When Mr. T begins competing on the upcoming 24th season of “Dancing with the Stars” he’ll be the third professional wrestler to take the dance floor on the ABC reality competition series. The previous two were Stacy Keibler (season two) and Chris Jericho (season 12). Can he end up doing the best of them all?
The new season starts on March 20, so before he and his competitors hit the dance floor let’s consider the pros and cons.
Born and raised as Lawrence Tureaud in Chicago, Illinois, he attended Dunbar Vocational High School where he became the citywide wrestling champion two years in a row, so his athletic background goes all the way back to his youth.
It was in 1980 while he was taking part in a segment of NBC’s “Games People Play” where he was spotted by Sylvester Stallone. So Stallone was able to give Mr. T his motion picture debut as James “Clubber” Lang in 1982’s “Rocky III.” He would go on to star as Bosco Albert ‘B.A.’ Baracus on the 1980s TV series “The A-Team” from 1983-1987. Mr. T also spent years in the world of professional wrestling starting in 1985, and he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014. So he has had a lot of time to accumulate a wide array of fans.
His partner on “Dancing with the Stars” will be Kym Johnson, who will be competing as a professional dancer for the 15th time. She’s managed to win twice before: the first time was when she was partnered with Donny Osmond in season nine in 2009, and the second was when she was paired with Hines Ward in season 12 in 2011. She even came close to winning two other times: she came in second place when she was paired with Joey Fatone in season four in 2007, and again when paired with Warren Sapp in season seven in 2008. Her experience and strong track record may help give Mr. T a boost against his rivals.
A professional wrestler has yet to win the Mirror Ball trophy. Stacy Keibler came in third place in the second season, where singer Drew Lachey ended up winning over football player runner-up Jerry Rice. And Chris Jericho was the fifth celebrity eliminated from the competition on the 12th season. Can a third be the charm, or does pro wrestling simply not translate to success on the “DWTS” dance floor?
At age 64, Mr. T is 12 years older than the oldest winner in “DWTS” history: the aforementioned Donny Osmond, who was 52 when he won season nine in 2009. As the physical demands of the show are quite high, can Mr. T outlast younger stars and athletes?
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