When it comes to all-star editions of any reality show, I'm never a fan of bringing back past winners. They've already had their shot and won. Let someone else have the glory! That way, you can save all the former champions for a future installment, like a "Best of the Best"-type season. See? Win-win.
"Dancing With the Stars" recently announced its upcoming all-star season, and it's a mixed bag. The list is dominated by former victors (Kelly Monaco, Season 1; Drew Lachey, Season 2; Emmitt Smith, Season 3; Apolo Ohno, Season 4; Helio Castroneves, Season 5; Shawn Johnson, Season 8), some runner-ups (Joey Fatone, Season 4; Gilles Marini, Season 8; Kirstie Alley, Season 12), a "Bachelorette" reject (Melissa Rycroft), a "Baywatch" babe (thankfully Pamela Anderson, and not The Hoff), and one polarizing contestant who needs all the positive publicity she can get since her own reality show is drumming up some controversy (Bristol Palin). But, hey, if God provides Bristol with opportunities like this, why would she pass them up?
Perhaps the show couldn't get everyone on their wishlist, but here are five former contestants I think should have had another shot at hoisting that cheesy mirror ball firmly in the air:
David Arquette - I don't think there was a guy out there who tried as hard and loved what he was doing more than Arquette. With his estranged wife Courteney Cox and their daughter Coco supporting him every week, it was impossible not to root for the comeback big kid.
Rob Kardashian - I know, I hate myself. Really, I'm no Kardashian fan, but I couldn't help getting behind the least-known K kid, especially after he proved he could hold his own in the ballroom -- better than sister Kim, no less.
Katherine Jenkins - Hands down one of the best dancers in the show's history, I'm not sure if the producers didn't include contestants from the most recent season because that would put them at an advantage (still fresh in viewers' minds) or disadvantage (still exhausted). But an all-star list without the classically trained singer is a shame.
William Levy - Refer to Katherine Jenkins. Will was both a hit with the judges and the viewers, but that may have been his downfall. For me, it was his screaming, squealing, crying fan base that had me cheering against him because I didn't want him getting because of his looks. But compared to who made the all-stars cut, I'd prefer seeing him back on the floor, screaming, squealing, crying fans and all.
Sabrina Bryan - In what was the biggest shock in the show's history (and, arguably, one of the biggest surprises in all of reality television), Bryan got the boot in week 6 a few years back. Um, no. NO! The former Cheetah Girl was a shoo-in to win Season 5, and it was such a blow to the show that they have since changed the rules so judges now have a say on who goes between the lowest vote-getters.
Actually, Bryan still has a shot at returning (though I find it offensive that she of all people has to plead for a second chance). Sabrina, Carson Kressley and Kyle Massey have to rely on votes to see which one of them will take the 13th spot. Massey finished in second place -- above Palin -- behind his season's obvious winner, Jennifer Grey, but since he's not as "popular" as Bristol, Kyle has to try and drum up support from fans to get another opportunity. And while I love Carson and his over-the-top hilarity, he has no business being back on the show in a dancing capacity. As a colour commentator following the likes of Kenny Mayne or Jerry Rice (who, as far as I'm concerned, did not deserve his second-place finish in the second season), sure, but definitely not on the dance floor.
I guess we should be thankful for small miracles, and Cloris Leachman, Kate Gosselin and The Situation weren't asked back, but I would trade Melissa Rycroft, Bristol Palin, Apolo Ohno, Pam Anderson and Shawn Johnson in a heartbeat for the chance at seeing Sabrina Bryan, David Arquette, Rob Kardashian, William Levy and Katherine Jenkins sashay and shimmy once again.
"Dancing with the Stars" returns Monday, September 24 at 8 p.m. ET. Get your spray tan and sequins on.
Who do you want to see on "DWTS: All-Stars"? Are you upset with the casting?