We have to admit that in some ways, Marilu Henner is a name we expected to appear on “Dancing with the Stars” before we rolled around to season 23 of the show. She’s already appeared twice on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” and if she can handle Donald Trump and the nonsense of his boardroom, odds are she can handle the boardroom. While we don’t know if she’s a genuine winner candidate for the season, she does have an incredible partner who has won more than anyone.
For more on what she brings to the table this season, and also what she lacks, check out the latest edition of our show spotlight series below.
Claim to fame – Actress, best role for her role on “Taxi.” During “The Celebrity Apprentice,” what we also learned about her is that she has the amazing ability to remember down to the day specific events of her life and some of the people she spent them with. If this memory can be used to help memorize dances, she may have a step up on everyone.
Partner – Derek Hough. He’s the most-successful pro in the show’s history, and he is returning this season after originally stating he would sit it out. His schedule ended up changing as a result of “Singin’ in the Rain” being delayed. He’ll still be pulling double-duty between this and “Hairspray Live!” for NBC.
Strengths – Henner is an incredibly-hard worker, she’s likable, and she will put her everything into making this happen and being good at it. She’s also funny, and while younger viewers may not be that familiar with her, “Taxi” remains one of the most successful sitcoms in the history of television. Given that most of the show’s viewers are older, this could benefit her.
Weaknesses – As one of the older Stars, she doesn’t have the physical gifts of a Laurie Hernandez or a Calvin Johnson anymore. She’ll have to be more creative to pull off routines, while also standing out in a season that has a surprisingly large contingent of scripted TV stars as opposed to reality stars or people in the news for other means.
Prediction – While we don’t see Henner winning, we could see her going up to around the top six or seven thanks to both her passion and her partner. There are going to be people who vote for her just because she’s with Derek, and given how famous some of the pros are, there’s nothing wrong with that. She just has to figure out a way to leverage that ability.
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