Let's face it. It would be hard to top the Season 11 excitement of Jennifer Grey reconnecting with her "Dirty Dancing" past and Bristol Palin's buzzy third-place finish. But by all accounts, the "DWTS" cast for Season 12 is, well, a stumble.
The biggest problem with the 11 contestants of the dance competition: Where are the actual "stars"? Many bloggers are complaining that the lineup is hardly must-see. The cast includes "Fat Actress" Kirstie Alley, former boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, TV talk-show host Wendy Williams, the original "Karate Kid" Ralph Macchio, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, and Playboy model Kendra Wilkinson.
Movieline's Christopher Rosen complained, "It's always easy to harp on 'Dancing With the Stars' for having precious few stars, but this feels particularly egregious."
The new cycle includes outliers that will hardly be recognizable to most viewers -- such as "Psycho" Mike Catherwood, a co-host of the radio program "Loveline." Also competing this season is the rap artist Romeo, newbie Disney Channel actor Chelsea Kane, supermodel Petra Nemcova, and wrestler Chris Jericho.
Even the pros won't be as sizzling this season. Derek Hough -- the fancy-footed dancer who partnered with winner Grey last season -- will be taking a break for Season 12.
The cast managed to leave The New York Times cold: "The roster of semi- and never-were-celebs for the 12th season of that popular reality competition may not include anyone as instantly fascinating as, say, Bristol Palin."
In fact, the celeb who has gotten the most attention this season is one who won't even be appearing on the show: Failed Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell turned down the gig to focus on her new book.
But hey, even a trainwreck of a cast can hold a certain appeal. Stay tuned.