‘Dancing with the Stars’ spotlight: Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd

Now that we know that Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel are the newest pros joining the All-Stars season of “Dancing with the Stars,” we are now moving forward with our spotlight series to someone who was one of the greatest dancers to never win the show — Gilles Marini.

So can the actor take home the title this time around? It’s going to be more of a battle than ever, but read on to find out our take.

Claim to fame – At the time of his first season, Gilles was best known for just being the guy from the “Sex and the City” movie who showed a good bit of skin. Since that time, though, he has appeared on a number of other series affiliated with the ABC family of networks — including “Brothers & Sisters,” “Switched at Birth,” and even a guest spot on “Modern Family” as a “gay guy” who was not really gay.

Past placement – 2nd place (season 8)

Past partner – Cheryl Burke

Current partner – Peta Murgatroyd

Story on the show – Even though he came into season 8 an unknown, it was really all about the dance for him — and ultimately, he probably ended up becoming such a clear-cut favorite based on his dance ability alone that he lost because people forgot to vote. Instead, it was Shawn Johnson who ended up taking home the title.

Strengths – Gilles is a bona fide leading man, and it’s important to be able to look strong and masculine out of the dance floor. He’s also able to get into the character of every dance well as an actor, and knows how to entertain a crowd with out even speaking. When it comes to his dancing, he’s also one of the most technically proficient people out there.

Weaknesses – This is the problem that Gilles ran into last time he was on the show — is he too much of a favorite? He’s not an underdog that people can rally behind, and he also does not have the same sort of built-in fan following of an NFL player or an Olympian. This season, he may also have a disadvantage in that some of the other contestants are not only paired with their original partners, but they have danced more than he has since his season.

Prediction – Peta Murgatroyd won last season with Donald Driver, but we still think that she is probably one of the harder pro dancers to connect with at this point. With this in mind, we don’t expect to see much of a bump here when it comes to support. Even though Gilles clearly does have the talent to make it very far on the show yet again, he could be in danger if he has an off night during the middle of the season.

What’s your take on how Gilles is going to do this season? We want to hear some more of your thoughts below! To check out more of our spotlight series, be sure and read the story here.

Photo: ABC

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!