‘Dancing With The Stars’ Lineup: Handicapping The Field

The full lineup for this season’s edition of “Dancing With the Stars” was unleashed on Monday night (March 1). Though none of the people from our wish list made it into the cast, it’s still a pretty impressive group of people that should make for an entertaining few weeks of dance-centric television (anchored, as always, by the dulcet tones of Tom Bergeron).

There’s only one problem: It’s pretty obvious that Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek is going to run away with this thing. Athletes always have the upper hand, and Olympic athletes have had extraordinary success (past winners include Apolo Ohno, Shawn Johnson and Kristi Yamaguchi — all of whom have gold medals). So this competition is his to lose, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a dark horse or two coming up from the rear. Let’s take a look at the rest of the field.

Buzz Aldrin
He’s the obvious MTV favorite, mostly because he inspired the design of the Video Music Award trophy and also because he had this remarkable exchange with Sway at the 2009 VMAs. The 80-year-old Aldrin proved he had rhythm when he rapped with Snoop Dogg, and he’s game for anything, so consider him the dark horse.

Shannen Doherty
Doherty has a lot to live up to, as two of her former “Beverly Hills 90210” co-stars (Jennie Garth and Ian Ziering) fared pretty well when they were on “Dancing With the Stars” (both were eliminated in the semi-finals). Interestingly, she does have a credit as “Choreographer” on an episode of “Charmed,” so we may have a ringer on our hands.

Pamela Anderson
She has experience in, um, exotic dancing (she was in “Barb Wire,” don’t forget), so perhaps that will translate to doing the Tango.

Niecy Nash
A fantastic left-field choice, Nash is one of the funniest cast members on the often hilarious Comedy Central show “Reno 911.” We have no idea if she can dance or not, but it’ll be fun to watch her spar with the judges (and the other contestants).

Nicole Scherzinger
“Dancing With the Stars” usually has one musician whose career needs a jump start (like Mya on last season’s show), and Scherzinger — whose solo album still hasn’t come out — is the perfect candidate. As a Pussycat Doll, she did a ton of dancing, and will be Lysacek’s main source of competition over the course of the show.

Chad Ochocinco
Pro: He’s a football player, which puts him in good company (former NFL stars Emmit Smith, Jerry Rice and Warren Sapp all did exceptionally well on the show). Con: He’s insane, which will make for great television and questionable dancing ability. It’ll be worth it just for the dance-related tweets.

Kate Gosselin
The rehab of Kate (minus eight) begins. ABC is probably hoping the press-friendly, polarizing Gosselin sticks around for a while, but she seems destined for an early exit.

Erin Andrews
The ESPN sports reporter (and victim of one of the more vile Internet videos in history) certainly has beauty and style working for her, though her involvement in “Dancing With the Stars” will limit her time in the sports world, which will no doubt bum out all the “Sportscenter” addicts out there.

Aiden Turner
Who? Well, I guess my mom has to root for somebody.

Jake Pavelka
The pilot just completed his season of “The Bachelor” and found love with a woman named Vienna. Shouldn’t he be having a honeymoon or something and not going on another reality show on ABC? Put him down for an early exit.

Who do you think will win “Dancing With the Stars” this time around? Is Lysacek a lock or will Scherzinger give everyone a run for their money? Leave your thoughts in the comments!