When John Schneider enters the ballroom for the upcoming 27th season of “Dancing with the Stars” he’ll be the very first cast member from “The Dukes of Hazard” to compete for the Mirror Ball Trophy, but can he actually win? The new season begins on September 24, so before he hits the dance floor let’s consider his pros and cons.
Schneider has been a fixture on the small screen since he was 17 years old when he won the role of Bo Duke on the hit CBS series, “The Dukes of Hazzard” (1979-1985), which made both him and co-star Tom Wopat household names. Then from 2001-2006, Schneider played Jonathan Kent (the adoptive father of Superman) for the first five seasons of the hit WB/CW series “Smallville,” which gives him two generations of fans to draw votes from.
Schneider has also been quite a renaissance man. At the height of his popularity during “The Dukes of Hazzard” he began a second career as a country singer, and he has released nine studio albums and a greatest hits package, as well as 18 singles. Schneider has also appeared on Broadway twice, in “Grand Hotel” and “Chicago,” as well as in national touring productions of “Brigadoon” and “The Civil War.” So with that much prior experience in music and live performance, he looks like one to watch for in the ballroom.
His professional partner will be Emma Slater. Out of her nine previous seasons, Slater hasn’t had that great of a track record for the most part. She finished in 12th place twice: with Redfoo in season 20 and with Rick Perry in season 23. She finished 10th with Billy Dee Williams on season 18. But she did finally win in season 24 with Rashad Jennings, and in season 25 she made it to fourth place with Drew Scott, so maybe there is hope for her.
Age is nothing but a number, but Schneider, at age 58, might still be at a disadvantage. To date the oldest Mirror Ball winner is Donny Osmond, who was 51 when he prevailed in season 9. Will he be able to keep up with the whippersnappers in this intense physical competition?
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