On Monday, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars announced the pairs for its upcoming all-stars season. The show is now in its 15th season and will be spicing things up by bringing back some of its most memorable contestants for another chance to win that huge, sparkly mirror ball trophy.
The show might be on the cheesy side, but season after season, viewers never seem to tire of watching B-list celebs learn how to glide (or slide) across the dance floor. Although there are surprises every season (remember the Maria Menounos elimination), it’s important to know how to play the game. Winning is not just a matter of being the best dancer, it’s also a mix of having the right partner, maintaining a little bit rhythm, and creating a connection with the viewers.
Since all of the contestants are returning to the show for the second time, they know the deal, which should make for even fiercer competition. The show is still six weeks away, but now that pairs have been revealed, we can already begin speculating about who will win.
Let’s take a look at Season 15’s DWTS stars, and see which couple has the moves to take them to the top:
1) Bristol Palin
The daughter of former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin did not fare well in her last bid on the show, despite being paired with two-time winning ballroom dancer Mark Ballas. However, the young mother was able to parlay her fame into a poorly rated reality show on Lifetime, so maybe this reappearance will get her another show on VH1.
Likelihood of winning: Palin's chances of winning are the same as her seeing Russia from Alaska: impossible.
2) Shawn Johnson
The former gold medal-winning gymnast was the youngest competitor ever on the show when she danced into America's hearts in 2009. She beat second place runner up Gilles Marini by only 1%, showing the world that she really is a champion. But it's hard to know if she'll have what it takes to win again against her hungry competition.
Likelihood of winnning: Johnson's chances of winning this season are as high as her chances of going back to the Olympics are.
3) Kristie Alley
Alley made it no secret that DWTS was a great way for her to shed the pounds in her very public weight-loss struggle. Her openness endeared her to viewers, but her public appeal wasn't enough to make up for her lack of grace on the dance floor.
Likelihood of winning: Alley is as likely to win as she is to lose 20lbs ... and keep it off.
4) Emmit Smith
The pro-football Hall of Famer surprised everyone with his agility on the dance floor and ended up winning the big trophy in Season 3 of the show. Now, Smith is back with his same partner, Cheryl Burke, and the power couple is ready to show the world they still got it.
Likelihood of winning: High; if he can win three Superbowl championships, he can win DWTS twice.
5) Gilles Marini
The French hottie came in second place (after Shawn Johnson) during his stint on the show. He lost by a small margin, meaning he's got the moves to get him up to first place. However, this season, he'll be paired with a new partner (he worked with Cheryl Burke last time) so there's always the chance he won't have the same electrifying chemistry he did with Burke.
Likelihood of winning: If Marini is still able to captivate the ladies in the audience with his swaying hips like he did last time, he's got a good chance of dancing his way past his competition.
6) Drew Lachey
The former boy band-er was also partners with powerhouse Cheryl Burke when he won the coveted trophy in 2006. He'll be working with someone new during the all-stars season, but his years in pop group 98 Degrees with brother Nick Lachey does give him a nice background in dancing to the beat.
Likelihood of winning: Without Burke, Lachey's chances aren't very high, but stranger things have happened.
7) Pamela Anderson
The former Baywatch babe and Playboy Bunny is no stranger to reality competitions. Aside from her time on DWTS, Anderson has also been on Big Brother and appearances in WWE pro-wrestling matches. Anderson wasn't the smoothest contestant to hit the dance floor, but her experience in other reality competition shows might give her the edge over her competitors.
Likelihood of winning: Anderson is a fan favorite, but her chances of winning are about the same as reunion of original Baywatch cast.
8) Apolo Anton Ohno
Ohno competed in Season 4 and with his partner Julianne Hough, received the first perfect score of 30 for their samba and eventually won the show. Even though he won't be partnered with Hough, his ability to score that high in combination with his appeal to the audience makes Ohno a force to reckon with during this upcoming season.
Likelihood of winning: High; Ohno knows how to shake what his mama gave him and that could make him a winner this season.
9) Helio Castroneves
Indy 500 winner Castroneves was also a surprising winner during Season 5. He was also partnered with two-time mirror ball champ, Julianne Hough, but Castroneves will be dancing with Chelsie Hightower this season.
Likelihood of winning: If Castroneves can keep his cool during the competition like he does in his driving, he still has a chance at getting to the finals, if not winning it all for the second time.
10) Joey Fatone
The former N-Sync member made it all the way the two finals in Season 4, losing out to Apolo Anton Ohno. That said, Fatone is back with his same partner, Kym Johnson, and he's ready to put his years of back-up dancing to use and win the mirror ball.
Likelihood of winning: Fatone is a crowd-pleaser, but he's as likely to win as N-Sync is to get back together; it would be nice, but unlikely.
11) Kelly Monaco
As part of the original DWTS cast, Monaco won Season 1with her partner, Alec Mazo. After her win, Monaco went on to dance in a burlesque act in Las Vegas. As the first winner of the mirror ball, Monaco set the standard for what it takes to win, and she could easily do it again.
Likelihood of winning: Monaco's has sex appeal that audiences love, but she has been out of the game for a while. Her chances of winning are about the same as soap operas coming back into popularity.
12) Melissa Rycroft
The former Bachelor contestant and Dallas Cowboy cheerleader finished third on Season 8, despite signing on last minute to do the show (she replaced Nancy O'Dell two days before the competition began). Now that Rycroft has had ample time to practice, she can really show viewers and judges what she's got.
Likelihood of winning: Rycroft is as likely to win the all-stars season as she is to return to television once she's done; a definite possibility.