In the afterglow of a very successful Star 102.1’s Dancing with the Knoxville Stars, speculation has already turned to who will be in next year’s cast. Terry Morrow reports that WBIR’s Kris Budden has expressed interest. During Thursday night’s show, I announced that WVLT’s Bob Yarbrough should dance next year. I based that on no facts whatsoever. His morning and noon co-anchors, Michele Silva and Allison Kropff, have both participated.

The ideal mix of local celebrities would be someone from Star 102.1, someone from each of the three local TV news organizations, someone from the print media and a few other notable personalities. In each of the first three years, we’ve been fortunate to have someone from a nationally-televised reality show. We need contestants who will inspire ticket sales and donations to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. It will be months before the official invitations are sent out by Seth Linkous at the hospital. Potential dancers need to be available for weeks of training at Academy Ballroom in addition to the dress rehearsal and the actual performance.

In the days since the event, I’ve been contacted about three potential candidates. Two of them sent email privately and one, Logan Murrell, posted her request on my Facebook wall. Logan is a 14-year-old performer who has been singing professionally since she was a small child. I like her initiative and I think that ballroom dancing lessons can only benefit her in the future.

I’ve seen Logan sing with the Knoxville Symphony, on stage in Market Square and at a fancy charity event. At first, her style invited obvious comparisons to a young LeAnn Rimes.  However at the Signature Chefs auction, she did jazz standards instead of country songs. On Facebook, she mentioned that she’s been doing cover versions of current pop songs, including some by a favorite of mine, Bruno Mars. Her latest work is posted on her YouTube channel. Her video for “Grenade” appears to have been shot in the warehouse district near Knoxville’s Old City.

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