‘Dancing with the Stars 22’ spotlight: Will Geraldo Rivera be more than entertainment?

Geraldo -

If you go back to this past season of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” there’s really one word that we’d use to describe Geraldo Rivera: Entertainment. He was actually good at the fundraising portion of the show, but the majority of the time he was just memorable for some of his wackier moments and unintentional comedy.

Now, we’re going to get a chance to figure out if he can bring something more to the table on “Dancing with the Stars” season 22, and actually be a magnet for votes. He’s an interesting cast study since other than the Palin family and Tom DeLay, the show hasn’t really brought on too many contestants who are so associated with conservative leanings. In the spotlight below, we’re going to do our part to figure out precisely where he stands.

Claim to fame – Famed reporter, news correspondent, and TV personality. If you go back to the 1970’s we would say you could see some of his best work as a newscaster; however, he is probably more well-known for his talk show “Geraldo” that aired in the late eighties and early-to-mid nineties, and his appearances on Fox News more recently.

Partner – Edyta Śliwińska. We’re excited about this one. It has been more than eleven seasons since Edyta appeared on the show, but she was a fixture on the show for the first ten installments. She’s also the only pro on this season who was there all the way back in one; we recently saw another original pro in Louis van Amstel perform with Paula Deen.

Strengths – While Geraldo may have been known at one point for being a serious newscaster, he’s got a little bit of a zany side and has no problem doing some silly / wacky things for entertainment’s sake. We imagine him and his crazy mustache doing some funny things this season that could endear him to some viewers. Also, we wonder if the Fox News crowd will be eager to support him with votes, or if conservatives will be more keen to follow Marla Maples.

Weaknesses – At 72 years old, Geraldo is the oldest contestant this season, and while we did see 76-year old Tommy Chong make it pretty far on his season, contestants over 70 don’t have an extensive history doing well on the show. He and Cloris Leachman are probably the biggest success stories of the older crowd. Also, we’re not sure if Geraldo will be able to win over any fans who already come into this season with a negative opinion of him.

Prediction – We would like to see Edyta around for a while, but we’d say that Geraldo probably has Gary Busey upside and that’s about it. We do think he will be a slightly-better dancer than expected, but we just don’t seem him getting a large-enough unified fan base to go far.

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