Each season, Kat Gotsick undertakes the world’s dumbest statistical analysis in order to predict who the producers of “Dancing with the Stars” might cast. Based on that analysis, the producers choose all their contestants from 11 different categories in seven different tiers of priority. Check her predictions in the other categories for Season 17: Elite Athletes / Pop Stars / Comedians & Goofballs / Reality Stars / Wild Cards / Nostalgic Icons / Physically Challenged / Beautiful People / People We Hate  / Disney Stars

C Listers are the stars that might show up on any given season but they also might not. There has been a Quirky C Lister on eight of 15 seasons, just a bit more than half. We haven’t seen one in a couple seasons so I think we might be due.

Here’s a complete list of Quirky Delightful C Listers that have ever appeared on DWTS (and how I characterized them):

C-Lister Table

What does the data tell us about Quirky C Listers?

This is by and large a list of past-their-prime or never-quite-got-all-the-way-there actors with a couple of talk show hosts thrown in for good measure . . . and Billy Ray Cyrus. The TV actors seem to have a significant emphasis on supporting or ensemble roles.

If I’m a producer on DWTS, I’m looking first for someone who has enough novelty factor and notoriety to work in my favor (think Hasselhoff).  If that doesn’t work, then I’m looking for someone who has a lot of novelty factor and has been out of the spotlight for a while because the second best story I’ll be able to tell is that I re-launched someone interesting and cool back into the national conversation.


Choices that Make the Most Sense Predictive Criteria Wise: Craig Ferguson, Dave Coulier, George Takei[ref]He could also be a Nostalgic Icon.[/ref]

The White Whales: Tony Danza, Cuba Gooding Jr.

The Blue Whales: Fred Willard, Shelley Long, Geena Davis

The Be-Careful-What-You-Wish-For Whales: I think if there’s not a whiff of “be careful what you wish for” with any of these guys, you’re not doing it right.

The Sterotypical Ready-for-Reality TV Choices: Arsenio Hall, Wesley Snipes

The Courageous Choice I Bet They Wouldn’t Regret: Weird Al Yankovic

The Plan B/Deep Cuts: One of those “Bunheads”