One of television's best recurring punchlines is ABC's idea of what constitutes a "star," as regularly exhibited by the competitors on the network's long-running reality competition series Dancing With the Stars. Typically, each new cast announcement elicits a "Who?" from normal non-stars like you and me, instead of a more star-worthy "Whoa!" But you know what? Things are headed in the right direction (barely) according to the roster for Season 17, which ABC announced today on Good Morning America.
First of all, BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY! Yep, our generation's Mr. Wizard will swap Bunsen Burners for burnin' up a rug to the delight of everyone. I love Bill Nye, so I will be rooting for him so hard until I forget about this program, which should take about 15 minutes.
This year's list also features some camp, and it doesn't get any campier than Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, formerly Elizabeth Berkley, formerly Jessie Spano from Saved By the Bell, a.k.a. the tall chick who had a breakdown over caffeine pills. A lot of people will go on and on about her involvement in Saved By the Bell, but not me. That's because Berkley will always be the centerpiece of the greatest moving-pictures film of 1995, the triumph that is the stripper epic Showgirls. Seriously, watch it again. It still holds up as really bad.
Moving on, there's something called a "Snooki" competing this year. (J/K, Nicole, we love you.) She's the second Jersey Shore star to appear on the series, following Mike "The Situation" Italian Last Name who was eliminated four weeks into Season 11. Well, maybe someone else from Jersey Shore was on the show, too, but we've already wasted enough time talking about both Jersey Shore and DWTS.
Your required NFL player will be Keyshawn Johnson, the former Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Carolina Panthers wide receiver who helped solidify the position as a spot for whiny divas. Johnson would later head over to ESPN and talk about football for a living.
Rounding out the lineup are the Disney Star (High School Musical's Corbin Bleu), the Yukster (blue-collar comedian Bill Engvall), the Teen Heartthrob (Pretty Little Liars' Brant Daugherty), the Wily Vet (The Mary Tyler Moore Show's Valeri Harper), the Sexy Kitten with an Unfair Dancing Background Advantage (actress and singer Christina Milian), the Former Child Reality Star (Jack Osbourne), the Rising Television Star (Glee's Amber Riley), and the TV Star Who Used to be Too Good for DWTS (King of Queens' Leah Remini).
Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday, September 16 on ABC.
AIRED ON 11/26/2013
Season 17 : Episode 11A