So, let's assess this cast and figure out the BIIIIG question: Who wins the 13th season of "Dancing with the Stars."
As usual, edge goes to the athlete . . . the one with stamina . . . the one with work ethic . . . the one who gets Cheryl Burke or Maks . . . and this season, the woman.
"DWTS" loves to mix it up -- to make you think that anyone has a chance to get the ol' glitter trophy. Not true of course. Voting patterns tend to favor men over women, and so this season, "DWTS" probably wants a woman back in the winner circle.
With that in mind, let's go to the list of 12; by the way, partners list is out tomorrow and that can make a big difference, of course. Who -- for example -- gets a returning Derek Hough? A lucky dancer, that's who.
- Chaz Bono, born Chastity, only daughter of Sonny Bono and Cher; actor, activist for LGBT community.
Odds: Good to go far, but slim for a win. Chaz' physical stamina has to be suspect. (But then, so was Kirstie's.)
Nancy Grace, noisy Headline News host who blasted "Tot Mom" Anthony.
Odds: A fun cast choice, and by "fun" I mean vaguely ridiculous; doesn't she have a nighttime job after all? She will almost certainly be expected to do both (get back to you on this question) and doing both is next to impossible (See: Wendy Williams.) I see the anti-Tot Mom gone by the mid-rounds.
- Ricki Lake, former host of trashy daytime talker.
Odds: I don't know much about Lake other than her long-gone and not lamented (though lamentable) talk show. But I do know she's an excellent poker player and that she's lost a great deal of weight in recent years. She knows the odds, and may be a surprising hoofer. I think she'll get past the mid-rounds.
- Rob Kardashian, son of Kris and Robert, and the lesser known of the four 'K Kids' -- Kim, Kourtney, Khloe.
Odds: Just can't see a Kardashian winning "DWTS." Odds are long, but I don't see him as the Mike Catherwood of this season either.
- J.R. Martinez, actor (All My Children") and inspirational speaker.
Odds: Should go very far with fans and judges -- the former soldier suffered burns over 40 percent of body when his Humvee was attacked during his tour of duty in Iraq. I like his odds very much except . . . (see above.)
- Chyna Phillips, formerly of trio Wilson Phillips.
Odds: The singer/actress has a big recent hit (a cameo in "Bridesmaids") but so what. I just don't have enough information to scope this one out. She could be one of those midlevel celebs that never get much traction with voters, or may be a dark horse. Hunch though is that odds are probably on the long side.
- Carson Kressley, former "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
Odds: My say: Late cast addition was made in wake of rumors that Ryan O'Neal would get this slot instead. So you might think he's an also ran. But I'm not sure. Kressley is actually an interesting addition -- lots of charisma, and -- did you know? -- he's a world-class equestrian of all things. That means he understands competition, has poise under pressure and probably has the requisite stamina. Don't be surprised if Carson goes far. I like his odds.
- Elisabetta Canalis, actress. Odds: I am sure she's a lovely person, and fine actress, and so on. But really! Not a chance, especially if your only real claim to fame on this side of the big pond are your former ties to someone named George Clooney. Loooongggg odds.
- Kristin Cavallari, former cast member of "The Hills." Odds: For some crazy reason, I like KC's chances here. Call it a "DWTS" intuition. But that doesn't mean victory either.
- - Ron Artest, small forward, the L.A. Lakers.
Odds: Excellent. He's all personality and talent, and a true-blue oddball. Will Len call him "Peace" or "Metta?" But he's a ferocious competitor, and a slightly smaller stature should make him more graceful than (say) Rick Fox.
- David Arquette, actor, ex- of actress Courteney Cox.
Odds: He could go all the way to the end, or be gone in a flash, but probably not the latter. I think -- emphasis on think -- that he has a great chance here, depending on his work ethic and inherent talent, assuming he has any. He was once, oddly enough, a WWF star (I use the word advisedly) so he knows how to perform. Quirky goes far -- mark my words.
- Hope Solo, soccer star:
Odds: The winner. Or likely winner. She will probably get Maks as a partner, which should seal the deal. She has it all -- great strength, stamina, foot speed and grace. With Maks whipping her into shape, she should dominate this field right up to the end.