On Tuesday, Dancing with the Stars announced the troupe of celebrities who would cha-cha into our living rooms and, perhaps, our hearts over the course of its sixteenth season. Despite the best efforts of Gawker.com and Dina Lohan, Dina Lohan was not on the list.
My grandmother, Pat, is 83 years old. She was a teacher in a one-room school house and her favorite brand of vodka is "anything but Stoli." She is the only person I know who watches Dancing with the Stars. Yesterday, I called her up, read her the list of contestants, and transcribed her predictions for how they would fare throughout the season.
What emerged from our phonecall is a complex Dancing with the Stars forecast, constructed from strategy, history, and a very skewed knowledge of celebrity (she has lots of thoughts on Rob Kardashian — 2nd place, season 1 — but still calls Beyoncé "that Bianca").
Place your bets now:
Claim to fame: Country music star; rose to prominence in the '80s alongside her mother, Naomi, as one half of music duo The Judds
Nana weighs in: "Wynonna Judd?! Mmmm! Oh my God! She's gonna have to lose some weight. I haven't seen her for a while but she doesn't look like a dancer. She looks like a...well she doesn't look like a dancer. I think she'll get through for a while. I love her voice. I think there's a country element that will keep her on for a while but unless she has a lot of ability that I don't know about...I can't believe she said yes."
Where will she place? 7th out of 11.
Claim to fame: Stars in the Disney Channel original series Shake It Up, in which she portrays a background dancer on an American Bandstand-type program set in Chicago
Nana weighs in: "Just looking at the Disney stars that have made it—Justin and Britney and all the other ones—they are very talented and very well trained. But they've gotten better as they've gotten older and their talent has developed. She'll probably do well but not win."
Where will she place? "Not knowing a damn thing about any of them..." 3rd out of 11.
Claim to fame: Stand-up comedian; star of his own show The Hughleys which aired for four seasons; featured in Spike Lee's film "The Original Kings of Comedy"
Nana weighs in: "I don't know who she is."
Where will he place? 10th out of 11.
Claim to fame: Comedian; actor; public trainwreck
Nana weighs in: "I am eating a salad and watching on HLN the trial of Jodi Arias, the girl that killed her Mormon boyfriend. It goes way back—it was 2008. It's terribly graphic but it's winter and I have nothing else to do, so it's interesting. I have no idea who [Andy Dick] is."
Where will he place? 11th out of 11.
Claim to fame: Brought home two gold medals in gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics; having nervous parents
Nana weighs in: "The gymnasts always do well because they're flexible. They know how to put one foot in front of the other. What was the name of the girl who won a couple seasons ago? She was pretty, very little—oh, well, they're all little—Shawn [A/N: Johnson]. She was very good. I would put it on this one to win, of the names you've given me thus far. Of course, now she'll probably come out and trip over her feet. "
Where will she place? 1st out of 11.
Claim to fame:Welterweight Boxing Champion
Nana weighs in: "My dad would have known him; he listened to boxing every Friday night on the radio ‘cause ya didn't have TV. Boxers can move; they have to be quick on their feet. He might surprise ya. Even the big athletes blow your mind. He's a contender to win, at least."
Where will he place? 2nd out of 11.
Claim to fame: Well-loved British cast member of Bravo's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Age: Allegedly 53 though when I gave her age to Nana I guessed "about 60."
Nana weighs in: "I'd think just because of the popularity of her show that she'd last for the beginning, but I can't believe someone in their 60s would last that long."
Where will he place? 8th out of 11.
Claim to fame: Came in sixth on the fifth season of American Idol; wore a trash-tastic dress to prom
Nana weighs in:"She's from American Idol? There was another Kelly that won [A/N: Clarkson] but I don't know that name. She's about your age? If she'd taken dance with [your childhood ballet teacher], she'd know how to put one foot in front of the other. I think she'd be better than a lot of them. I wish I knew these people, Caity."
Where will he place? 4th out of 11.
Claim to fame: Brought home a gold medal in figure skating at the 1976 Olympics
Nana weighs in: "Dorothy Hamill?! Oh my God. How old is she? [A/N: 56] I think there's an age where you do things well and there's an age where you're kinda behind it. I don't think that she'll be a winner but, again, I think she'll get a lot of support and I think because of votes she'll stick around for a while. Some people will get support whether they're good or not just because of name recognition. Toward the end is when it really comes down to who's the best dancer."
Where will she place? 6th out of 11.
Claim to fame: Portrays "the charismatic Jasper 'Jax' Jacks" on ABC's General Hospital
Nana weighs in: "These are the soapies? I don't watch the soaps. I don't think he'll do very well. I think he'd be on Broadway or something rather than General Hospital if he had a lot of talent." Where will he place? 9th out of 11.
Claim to fame: Wide receiver for 2013 Beyoncé Bowl champions the Baltimore Ravens
Nana weighs in: "They always surprise you, the football players. I don't know what it is. I think he might be a good dancer because he knows where to put his feet. Emmitt Smith was marvelous — I think he was football. I think this guy will have a lot of support because of the Baltimore Ravens."
Where will he place? 5th out of 11.
Nana's final predictions
With the caveat: "This is like making me pick the Oscar for ‘Best Picture' and I haven't seen any of the movies."
1st Aly Raisman
2nd Victor Ortiz
3rd Zendaya Coleman
4th Kellie Pickler
5th Jacoby Jones
6th Dorothy Hamill
7th Wynonna Judd
8th Lisa Vanderpump
9th Ingo Rademacher
10th D.L. Hughley
11th Andy Dick
"I love you, hon. Bye-bye."
[All photos via Getty/image by Jim Cooke.]