By Annie Barrett
Updated August 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT
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The Dancing With the Stars promo pics for season 15 — All-Stars! — are out. This happens twice a year, and I love and hate it. LOVE because I get to create fictions about the couples based on one ridiculous photograph; HATE because 1) they’re a sign I’m about to lose my nighttime freedom in a few weeks and 2) the Planet Mirrorballus visitors are tragically not dahhhhhhncing together already.

Here’s how I ranked the couples on their chances to actually win this thing. But right now — for no reason at all other than “It’s a summer Friday” — let’s go through their press photos and determine where each couple falls on the Damages Scale from 1 (merely annoying) to 10 (bunny-boiling). And if you’re new, please keep in mind….I’m kidding! Always.

Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy

This one is just hands-down the hottest. Matching sex-on-the-beach hair?! I mean, of course, no, I know, it’s wrong. They should keep it professional. But maybe a glamorous showmance is the DEFINITION of keeping it professional on Dancing With the Stars. Gah, just look at them! Sex on a piece of driftwood. No damages incurred. (0)

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd

Gilles has apparently mistaken this program for a giant hands contest. I’ll allow it. (0.5)

NEXT PAGE: Ah, those good old days when Drew Lachey was useful

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskya

Clearly Anna aims to portray Babette/The Featherduster in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast — a maid who was transformed into a cleaning product due to the Enchantress’ (or in this case, Bruno Tonioli’s) spell. Anyone in that getup is welcome to be our guest, but Drew really needs to fire up some better hand gestures if he wants to spit flames like Babette’s main man Lumière. Six years he’s been rusting, needing so much more than dusting…. (2)

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough

How will they be able to pull off a dramatic representation of the plight of a young elite gymnast (starring Derek as Bela Karolyi and Brooke Burke as the balance beam) on “the year that changed my life” night if Captain Choreography can’t stop smelling her hair? (3)

NEXT PAGE: Wittle Playboy bunny rabbit got scared

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Pamela Anderson and Tristan MacManus

I get what she’s going for here, but their looks are incongruous. She’s all “Like a virgin…hey! Clutched for the very first time,” and he’s like “It is what it is, isn’t it?” (likely referring to his all-new lip liner goatee). And only one of them is secretly thinking about Superquinn sausages. This should be addressed during training; they’ll need to be on the same page. (4)

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani

That’s a pretty weird-looking cello. (6.66 repeating)

NEXT PAGE: Grimace likes (when Karina) shakes (her fringe)

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff

This is the most Grimace-y in the bunch, and I am referring to their facial expressions as well as Apolo’s costume-induced resemblance to McDonald’s’ shake-obsessed purple monster. Karina looks like she’s pissed that Apolo’s not offering her the stool she clearly wants to sit on (or at least his left thigh). I hope they had a fun time at prom. (6.9)

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower

I have absolutely nothing to say about this one and it’s making me CRAZY. (7) (“Seh-vehhhhhhn!”)

NEXT PAGE: Never hide behind a thin person

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Ah, a happier Grimace! However: I suspect Cheryl’s gown used to be a full-length lacy catsuit, and Emmitt — having put his foot down at her jeopardizing his chances with such an ’80s fashion choice — “rushed for extra yardage” (what am I talking about????) and is now shackling her into a reluctant, yet super-sexy-faced, compromise. (7) (“Seh-vehhhhhhn!”)

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson

Hiding behind a waif to partially shield the self-proclaimed Fat One’s girth? We’ve all done it, but still. Dance party foul! (8)

NEXT PAGE: Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas oppose gun control

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas

Relax, dorks. The Dance Duel is over. And those glasses should be outlawed. (9)

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

DQ’ed for not showing (scheduling conflict). No Dairy Queen for them, either. (10)

BONUS DAMAGE:

Can Hope Solo just cut it out already? Maks may be no prize, but neither is she. (10)

Which shot is your fave? What evil deed is Mark scheming up from behind those problem glasses?

And what is with you today? What’s with today, today? Let me know what’s annoying you, pop-culture wise, here or in the comments and I may address it in the next installment.

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Dancing With the Stars

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