Some might say that Sabrina Bryan had a few advantages during her first stint on "Dancing With the Stars."
The pop singer and "Cheetah Girls" star not only had past dance experience (she trained at a dance academy and worked in a choreographed girl group), but she had mega chemistry -- on and off the screen -- with her Season 5 partner, Mark Ballas. The pair even dated briefly after their "DWTS" reign ended.
But for the upcoming all-stars season -- for which Bryan was just chosen as the lucky 13th wildcard contestant by viewers -- her former partner is already taken (by Bristol Palin, no less!).
Her new partnerThis time around, Bryan will dance with longtime "DWTS" pro Louis Van Amstel. But will Van Amstel's pairing with Bryan ooze chemistry like he did with Kelly Osbourne back in Season 9? Or will it be more like his awkward season with Kendra Wilkinson, the former Playmate who made no secret of her lack of physical attraction to her partner?
In addition to dissing Van Amstel during her season's personal story week (the story was about her courtship with NFL pro hubby Hank Baskett, whom she described as "the complete opposite" of Louis), in 2011, Wilkinson detailed her relationship with Van Amstel in her book "Being Kendra." "We clashed constantly," she wrote. "He called me dyslexic. He asked if I was learning disabled…Part of me thought this is what selling out looks like."
But Bryan is excited for her second chance with Louis -- especially after her shocking Season 5 elimination that had even the judges crying foul. In an interview with "Good Morning America," Bryan called her new partner "incredible."
"I am so excited. I'm getting teary eyed just right now," she said. "I feel like the stars are aligning, and I get a second chance."
Van Amstel added, "This is the first season I can knock myself out as a dancer, as a choreographer because she's so good. From day one, we are going to knock even our own socks off."
A different kind of danceAs for an unfair advantage when it comes to the actual dancing, Bryan's former partner defended her. In 2007 Mark Ballas told TV Guide that he didn't agree with talk that she had an unfair advantage due to her hip-hop and pop star background.
"In the beginning, when I first met her, she was clueless," he said. "She could stand with her knees bent and go 'Yeah, yeah, boom, boom, hip-hop.' But as far as having your feet turned out properly, your hair in a wonderful beehive hairdo, and a ballroom gown with feathers at your feet? She didn't know how to do that. It's a totally different kettle of fish."
"Dancing With the Stars All-Stars" premieres on Monday, 9/24, on ABC.
More from this contributor:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Sabrina Bryan
- Van Amstel
- Louis Van Amstel
- Mark Ballas
- Kendra Wilkinson