Well, when I first saw the list of "stars" on this season's "Dancing With The Stars", my first thought was "Thanks gods for TiVo", because I would be fast-forwarding even more than previous years (see also: sleazeball politician Tom DeLay and reality whore Kate Gosselin). So--were my fears justified? Let's find out...
Audrina Partidge: First surprise of the night; not vain, not self-centered, dedicated to the event, and possessing a modicum of talent. Good for Tony, who got stuck with no-talent clown Kate (I'm sorry--did I say that out loud?) last season.
Kurt Warner: A nice guy (seven kids!), but not quite at the level of previous professional athletes.
Kyle Massey: Second surprise of the night; not just a performer, but also having a great sense of music. Could make it to the final three, even though he's among the least well-known.
Rick Fox: Unlike Kurt Warner, he's got the grace and technique to go far--and the fact that he's paired with previous winner Cheryl Burke increases his odds of success.
Margaret Cho: What's with the costume? Did the producers have to pull that with the only Asian celebrity? Overall, a bit sad that that they overplayed the comedy bit.
Brandy: The first celebrity to come in with an advantage--with her musical background--and she didn't disappoint; definitely a contender for the final three. And a wonderful potty mouth, too...
Bristol Palin: Not sure how a teenage mother is a valid spokesman against teen pregnancy, but... Well, the good news is that she lacks all the annoying characteristics of her mother, but there's not a lot going for her. The fact that she seems to lack the conviction of her competitors from an "I'm here to win" standpoint, as well as any kind of showbiz style, works against her. And, uh, hello--while we got a nice look at Kurt Warner's family, no mention of Bristol's toddler at home?
Florence Henderson: Apparently, like Brandy, she's got a bit of a potty-mouth. In good shape for 76, and not quite the embarrassment of Cloris Leachman.
Michael Bolton: Ouch. This won't last. Great attitude and conviction, but that won't get you far...
Mike Sorrentino: Is it possible to be shallower than one dimension? Like Bristol, not entirely why he's here, aside from furthering his own attempt at celebrity. And do they really need to announce him as "The Situation"? Sorry, Karina, but this package is well past its sell-by date. Bonus points to Len for the smackdown--"Did I tell you you've got the guns but not the ammunition?"
Jennifer Grey: Well, off to a good start with partner Derek Hough, and genuinely likable person. Very lovely performance, that clearly struck a chord with Carrie Ann. Could make it to the final three as well.
David Hasselhoff: Like Brandy, comes in with a bit of an advantage with his theatrical and musicalbackgrounds. Oddly, he seems older than I thought, and what I thought was an advantage wasn't really there at all. Most likely to last longer than he should due solely to the popular vote.
So, to recap: my favorites are Jennifer Grey, Rick Fox, and (as my wild card) Kyle Massey.