Dancing with the Stars 7: Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
The new cast of Dancing with the Stars was announced on Monday, and mostly, the whole event elicited a big yawn from me. I'm not as into this new cast as I was last spring, when Kristi Yamaguchi took the dance floor by storm. But what can you do? We can't dwell in the past. We must look to this season and to the current celebrity contestants. Therefore, come with me as I analyze each pair individually, taking a wild guess at each of their strong suits and their weaknesses before even seeing them dance.

First up to go under my virtual microscope lens are the alliteratively attractive couple, Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Misty May-Treanor

Misty is a fighter. She has won more tournaments than any other female beach volleyball player. She and her partner Kerri Walsh won the gold medal in the just-concluded Beijing Olympics. You cannot win Dancing with the Stars if you are a wuss, so Misty, a proven non-wuss, has a big advantage here.

Athletes also have an advantage in dance competitions like Dancing with the Stars because, as Carrie Ann Inaba said when I interviewed her last May, “athletes are used to being coached.” According to Carrie Ann, when the judges point out flaws in a performance, “they just listen to the critique and they go back and they work on it. They don't get wrapped up in ego.”

Misty May-Treanor is also fantastically strong, as anyone who's seen her in one of her skimpy swimsuits knows. Strength, especially in your core, is incredibly important in keeping correct posture, and we all know that posture is crucial in ballroom.

As Monica Seles proved last season on Dancing with the Stars, sometimes athletes make terrible dancers, especially if they never outgrew their awkward tomboy phase. While it's true that Misty has the tenacity and strength of a champion, that doesn't meant that it will naturally translate to being graceful. It's hard to tell from these rehearsal photos whether Misty moves awkward or elegant, but I'm hoping that it's the latter.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Obviously, Misty is incredibly lucky to be paired with Maks. Not only is he a tremendous dancer and teacher, having taken Laila Ali to third place in season 4 and Melanie Brown to second place in season 5, but he is also one hot tamale. He sat out last season, and the viewing audience has been clamoring for his return ever since. Viewers will no doubt take to the phones en masse to keep Maks around, which can only help Misty's chances of adding a mirror ball trophy to her two Olympic gold medals.

Read more pre-season analyses:
Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke
Ted McGinley and Inna Brayer
Kim Kardashian and Mark Ballas
Jeffrey Ross and Edyta Sliwinska
Cody Linley and Julianne Hough
Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo
Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas
Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
Rocco DiSpirito and Karina Smirnoff
Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani

-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Images courtesy of ABC)