a career boost. Maybe he can live out a dream this spring.
Anderson Cooper, 45
The silver fox is losing his daytime talk show, Anderson Live, so maybe he'll have some extra time. He'd bring charm and humor to the show, and maybe class up the joint a bit, even with all the sequins and silliness.
Who are your casting suggestions for Season 16?
Dancing With the Stars Season 16 premieres March 18, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.
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