By Michael Slezak
January 05, 2009 at 08:39 PM EST

I’m not gonna lie to you: I stopped watching Dancing With the Stars somewhere around the start of season 4, mainly because the viewing experience started reminding me of those mornings where you’re in the shower, and for the love of all that’s holy, you can’t remember if you’ve shampooed your hair or not. I’d sit there on my couch and think to myself, “Have I or have I not already seen Edyta Sliwinska wrapping her legwarmer-clad gams around this middle-aged C-lister to the tune of En Vogue’s ‘Free Your Mind?'” In other words, it’s my firm belief that DWTS has a casting problem; its former boy-bander + vaguely recognizable “supermodel” + former pro athlete + former teen star formula is as stale as the six remaining Christmas cookies on your kitchen counter this morning. (You know, the ones that are trying to tempt you away from your recommitment to diet excellence in 2009?)

Anyhow, this isn’t to say that I don’t sometimes miss the cheesy charms of DWTS, and so this morning’s MSNBC headline — Is Hugh Jackman ready to go ‘Dancing’? — gave me the briefest of heart flutters, followed almost immediately by the realization that the man tapped to host the 2009 Oscars is about as likely to join the next installment of ABC’s reality competition as Cloris Leachman is to get outfitted with adamantium claws and headline one of the year’s most hotly anticipated action vehicles.

That said, the preposterous Jackman rumor — promptedby DWTS hostbot Samantha Harris’s claim that she approached Wolverine to lace up his ballroom shoes — got me thinking: Who would DWTS have to cast for its upcoming eighth season to get me watching again?I’d start with Wanda Sykes, who’s funnier than any previous DWTS “comic relief” provider, but might actually be fit enough to contend for the crown. I’d also scrap the traditional casting of a former 90210/Melrose Place actor, and instead offer a spot to any member of the cast of the late, great Thirtysomething. (Corey Parker or Mel Harris would get my vote.) And since previous dancing experience didn’t prohibit Lance Bass or Joey Fatone from cracking the top 3, I’m also going to nominate the indomitable Bebe Neuwirth. Throw in celebrity pitchman BILLY MAYS (all caps because the man is always turned up to 11), NYPD Blue star Henry Simmons, any member of defunct girl groups such as 702, 3LW, SWV, or Jade, and Olympic skier Picabo Street (just because her name is superfun to say), and I am totally in. Who would it take to get you excited for another go-’round of DWTS? All must be revealed!

addCredit(“Jackman: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic, Sykes:Jemal Count”)

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