Shield your eyes from the sequined shine

The theme song's sloshing around in my head. I'm picturing that mirror-ball trophy and gearing up for crotch shots and bad puns from the hosts! Yep, it must be that time. Tonight's the 2-hour season premiere of Dancing with the Stars!

The competition must be fierce. We haven't even seen the first shimmy from this season's cast, and already they're dropping like flies. Jewel and Nanci O'Dell are out because of injuries (or sudden cases of "oh crap, I'm going to completely embarrass myself in front of millions of people"), replaced -- rumor has it -- by Hugh Hefner's former girlfriend Holly Madison AND Melissa (not even sure that's her name), the girl who just got dumped on national TV a week ago by The Bachelor.

I'm not much into it anymore, as I've written in previous posts. I think I'm getting excited out of sheer habit.

We, in Iowa, do have one bright and shining reason to watch. Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast and Midwestern Cutie Pie Shawn Johnson! She's dancing with Mark Ballas, the guy who won it all a couple seasons ago with ANOTHER Olympic winner, Kristi Yamaguchi. So she could go far. I did hear, though, that she said nothing translates from gymnastics to dancing, except maybe hard work and determination. I also heard that she's not used to the shoes. The girl has lived most of her 17-or-so years barefoot. Now they're putting her in stilettos and telling her to shake her bootie.

I predict the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will be out in the first week. I'm secretly hoping that no one votes for country singer Chuck Wicks, who got paired with his real-life girlfriend and two-time pro DWTS winner (with Oly speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and Indy car driver Helio Castroneves) Julianne Hough. I'm obligated to cheer for Belinda Carlisle, simply because she was lead singer of the Go-Gos (insert We Got the Beat drum cadence here). And I'm guessing Lawrence Taylor will be good, since there's something about wildly popular African American football stars that seems to lend itself to dancing success.

Other than that, I have no predictions or cares one way or another.

Except, go Shawn! And stay away from Hef's ex. For that matter, stay away from Hef. He doesn't need a teenage Olympic gymnast in his bed. Despite what the producers of his Girls Next Door show might think.

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