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Posted at 9:33 AM ET, 08/31/2010

The most intriguing new 'Dancing With the Stars' contestant is... Jennifer Grey

By Jen Chaney

Jennifer Grey, set for a new round of "Dancing." (ABC)

Obviously Bristol Palin is the newly announced "Dancing With the Stars" contestant who has everyone talking. Indeed, the Force -- and in this context, "the Force" refers to the potential to generate utterly absurd, highly watched reality-show drama -- is strong with this one. When Palin suggested during Monday night's "Dancing" announcement that her mother, Sarah Palin, might show up in the "DWTS" audience to support her daughter, surely many TV viewers had the same thought: "Lord, please let ABC seat her next to Snooki." (What, you think Snooki isn't going to show up to pump her fist after The Situation demonstrates how awesome he is at the rhumba? Please.)

As intriguing as the possibilities surrounding Palin may be, though, I humbly suggest that another one of the new "Dancing" contestants presents even more fascinating opportunities. And her name is Jennifer Grey.

That's right, Jennifer Grey, the actress who was best known as Jeannie Bueller until she hopped on a log and started getting down with Patrick Swayze in "Dirty Dancing." To generations of women -- particularly those who sat smack in the female-teen target demo when this Catskills rom-com made its debut in 1987 -- Grey will always be Frances "Baby" Houseman. And those women will be eager to see whether Baby can really mambo when she's put to the test on live television. (Speaking of which, if the "Dancing" crew doesn't make Grey dance to "De Todo Un Poco," I will lose all confidence in them.)

Honestly, putting Grey on "Dancing With the Stars" is the closest ABC has come to convincing me to watch this cheesefest of a program. I might tune in just to count the number of gratuitous "Dirty Dancing" references made throughout the season. Consider the possibilities:

While training, Grey's partner will chastise her for having spaghetti arms, then explain to her that she must maintain her dance space. Afterward, he'll ("Ga-gunk") help her get in touch with her inner rhythm by forcing her to listen to his heartbeat.

At a "Dancing With the Stars" cast party, Grey will show up and announce: "I carried a watermelon."

Grey will be forced to do an extremely challenging lift in one of her routines, and she will have to learn it by rehearsing in a lake.

If, God forbid, Grey gets kicked off of "Dancing With the Stars," at the end of her reflecting-back-on-the-experience montage, she will say, "I actually had the time of my life. I really did."

I am strongly considering starting some kind of pool to see which Celebritology reader can accurately predict the number of allusions to "Dirty Dancing" that will pop up during the season. The winner, naturally, will win an all-expenses paid vacation at Kellerman's.

Seriously, though, I don't see how it's possible to root for anyone other than Grey in this ridiculous contest, so here's hoping she draws on every lesson that the sexy Johnny Castle ever taught her and proves, once and for all, that nobody puts ... well, you know.

By Jen Chaney  | August 31, 2010; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Reality Check, TV  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 'Dancing With the Stars' cast confirmed; Sandra Bullock speaks on 'Today'; Lindsay Lohan talks to Vanity Fair
Next: The Sandra Bullock 'Today' interview

Comments

C'mon Jen. Everyone can use a little Velveeta now and then. I predict there will be 12 Dirty Dancing references. If Ms. Grey does well, they will be scattered throughout the season. When she gets kicked off, they will all be piled together.

Posted by: reddragon1 | August 31, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

In predict that the very first judgin comment will include, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

Posted by: lydandy | August 31, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

You're on. I predict 8 "Dirty Dancing" references and a crack about her nose job all in the first half-hour. Also from the judges:

* Go back to your playpen, Baby.
* She's like the wind, no, a tree.
* Jennifer, you were dancing like you were having the time of your life out there!
* Your partner looked like he was dancing with a watermelon.

That movie was 23 years ago; can she still dance at all is the question? I did a lot of things in 1987 now that I'm not sure I could do now. (OK, I am sure. And the answer is most probably no.) Just sayin'.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | August 31, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope and pray there are no dance floor accidents which might break Jennifer's nose and then she will have to get a nose job and no one will recognize her.

Posted by: sketchgrrl | August 31, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope and pray there are no dance floor accidents which might break Jennifer's nose and then she will have to get a nose job and no one will recognize her.

Posted by: sketchgrrl | August 31, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Is it weird to say that this post made me miss the Swayze.... sniff sniff...

Yes I was totally that target audience and yes I still watch the movie end to end when it shows up on a Saturday afternoon.

