This good morning's Good Morning America introduced us to the titular "stars" from the title of the show Dancing with the Stars, a more elastic term than ever. One day everybody will be a star and we can all dance whenever we want, but until that revolutionary disrupt of the human/dancer binary, here's a list, partners included:
- Tommy Chong, with Peta Murgatroyd. Tommy is known for marijuana and being one thousand years old, but is still probably a better dancer than Kyle Richards, who has exactly two moves ("being heinous" and "hair helicopter"). His partner is known for being named "Peta Murgatroyd" in real life. Human.
- Betsey Johnson, with Tony Dovolani. Betsey's known for dressing like a clown and inducing others to do the same. Invented rag-doll hair, where you replace all of your hair with yarn. Human.
- Alfonso Ribeiro, with Witney Carson. Known for his hot dance moves as Carlton Banks on a show I forget the name of but was about a Scientologist foster child. Dancer.
- Randy Couture (Karina Smirnoff), Sadie Robertson (Mark Ballas), Michael Waltrip (Emma Slater): Known for their hillbilly fans, who will be making many phone calls in their honor as though this is a real TV show and not just a funny way to get exercise. From the worlds respectively of mixed martial arts, duck call bigotry, and cars that zoom in circles very quickly. Will be known for: Simmering rage whenever they are criticized, directly addressing the camera, proud ignorance of common dance terms. Dancer, Human, Dancer.
- Lolo Jones, with Keo Motsepe. Known for Olympics and looking like Rashida. Dancer.
- Bethany Mota, with Derek Hough. Known for flappin' her arms and gettin' her Deschanel on, filming that shit and sticking it on Youtube. I just saw a video where she put a bow in her hair and then took a minute to explain that you can also use "a hairtie" or "anything that you prefer" to create the same effect. 7 million subscribers: Total Dancer.
- Tavis Smiley, with Sharna Burgess. Fascinating pundit and Cornell West co-writer who apparently feels like dancing right now. Human.
- Antonio Sabato, Jr., with Cheryl Burke. Used to be fine as hell. Now looks like a piece of scrotum luggage in the corner of a hotel room on the Showtime late-nite series Gigolos. Neither Human Nor Dancer.
- Lea Thompson, with Artem Chigvintsev. Known for being a cartoonist in the city on her show Caroline in the City, and for being called "stocky" by Mikhail Baryshnikov, which is why she started acting instead of dancing, but now she is back for dancing. Hardly ever gets the guy in her movies, but in her sitcom Caroline in the City, the guy was gay but she still got him. In the '90s that kind of thing happened constantly. Time travel and space duck enthusiast. Human.
- Janel Parrish, with Val Chmerkovskiy. Known for playing Pretty Little Liars's Mona Vanderwaal, the greatest character in modern television, and doing it with fucking pizzazz. Both picaresque and, by the end, roman à clef. Her male counterpart, Brant "Noel Kahn" Daugherty, already played this game, so my guess is it's a private rivalry. They are probably the cutest people who have ever lived. 100% Human, 1,000% Dancer.
- Jonathan "Aaron Samuels" Bennett, with Allison Holker. Known for looking sexy with his hair pushed back. Possibly the most confusing aspect of this entire thing, even more than Duck Dynasty girl. (After Mean Girls he seemed interested in turning back into a regular person and not being a movie star, right? Because if this is something Aaron Samuels wanted before now, he must know we would have given it to him.) Human or Dancer? Perhaps it's time he found out for himself.
Dancing with the Stars Season 19 premieres September 15th on ABC.