1. Jaleel White
Why you recognize him: The one and only Steve Urkel from “Family Matters.”
Strengths: The man can really dance (see: the music video for Cee Lo’s “Cry Baby”).
Weaknesses: Multiple personality disorder (see: Stefan Urquelle).
Professional partner: Kym Johnson
Fan power: High. If he breaks out the suspenders in any dance routine even I will be convinced to vote in this show.
2. Sherri Shepherd
Why you recognize her: Host of “The View,” GSN’s “Newlywed Game,” as Tracy Jordan’s wife on “30 Rock,” and star of her own Lifetime sitcom, “Sherri.”
Strengths: As any avid “View” watcher can tell you, Sherri has been obsessed with DWTS for years. Surely in this time she’s figured out all of the secrets to success. Also, in the past year she’s lost a ton of weight through diet and exercise so she’s physically primed to win.
Weaknesses: She’s a bit much to handle, especially on her personal twitter.
Professional partner: Val Chmerkovskiy
Fan power: A little. If she doesn’t have a ton of fans of her own, she has ABC’s promotion power and a daily show on the network that will cross-promote the hell out of her.
3. Gavin DeGraw
Why you recognize him: Do the songs “Not Over You,” “In Love With A Girl,” “Chariot,” “Follow Through,” and “I Don’t Want To Be” mean anything to you? If not, you’ve managed to stay away from one of pop music’s biggest acts of the past 5 years.
Strengths: His father was a prison guard so let’s hope he inherited his dad’s fierceness.
Weaknesses: His song is the theme song for “One Tree Hill.” INSUFFERABLE!
Professional partner: Karina Smirnoff (who won last year)
Fan power: Medium. His songs pull at the heartstrings of both lonely and hopeful girls alike. Plus, he’s supposedly a truly nice guy and his fans love him.
4. Maria Menounos
Why you recognize her: Host of “EXTRA,” where she previously has covered every season of DWTS for her job.
Strengths: Can already dance.
Weaknesses: She already knows and has interviewed everybody involved in the show.
Professional partner: Derek Hough
Fan power: Slim. She gorgeous, but how many straight dudes do you know that spend their monday nights calling in votes for this show?
5. Donald Driver
Why you recognize him: Has played his entire NFL career for the Green Bay Packers since he was first drafted in 1999.
Strengths: Agility. He’s a wide receiver and football players have done notoriously well on “Dancing With the Stars” since they are so quick on their feet.
Weaknesses: His nickname is “Quickie,” so he had better live up to the title.
Professional partner: Peta Murgatroyd
Fan power: Tons. From what I hear, Packers fans are obsessive and crazy and they have a great deal of celebrity fans as well.
6. Katherine Jenkins
Why you recognize him: An opera star who’s sold over 7 million records
Strengths: Rhythm, used to being in the spotlight, a great partner.
Weaknesses: Can she dance?
Professional partner: Mark Ballas
Fan power: Medium. She’s relatively unknown in the U.S. but it hugely talented and gorgeous.
7. Jack Wagner
Why you recognize him: Star of “Melrose Place,” “General Hospital,” “The Bold And The Beautiful,” and as Heather Locklear’s on-again-off-again boyfriend.
Strengths: Is a “top celebrity golfer” (tell that to Bill Murray!) so, agility. Also, he’ll please the older-lady viewers.
Weaknesses: Has recorded five rock albums and as such I worry about delusions of rock-stardom and grandeur.
Professional partner: Anna Trebunskaya
Fan power: Let’s just say that anyone who saw Heather Locklear’s downward spiral into rehab after her breakup with him last late year.
8. Gladys Knight
Why you recognize her: Do the words “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” mean anything to you? The woman is a music legend.
Strengths: Rhythm, for sure.
Weaknesses: At 67 years old, you have to wonder how agile the lady may or may not be.
Professional partner: Tristan McManus
Fan power: Medium. Again, she’s a legend, but may not resonate with younger viewers.
9. Roshon Fegan
Why you recognize him: You probably don’t, unless you’re an avid watcher of the Disney Channel, in which cast you may recognize him from the show “Shake It Up.”
Strengths: We know he can dance.
Weaknesses: Anyone over the age of 16 has no idea who he is.
Professional partner: Chelsie Hightower
Fan power: High. Tweens love him and he’s appeared all over the Disney channel, including the Jonas Brothers camp flick “Camp Rock.”
10. Martina Navratilova
Why you recognize her: One of the greatest tennis players in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
Strengths: Beat breast cancer, still has guns.
Weaknesses: I’m not sure she has any! Though we still don’t know if she has rhthym.
Professional partner: Tony Dovolani
Fan power: Mild. She’ll resonate with cancer survivors and fans of her sports career, but she hasn’t played professionally in nearly a decade.
11. William Levy
Why you recognize him: A telenovela superstar, known as “the Brad Pitt of Mexico” though as many of you have stated, he’s actually from Cuba. He starred in the Jennifer Lopez music video for “I’m Into You.” I’m pretty sure he’s the main target of Clipos Magnificos on “The Soup.”
Strengths: He is a jaw-droppingly beautiful man.
Weaknesses: He might be too beautiful.
Professional partner: Cheryl Burke
Fan power: High. If he doesn’t have many fans in America just yet, he soon will.
12. Melissa Gilbert
Why you recognize her: Laura Ingalls Wilder on “Little House on the Prairie,” dated Rob Lowe in her teenage years.
Strengths: Leadership. Was the president of the Screen Actoes Guild for two terms.
Weaknesses: Nobody knows who she is anymore.
Professional partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Fan power: Slim to none, I haven’t been a rabidly-obsessed “Little House” fan and doubt they’ve existed since the ’80s.
- Bitterly cold temperatures and arctic winds began freezing large swathes of the U.S. Northeast ❄️