And yes, when my son backed his walker in to the corner the other day I did say 'nobody puts baby in a corner'

Excepting Jennifer Grey I have no desire to watch this show this season. None. I couldn't pick less appealing 'stars'.

Posted by: LTL1 | August 31, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't Jennifer Grey qualify as a, ahem, PROFESSIONAL dancer, based on her career?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | August 31, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

LTL1, that sounds like a challege. Why don't we do a Friday list on "who would you LEAST like to see on DWTS?" I gotta admit the Hoff would be up there, but Randy Quaid, Gary Busey, and Roman Polanski would have to be on my list.

Posted by: reddragon1 | August 31, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Nosy, quick, name the first 1,000,000 professional dancers that come into your head. Betcha (before today) that JGrey wouldn't've been one.

reddragon1, just the very idea of Gary Busey doing the paso doble or Randy Quaid doing the cha-cha makes me heave. Though it'd be worth watching if Gary tried to rip out his partner's endocrine system on live TV and/or Randy was shown sambaing around the process server trying to dodge his latest subpoena.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | August 31, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping that Snooki's fist-pumping connects with Sarah Palin's face. Preferably the mouth, so she can't talk.

Posted by: Californian11 | August 31, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

td, I suspect anyone who co-starred (and danced) in a popular movie about ballroom (defined broadly) dancing would come to mind before I'd counted up to 1,000.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | August 31, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

reddragon
"who would you LEAST like to see on DWTS?... Randy Quaid, Gary Busey, and Roman Polanski"

Along similar lines, Nick Nolte.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | August 31, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I wish someone could do age progression only with noses so we could see what Jennifer Gray would look like now with her original nose. Bet she'd look pretty cute.

For my money, Margaret Cho is the most bewildering contestant. Isn't this the kind of thing she makes fun of?

I hear Bristol plans to compete the way her mother would -- that is to say she will quit halfway through.

Posted by: msame | August 31, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"I hear Bristol plans to compete the way her mother would -- that is to say she will quit halfway through."

Here's hoping.

Posted by: Californian11 | August 31, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Bruno alone will make more than 12 Dirty Dancing references!

Posted by: changling | August 31, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"who would you LEAST like to see on DWTS?"

Obviously... Patrick Swayze

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | August 31, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Quin: "who would you LEAST like to see on DWTS?"

Obviously... Patrick Swayze

--------------

Only if he dances with Michael J. Fox...

Posted by: karmadrome | August 31, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Tom Shales was lamenting on his online Post chat today that he hadn't been asked to be on DWTS. If they could have the Woz, why not Shales too?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | August 31, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If only Jerry Orbach were still alive...

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | August 31, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Orbach... doesn't it make you wonder why someone hasn't come up with a shorter, two-hour mini-DWTS with the cast of a single show? Like a sock hop dance-off with a small bracket and the judge taps your shoulder when you're out.

Think about it. Why not a special "DWTS: Law & Order SVU"? Can Mariska out-paso Chris Meloni? How is BD Wong's cha-cha when competing against S. Epatha Merkerson? Vote now, America.

Nah, maybe not. That'd give rise to "American Idol: The Good Wife" where the theme is Aerosmith and we'd be subject to voting whether or not Juliana Marguiles' "Big Ten Inch Record" beats Josh Charles' "Janie's Got a Gun."

Just forget I said anything.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | August 31, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

HMMMMM who else would I add to the list of unappealing dancers...

Heincer
Rachel Zoe (Maxim would snap her like the twig she is mid paso)

What I would like to see is that feuding former Bachelor and his chosen rose (bloom apparently faded) but only if they were required to dance with one another...

Posted by: LTL1 | August 31, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Did you know Kellerman's is a real place, on Smith Mountain Lake? Well, it's not really called Kellerman's...but they do have Dirty Dancing weekends throughout the year. I think the contest should be official and a Dirty Dancing weekend should be the prize!

Posted by: itsme1 | August 31, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I desperately do not want to see The Situation or The Alaskan but I really want to watch Jennifer Grey, Kurt Warner and the Hoff. Do you think they are taking requests and we can watch the over-30's on one night and the fame seekers on the other night?

Posted by: capecodner424 | September 1, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

This is what my DVR equipment is for! Skip to Jennifer each time she dances! until she wins!
Jennifer is no longer 20-something, and I am no longer the age I was when "DD" won mine and so many other hearts and fans for the performers. Let's hear it for Jennifer!

Posted by: shrinkwrap2 | September 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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