‘Dancing with the Stars 22’ spotlight: Can Marla Maples, Tony Dovolani find their footing?

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Every season, “Dancing with the Stars” tries to do at least a few castings with headlines in mind. They’re a show that of course wants as much attention as they can, and as a result of that they seek out people that have at least some sort of connection to events in the media.

Enter Marla Maples. While it may not be mentioned in every episode, you have to imagine that her past marriage to Donald Trump is going to come up eventually. Her challenge is probably going to be this season establishing herself in other ways, and proving that she has some serious dance skills to boot.

Claim to fame – Marla was married to the Presidential candidate from 1993 to 1999, and judging from some of her comments in the media since joining the show about Trump, it doesn’t seem as though the relationship between the two is completely acrimonious (he has wished her well on the show this season). She has also done some acting and hosting over the years on TV.

Partner – Tony Dovolani. He’s the longest-tenured pro on the show in terms of frequent appearances, and at this point in his career he does tend to be paired with some of the older stars. His sole win came in the All-Star season with Melissa Rycroft, and he has had many early eliminations under his belt. It’s a shame, since he is one of our favorite pros to watch.

Strengths – There is going to be a lot of publicity that is around Marla’s appearance on the show in the early going, and we do think that Tony will do a great job bringing out some of her elegance. She should do really well in some of the more lyrical dances, as her experience as an actress should help her to really get into the character of some of the dances.

Weaknesses – Other than through Trump, what is her established base? She’s going to need to find her own audience early on this season, and she also probably has to hope that she gets dances like the quickstep or the foxtrot in the early going. We’re a little more unsure about her ability to deliver in some of the Latin dances.

Prediction – We’re super-worried about Marla this season. We think that she could last past the first week or two, but we don’t think that she is connected enough to Trump or the conservative base for her to have a Bristol Palin sort of run over the course of the season. We’d like to see her go far for the sake of Tony, but we’re not sure it is going to happen.

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