Friday, March 14, 2008

Dancing With The Stars Preview: The Women

Marlee Matlin just might be the most interesting contestant heading into the competition. After all, she's deaf. How is that going to work? Just the idea behind that already fascinates me. And if that wasn't interesting enough, it's Marlee Matlin! She has an Academy Award and a ton of great TV credits. The West Wing, The L Word, Nip/Tuck, My Name Is Earl.

That name recognition should go a long way for her, and the years of performing for the cameras can't hurt. I do believe that her hearing will ultimately be a non-story. The wild card with Marlee right now appears to be her partner. Fabian Sanchez is making his DWTS debut. Winning the US Mambo Championship is nothing to scoff at, but we haven't seen how he works with an amateur partner, or how he responds to choreographing new performances week after week.

Kristi Yamaguchi should be one of the early favorites. There is certainly precedent for contestants with Olympic skating medals to do well in the competition. Add to that the fact that she has spent years performing in front of huge crowds, and being scored on those performances. The nerves should not be a problem for Kristi.

The big question, of course, is how the graceful moves of a skater translate when the skates make way for the heels. My bet is on very well, and Mark Ballas should prove to be an excellent partner. I'm glad to see him back with a partner that has a real shot, because I still think he left too early in his last go.

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