Sunday's the night, "Dancing With the Stars" fans. ABC will announce the eighth-season cast in a series of program breaks airing from 8 to 11 p.m.
But what about these stars? Do they know what they're getting into? What to look out for? I talked recently to Ted McGinley, a seventh- season dancer, who - alas - was directed to the exit on the second night.
As Oscar Wilde famously observed, "experience is ... the name we give our mistakes." So what mistakes did Ted make, and what would he do differently?
He came up with 10 rules:
1. If you're not going to be amazing, put a little comedy in it. With Cloris Leachman, "They were able to interject a little fun into it, and that took the place of what she couldn't do."
2. Relax for at least two days before the games begin. "I rehearsed really hard for the first month because I was afraid I'd never get it. I should have taken two days off."
3. Realize that everyone is starting from the same place, and has the same feelings. "You're all nervous, and you don't want to embarrass yourself. ... So take a deep breath."
4. No coffee (or a second cup) that day.
5. Enjoy yourself. "If you're smiling and having a good time and not thinking about what the next step is, then it doesn't matter what the next step is ... . I was so damned scared."
6. Challenge the judges - a bit. "Listen to what the judges have to say and take it to heart. But if you have something to say, make it clever."
7. Be patient with the pros. Learning a dance is like learning a new language, "so you have to be patient enough to listen to each other ... your partner has to figure out how you learn."
8. The producers are always present. They know exactly your strengths and weaknesses, and what buttons to push. "You can't hide anything from them. They want you to do well, but they also want to make good TV."
9. Contestants are picked because the show "goes with types." Viewers have expectations of what that "type" is - understand what that is, and then exploit it to your advantage.
10. Have a glass or two of wine. "I think that might not be such a bad idea. I think there were a couple of people who could have benefited greatly from it."