When we first saw the name Alek Skarlatos in the cast list for “Dancing with the Stars 21,” our immediate reaction was to say “who?” out loud. This is a pretty common reaction we presume, given that the name itself is not familiar. However, he does still have a significant claim to fame that dominated recent headlines, and once you hear that, you’ll remember that this is someone who put himself out there to commit a great act of heroism. We’re happy that someone like him gets on the show here or there, since it gives you more of a lens to view the experience. He’s not a celebrity so much as a real person just thrust into an unusual situation.
Without further ado, let’s dive into discussing why he may or may not be particularly well-suited for this show.
Name – Alek Skarlatos
Age – 22
Claim to fame – An American Oregon Army National Guardsman specialist who helped stop an attack aboard a French train. He was recognized immediately as a hero and his story went viral earlier this summer. This casting is clearly the most on-the-fly of the season.
Partner – Lindsay Arnold. She is a former “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant and a troupe member who has only performed in a celebrity one other time in season 16 with Victor Ortiz. This is a chance for her to really show what she is capable of as a teacher.
Strengths – If Alek was bold enough to risk his life, we cannot imagine him being hesitant to take risks on the dance floor. He’s strong, he’s commanding, and he certainly has a leading-man look about him. While he is not a celebrity, his story and heroism should help in out in the early weeks. There is something appealing about an everyman.
Weaknesses – It is still hard to see him getting a similar following to Noah Galloway, who was both an inspiration as a soldier and a dancer on the show. Also, there is inevitably going to be a question regarding whether or not he can actually dance, and performing is so far out of his wheelhouse that he is a question mark.
Prediction – Alek won’t be first out, but we could see him landing almost anywhere on the board other than maybe the winner’s circle. With his actual dance ability so much in the air, it is hard to really place him anywhere in comparison to some other people.
How well do you think that Alek is going to fare this season? Share now with a comment, and head over here to see some of our other recent spotlight articles! Meanwhile, sign up here to get some other TV news on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: ABC.)