Admittedly, I wasn’t too excited about another season of “Dancing with the Stars”; as much as I’m into reality competition series, the show, which really used to be one of my favorites, really jumped the shark over the recent years.
In an attempt to do things differently, instead of announcing the cast all at once on “Good Morning, America,” the ABC suits decided to slowly peel the layers by announcing one contestant at a time. The first competitor announced? Bindi Irwin.
Hey, I’m sure Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, is a cool kid, but that was hardly enough to pull me back in.
Then the announcement came from the show’s official Twitter account: Chaka Khan would be joining the 21st season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Chicago’s “every woman” is competing on one of the most popular shows on television; with her fan base and sustained career, her presence (a very svelte 62 years young, might I add), not to mention her fiery personality, is sure to set the ballroom’s stuff on fire. Here are five reasons we’ll be watching:
- BECAUSE THE SHOW DESPERATELY NEEDS A BONA FIDE STAR. Over the years, the show has received criticism and much social media flak for not necessarily pulling in actual stars; and with contestants like the aforementioned Irwin and Hayes Grier (Yeah, we know—who?), this season is no different. But Chaka Khan, with her successful, decades-long show business career, along with numerous awards and accolades to boot, is truly the show’s star this season.
- BECAUSE THE TREND OF REAL R&B DIVAS AS CONTESTANTS SHOULD CONTINUE. The baton has been passed–like Gladys Knight (season 14) and Patti LaBelle (season 20) before her (honorable mention: Toni Braxton and Brandy), having Chaka on “Dancing With the Stars” adds to the roster of legendary R&B singers competing for the mirror ball trophy. And while Gladys and “Patti Patti” both came in 8th place during their respective seasons, it’ll be interesting to see if Chaka will meet or surpass her legendary R&B diva counterparts. Speaking of divas—no shade to fellow season 21 contestant Tamar Braxton—but Chaka will definitely be the diva of the dance floor.
- BECAUSE THE BLACK CHICAGO WOMAN ON A REALITY COMPETITION SERIES IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING. With contestants that include Jennifer Hudson (“American Idol”), Barbara Bates (“Fashion Star”), Sherri Shepherd (“Dancing with the Stars”) and others, the Black Chicago Woman has made her mark on major network reality competition shows, positively representing the Windy City along the way.
- BECAUSE WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHICH ONE OF HER SONGS SHE’LL DANCE TO. Through her time with Rufus and of course, her solo career, Chaka Khan’s discography is filled with some of the best—and funkiest—music ever. As is customary with stars of her caliber who compete on the show, it almost a sure thing that Chaka will get to dance to one of her own hits. Will she waltz off “Through the Fire” or “Angel?” Will the house heads hear her dance to “Clouds” or “I Know You, I Love You?” Or will she inevitably get down to her classic “I’m Every Woman?” Whatever the song choice is, it’ll be interesting to see what her partner choreographs for their routine!
- BECAUSE WE ACTUALLY CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HER DANCE. While we sho nuff love Chaka, we must acknowledge the elephant in the room: We’ve never actually seen her dance—can she? For the longest time, we’ve only really seen her do her side-to-side swaying move and not too much beyond that, so what lies in store for her fans? Of course she is super-sassy and fiercely funky, but “sassy” and “funky” do not necessarily a dancer make. But isn’t that what “Dancing with the Stars” is all about—the journey of it all? Coming from nothing to something? Will her partner, Keo Motsepe, bring out her inner boogie?
Be sure to catch Chaka Khan, our very own Black Chicago Woman, on “Dancing with the Stars,” premiering Monday, September 14, 8|7c on ABC!
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