Dancing With the Stars has traditionally tried to keep a tight lid on casting rumors, but it now appears that the brass has decided (smartly, in my opinion) that it’s better to have people chattering about the show for weeks than to try to silence everything in advance of one big announcement. At the rate we’re going, the entire cast for Season 13 may be known before the official August 29 reveal.
Here’s a rundown of the latest rumors, along with our assessment of how logical they appear:
Rob Kardashian: The least publicity-hungry member of the family (which is a little like being the least hungry person at a pie eating contest) has been on the radar for weeks, with a “confirmation” from TMZ that he’s definitely in. Chances? 90 percent. His name has been out there for too long for this rumor not to have something behind it, and you have to know Kris is going to want something new to keep the family in the headlines once the fumes from Kim’s wedding have dissipated.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: She’s been talked about nearly as long as Rob has, and TMZ is likewise reporting her as a sure thing. Chances? 90 percent. The smarter members of the Jersey Shore cast (wrap your minds around that phrase for a second) realize the ride will end eventually, so they will need to branch out. Snooki looks like she would be the big get for this fall, and her show does better with young audiences than anything on ABC, including DWTS.
Kristin Cavallari: The onetime Hills antagonist is being seriously considered, according to Access Hollywood. With her acting career in apparent limbo, she hasn’t been seen doing much lately other than not getting married to Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears. Chances? 25 percent. My guess is that she’s a fallback in case things fall through with Snooki, because it’s hard for me to see the show wanting both in the same season, especially given the reports that DWTS is trying to avoid overdoing it with reality stars.
Christina Milian: This seems to be the closest to a sure thing, based on her name having been in the mix for a few weeks now. The singer/actress has to be considering that she would instantly be a major contender if she were to agree to the show – we’ve seen her dance in videos, and let’s just say she’s way ahead of where Kirstie Alley was. Chances? 95 percent. There’s no downside.
Tiffani Thiessen: On the plus side, TMZ is claiming she is in. On the minus side, she has issued a definitive statement saying she isn’t. Chances? 50 percent. She makes sense: there’s a past connection between DWTS and the original 90210, and there’s always someone in Thiessen’s general demographic in the cast. But there’s the matter of her denial – if she was even ambivalent about it, why say anything at all?
Ron Artest: The name of the Los Angeles Laker has come up, because he’s a noted eccentric and because the lockout of the NBA players looks like it’s going to last a while, which would make him available. Chances? 10 percent. As long as there is any possibility the lockout will be ended, it’s going to be difficult for Artest to accept another obligation, especially one that carries the risk of injury. And there’s the slight problem that he’s still best known for sparking an insane brawl during a Detroit-Indiana game in 2004.
Queen Latifah: TMZ had her as being on the verge of agreeing to do the show, which brought a quick denial from her camp. Chances? 15 percent. This never seemed likely for two big reasons: One, she’s more busy than the average DWTS contestant; and two, Latifah doesn’t seem like the sort of person who would want to involve herself with something that creates the kind of gossip buzz this show does.
Chynna Phillips: Perez Hilton is the source here, so it’s anyone’s guess how reliable this might be. But she fits the general pattern of a DWTS contestant in that she has nostalgia appeal and is currently underemployed. Plus, the Wilson Phillips cameo in Bridesmaids seems to have sparked a revival of interest in the ladies. Chances? 60 percent. It makes sense.