Pros and Cons: Men of a certain age often struggle on DWTS and the “Science Guy” is further hampered by a newbie pro partner who doesn’t bring a built-in fan base of her own.
Odds of Winning: 40-1
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (with Sasha Farber)
Pros and Cons: The Jersey Shore star was more likely to wind up face down on the floor than do something graceful on her signature MTV trashsterpiece. Producers’ failure to pair her with an established, popular pro hints at an early exit.
Bill Engvall (with Emma Slater)
Pros and Cons: Blue-collar comic and star of The Bill Engvall Show might buy himself a few weeks with his trademark humor, but it’s likely he’ll fade quickly vs. the young and the athletic, especially since he’s paired with a first-time pro (and former DWTS Troupe member).
Christina Milian (with Mark Ballas)
Pros and Cons: Has some dance experience from her days as an R&B video vixen, but if her personality proves even half as annoying as it did when she served as The Voice‘s social-media correspondent, she could be Season 17’s first “shock boot.”
Jack Osbourne (with Cheryl Burke)
Pros and Cons: The least famous member of his rock/reality star family has a secret weapon in his corner: Two-time winner (and two-time runner-up) Burke.
Elizabeth Berkley (with Val Chmerkovskiy)
Pros and Cons: Hey, she was in Showgirls, so she has to have some dance skills, right? Then again, she was in Showgirls, so maybe she can’t dance, after all? (Still-looking DWTS promo shot does not inspire confidence.)
Valerie Harper (with Tristan MacManus)
Pros and Cons: TV legend battling terminal brain cancer is guaranteed to have the most moving, emotional arc of Season 17. And with adorable Tristan in her corner, expect some lovely dancing, too. Biggest question is how much stamina she’ll have in reserve while battling her dreaded disease.
Keyshawn Johnson (with Sharna Burgess)
Pros and Cons: Former NFL pros have a long and impressive history on DWTS. He’s been retired from the field since 2006, though, so a few small question marks loom over his game-day readiness.
Leah Remini (with Tony Dovolani)
Pros and Cons:King of Queens star (and former resident funnylady on The Talk) has a brash personality that might play well in the kitschy ballroom atmosphere. And a number of fortysomething ladies have found very receptive audiences among DWTS voters.
Corbin Bleu (with Karina Smirnoff)
Pros and Cons: He starred in High School Musical, so you know he’s a natural hoofer. And “former kid star hungry for the next chapter in his career” is a popular DWTS look.
Brant Daugherty (with Peta Murgatroyd)
Pros and Cons: No idea if the star of Pretty Little Liars and Army Wives can actually cha cha cha, but he’s got the most natural-looking promo photo — and his pro partner Peta managed to win the mirrorball as recently as Season 14.
Amber Riley (with Derek Hough)
Pros and Cons: Arguably one of Season 17’s boldest-faced names, coming off four seasons of Glee, Riley’s past gig gives her a familiarity with basic choreography. Better still, four-time champ Derek knows how to choreograph to his partners’ strengths. Could Amber be his five-peat?