April 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM ET
When former "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Mario Lopez dished last week that the powers-that-be behind the ballroom bash had contacted him to do an all-stars turn next season, we couldn't help but start formulating a list of past contestants we'd love to see return. After all, there are quiet a few runners-up and early exiters (thanks a lot, voters!) who should've had a legit shot at mirror ball glory, but instead had it snatched away, leaving tears instead of confetti in their wake.
Among those we consider must-haves (no winners allowed!):
1. Mel B.: The season five runner-up was robbed, we say! Robbed! The former Spice Girl performed consistently and beautifully throughout the competition. Her final dance earned her a perfect score, yet she lost to race-car driver Helio Castroneves. And her flawless and powerful paso doble with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy in week seven? Mmmm! That performance earned a perfect 30 from the judges and landed at No. 5 of "Dancing's" list of top 10 dances in the history of the show. We already know what a hot pair she and Maks are together, but should she come back, we hope the producers tweak things just a little and put her with Maks' little bro, Val, instead. Let's see what the younger Chmerkovskiy can do with Mel!
2. Gilles Marini: Long before William Levy brought sexy back to the ballroom this season, this French actor heated things up when he hit the floor with two-time champ Cheryl Burke in season eight. But don't get us wrong! Our desire to see Gilles waltz back onto the show isn't about ballroom eye candy -- well, it's not just about ballroom eye candy. Gilles delivered a number of standout dances, including a fan-favorite Argentine tango that earned him a perfect score from the panel. He even made it all the way to the second place spot for the season. Without Shawn Johnson standing in his way again, he could take it all the way. His perfect take-two partner would have to be another winning champ -- Kym Johnson.
3. Carson Kressley: OK, we're the first to admit he's far from the best dancer the show has ever seen. But who can deny that he was possibly the most fun star to watch -- ever. The fashion expert had a grin from ear to ear for every performance and made each week that he performed on season 13 an absolute joy to watch. And even after his week-five elimination, his over-the-top personality continued to bring new life to the show in the form of extra video clips. Let's keep that going by adding him to the all-stars cast. And as an added bonus (for viewers and Carson), pair him with Maks for extra hijinks! We all know what a big crush he has on the bad boy of the ballroom.
4. Kyle Massey: The original idea behind "Dancing With the Stars" was to take entertainers with no real background in formal dance, put them through rigorous rehearsals and eventually bring out their ballroom best. In season 11, dance-savvy ringer Jennifer Grey stole the spotlight, but we felt it was Disney Channel star and runner-up Kyle who really deserved top honors. In the beginning, he brought enthusiasm and big laughs, if not flawless footwork, to the dance floor. And by the finale, he showed off moves any ballroom amateur would be proud to master. While pro Lacey Schwimmer was a great match for Kyle the first time around, this time we'd like to see him put his best foot forward alongside the always eager Chelsie Hightower.
5. Sabrina Bryan: The former Cheetah Girl's week-six exit during season five goes down as one of the biggest shockers in the show's history. Sabrina and pro partner Mark Ballas wowed viewers each week with ridiculously high scores (never anything lower than a 25), and even earned a perfect 30 in week four, the earliest anyone had received that score up until then. To bring her back for a second chance would give her the opportunity to show once more just how far she could've gone. But let's keep Mark out of it this time (the two dated for a bit after meeting on the show). For her new partner, we choose Tristan MacManus.
So many great past contestants to choose from! But who *wouldn't* you want to see compete again? Tell us on our Facebook page!
More in The Clicker: