Twelve celebrities have been named for Dancing With the Stars All-Stars Season 15, with one more to come when we're done voting. But what about their pro partners? The official pairings will be revealed on Monday, August 13, but everyone is already busy speculating. Will some original couples stay together? Will everyone get a new partner?
ABC posted 12 pro photos on its "professionals" link — Anna Trebunskaya, Chelsie Hightower, Cheryl Burke, Derek Hough, Karina Smirnoff, Kym Johnson, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas, Peta Murgatroyd, Tony Dovolani, Tristan MacManus, and Val Chmerkovskiy.
Those are the same pros from Season 14, so either they just left the photos up, or we can expect these exact pros to return for Season 15 — plus a final male or female pro, depending on whether Carson Kressley, Kyle Massey, or Sabrina Bryan is voted in as the 13th contestant.
It sounds like even the pros themselves still don’t know with whom they will be paired. Cheryl noted that she has three past partners in the mix and Mark has two (potentially three if Sabrina returns). Anna doesn’t have anyone from her past unless Carson is voted in. But she’s not worried about the celeb she gets. Anna tweeted on July 28, "I appreciate all the speculations but will know who my partner is soon enough + few weeks. So whoever I get It'll be great! #dwts."
So with absolutely nothing to go on, we’re jumping into the water with pro/celeb partner speculation, assuming — perhaps falsely — that at least a few original couples will stay together.
Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke
Gilles & Cheryl have unfinished business from Season 8. Cheryl won with her other two partners on All-Stars (Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith), so she needs to at least try to get Gilles that Mirror Ball trophy. We think it wouldn’t be fair for past champions to re-team, but runners-up or third-place contestants are fine to try again. If anyone ends up re-paired, it has to be Gilles and Cheryl — especially since they both said they would only return to dance with each other.
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Maks was very much against the idea of re-pairing couples — and since Season 12 runner-up Kirstie is the only one of his past partners returning, chances are he’ll get her again. If not, what are they going to do, give him to Bristol Palin just to see if they fight? Kirstie and Maks brought out the best in each other and it would be nice to see that Maks return and enjoy himself, whether they win or not.
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
All we want for Tony is for him to have fighting chance with a really talented partner — and he could have a shot at winning with his Season 8 partner, Melissa. Melissa is young, fit, determined, and a good fit with Tony. They would be Team Smile with those insanely bright white teeth. Melissa and Tony took third place on Season 8, and this would be their chance to take out the two competitive stars who beat them — Shawn Johnson and Gilles Marini.
Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson
Maybe they won’t re-team Season 4’s Joey and Kym, but since they weren’t champions, why not? Joey has more recent experience from DWTS: Live in Las Vegas and by now Kym already has two Mirror ball trophies under her belt so she knows what it takes to win. If Joey isn’t re-paired with Kym, we’d guess he gets Peta — since Kym and Peta are pretty tall and Joey is one of the taller male All-Stars.
Emmitt Smith & Karina Smirnoff
Karina has never danced with a football player, so maybe it’s her turn. Kym and Peta have already won with football players so they shouldn’t get another instant advantage. Cheryl already won with this particular football player so she definitely shouldn’t get another chance with Twinkle Toes. If Karina doesn’t get Emmitt, we’d guess either Anna or Chelsie will.
Pamela Anderson & Val Chmerkovskiy
Pam is going to need help — extreme dancing assistance (since she didn’t even come close to the finals and she’s competing against six champions) and someone to flirt back with her so she doesn’t come off as cougar creepy, the way she kind of did back on Season 10 with Damian Whitewood. Derek would be great with giving Pamela dancing instruction and patience, and you can't argue with his success rate. Tristan would bring his adorable attitude, patience, and fan base. Val, on the other hand, would bring his dance skills and Chmerkovskiy fan base and — and this is key — he would probably flirt back and give as good as he got. Would they make it to the end? Who knows. But it would be fun to see their chemistry together. Val would enjoy himself for as long as they were around.
Helio Castroneves & Peta Murgatroyd
Frankly, we have no idea where to put the lovely Peta so we’re putting her here. She’s already danced with two athletes — and some people consider race-car drivers athletes — but she’s also tall and some of these guys are really short. No idea what to do with the reigning champion but whoever gets her will be lucky. Helio is adorable and had such a great energy with Julianne. If he doesn’t get Peta, maybe Karina or Chelsie?
Shawn Johnson & Tristan MacManus
Originally we had Mark Ballas here before remembering — oh yeah, he and Shawn won together. It’s possible DWTS will re-pair some champs, but that seems like a way unfair advantage. Shawn is a 20-year-old Olympian with boundless energy, a huge fan base and a smile for days. Our favorite lucky charm has yet to have a young partner — and he and Shawn would be so cute together just imagining their Jives and Cha-Chas makes rainbows appear in the sky.
Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya
Drew has mad skills, a likable personality, and a competitive attitude. He knows what it takes to win. As he showed with Cheryl back on Season 2, if you give him an ambitious routine — like their famous Freestyle — he can pull it off in spades. The last time Anna had a partner with as much natural skill as Drew was back on Season 10 with Evan Lysacek. They made it to second place and it’s possible Drew and Anna would able to climb the list just as well. Then Anna would just need to bring it out in the Freestyle.
Kelly Monaco & Mark Ballas
Kelly will probably be the rustiest of all the stars since she was the original winner, back in 2005 on Season 1, when there were only six couples. Mark is patient and creative and has a good success rate. Plus, Kelly is still fit and gorgeous, so once she gets up-to-speed they could be a dark horse couple to watch.
Apolo Anton Ohno & Chelsie Hightower
Olympian Apolo is a frontrunner all on his own, so it would be nice to see him with a young, hungry pro like Chelsie, who has yet to make it to the finals. She has a great chill energy — just like she did with another athlete, Louie Vito — and they would be cute together.
Bristol Palin & Derek Hough
Derek has won DWTS three times and he’s never been voted out early. Every time he succeeds, someone sniffs that it’s because he always gets the best partners. Well, bless her heart, Bristol has never been confused with the best partner. She definitely has her own fan base, and they helped her take third place with Mark back on Season 11, but she’s going to be competing against six past winners and at least three runner-ups. She’ll need to bring more than she did before and that’s where Derek comes in. If anyone can make her great, it’s him. Plus, Mark is his best friend, so he can give Derek tips on what works with her and what doesn’t. If Derek doesn’t get Bristol, we’ll guess Tristan does.
Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas
If Sabrina is chosen as the “Viewers Choice,” she’ll probably be re-paired with her Season 5 partner, Mark. That would change our list above, perhaps giving Dmitry Chaplin or Louis van Amstel an opportunity to compete.
Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer
Dying for Kyle and Lacey to come back. They were so much fun on Season 11 and Lacey is nowhere to be found on this list yet. It would be great to see them both again.
Carson Kressley & Anna or Kym
Carson and Anna already had their fun back on Season 13 and they could dance together again — or maybe Carson could dance with his DWTS BFF, Kym, and Anna could take Kym’s old partner, Joey. Unless Peta gets Joey, since Peta’s pretty tall and so is Joey. Then maybe Anna with Helio? This whole thing is so confusing. Maybe Carson should just dance with Tom Bergeron. He’s usually just standing there — ask him to dance!
What partnerships are you dying to see? Let us know in the comments below.
Dancing With the Stars Season 15: All-Stars will premiere on Monday, September 24 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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