‘Dancing with the Stars 16’ spotlight: Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus

DorothyIt is hardly a surprise anymore for “Dancing with the Stars” to feature Olympian on their shows; however, seeing one that was actually a legend more than 30 years ago is a little bit of a change of course.

Dorothy Hamill to us is surely going to be one of the more interesting contestants on the show to watch: she could have the sort of comeback story that appeals to viewers in the same way that Jennifer Grey did a few years ago, as she is a cancer survivor and someone who knows what it was like to be on top of the world at one point in her life. Here’s one thing we were stunned by in our research for making this article: back in 1993, Hamill along with Mary Lou Retton were voted the most popular athletes in America, ahead of Michael Jordan, Nolan Ryan, or Joe Montana. (Of course, it may have helped that all of America were rooting for these ladies, whereas someone like MJ or Montana may have only had the support of their local fans.)

Partner – Tristan MacManus. Tristan has developed a knack for working with some of the older contestants, as his past partners include Nancy Grace, Gladys Knight, and Pamela Anderson. He’s one of the kinder, gentler male pros, and is also someone who just seems to constantly have a smile on his face. This is the first time that he has worked with someone from an athletic background, so it should be interesting to see how he fares.

Strengths – Hamill comes from figure skating, and we have seen a number of skaters on this show, whether it be Evan Lysacek or Kristi Yamaguchi, do extremely well. She clearly already has a good sense of rhythm and timing, and despite being in her mid-to-late fifties we figure that she has probably kept in pretty good shape.

As for the voters, remember that “Dancing with the Stars” skews older than any other competition show on TV right now. These are people who will probably know who she is, and want to vote for her.

Weaknesses – It may sound like sacrilege to anyone who is over 40, but we don’t know if there are going to be any non-skaters under 30 who are extremely familiar with Hamill’s work. Plus, Martina Navratilova is an example of a former sports legend who failed miserably on the show, though tennis is a sport with less in common with ballroom dancing than figure skating. Hamill is going to have to work harder than some of her other competition if she wants to go far, and this will be a challenge for her.

Prediction – Considering that you may as well give Aly Raisman the Mirrorball Trophy now (especially since she *couch* shenanigans *cough* took part in a routine last season with Shawn Johnson), Dorothy’s probably not going to win. However, we would be surprised to see her gone within the first few weeks thanks to having a good pro and being a strong athlete. Her biggest challenge is going to be appealing to voters with her personality, and if she does that, she could go far.

What is your take on Hamill this season? We want to hear from you in the poll below! Also, be sure to click here to check out all of our “Dancing with the Stars” spotlights for this season.

Photo: ABC


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