Who are the stars of 'Dancing'?

“Dancing With the Stars” premiered Monday night. After 11 seasons, the pickin’s seem a little strange when it comes to the “stars” aspect this season.

The producers wanted to find someone for everyone – reality stars, teen stars, older stars, sports stars, even some “Why-are-they-stars?” stars. Everyone seemed extremely nervous Monday night about dancing for the first time, and as my husband and I watched the competition begin, I thought about why this show has been so successful in the past.

One theory is that, again, this show is a strange compilation of all kinds of different people who have made, are or are trying to make their mark in the entertainment industry. Each contestant appeals to a different fan base.

Florence Henderson, Jennifer Grey, Michael Bolton and David Hasselhoff definitely fit the older fan criteria. Some have taken somewhat of an entertainment hiatus, although the Hoff and Michael Bolton have still been heavily in the public eye (Michael Bolton is touring while doing “DWTS” this year, somehow managing to keep his 100-plus concert schedule alive while learning his new moves.) This bunch is fun to watch, mainly because of the age group. I’m sure thousands of people are wondering if a 76-year-old woman (Henderson) can really get out there and shake her booty like Brandy and Kyle Massey, two of the younger contestants on the show.

Margaret Cho is sort of in her own category. She appeals to the eccentric comedic crowd and has fans both old and young voting to keep her on.

Rick Fox and Kurt Warner are there, I’m convinced, for the husbands who are forced to watch the show with their wives. They are entertaining simply because, who wouldn’t want to see a macho basketball star do the rumba?

And then there’s the random reality bunch: Audrina Patridge, Bristol Palin and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. This may be the group that brings in the most votes – they are in their element. Reality stars competing on a reality show, although Bristol Palin is also sort of in her own category, “famous” only because she’s the daughter of Sarah Palin.

In the end, it was the Hoff to get the boot first, which surprised me somewhat. Not because I think David Hasselhoff was very good at dancing, but because he has so many fans around the world. Maybe they just aren’t the voting type?

What do you think of this season’s “Dancing With the Stars?” Who are your favorites? Why do you think it’s still so popular?

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