This was posted on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Some seasons of "Dancing With the Stars" play very loose with the term "star." This season 24 is no exception.
If you aren't into bull riding, you'd have no idea who Bonner Bolton is. If you didn't follow "Glee," Heather Morris would be a head scratcher.
And the two Atlanta-connected are definitely niche players: dance star and "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast member Erika Jayne is an Atlanta native and retired Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross played for the Atlanta Braves from 2009 to 2012. He is also a Bainbridge native. (Read my interview with Erika Jayne last year and yes, she does love a Frosted Orange from you know where.)
Ross spent 15 years in the major leagues but was never a huge star. I do recall he was very well liked when he was on the Braves. The fact he was part of the illustrious Cubs World Series win last year helped get him in for sure. In a storybook move, he hit a home run in game 7 of the World Series in his final game ever. Incredibly, he is the first baseball player ever to perform on the show.
Jayne has a raft of dance hits and is a stand-out on "Real Housewives" in her second season. She is more low key off camera than on but still possesses plenty of stage chops and basic dance skills, based on her racy videos. She could become the best performing "Houseswives" cast member ever on the show if viewers like her. (The best so far are both Kim Fields and NeNe Leakes, who each finished seventh in their respective seasons.)
WARNING: This video below includes some curse words:
Fortunately, the show has a few household names, especially if you're older than 40: 1970s singer and "Love Boat" character Charo ("Coochie Coochie!") and "The A Team" star Mr. T. For folks older than 30, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan should ring a bell, along with "Saturday Night Live" cast member Chris Kattan. There's the requisite NFL player (Rashad Jennings) and ABC-connected reality star (Nick Viall from the current season of "The Bachelor'). And for the young folks, Fifth Harmony's Normani Kordei fits the demo box.
The big current star ABC nabbed was Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, following in the dancing shoes of season 23 winner and fellow Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez. It takes minimal brain power to place Biles as the likeliest to win right off the bat.
>>RELATED VIDEO: Celebrating Black History Month: Simone Biles
"Dancing With the Stars" season 24 begins March 20 at 8 p.m. on ABC