When reading about why Charlie and Meryl didn't wait to do the show, the main reason for them was keeping their names in the news for the sake of endorsement contracts. But Laurie's situation, as has been pointed out, is different. Maybe her experience, quickness to learn routines and her adorability will offset the busyness/less time factors.
As for the dreaded Rick Perry, while he's no Bill Engvall or Kellie Pickler, he does hail from that ever loyal neck of the woods where patriotic, military-admiring and southern middle aged women dwell. They cannot resist voting for one of their own. Even if he dances like Master P, I don't think theres a snowballs chance in Hades he will go out first and I won't be surprised if he outlasts Jake, Lochte, and all the other potential first-outers. Being paired with Emma will probably add to the equation, since after all, she's Bill Engvall's adopted daughter and sweet to the bone. When a redneck is participating, ["not that there's anything wrong with that" ?] the same people who voted for Bill, Michael Waltrip, Kellie Pickler, Sadie Robertson, et al will come out of the woodwork to root for their admittedly ornery but "good ol boy." I would LOVE to be wrong but if past is prologue. . .those who are nauseated might have to endure a few weeks.
Question: Even though Marilu is a Pro dancer who can remember everything and whose heart Derek has already "Eddie Haskelled his way into" ?, did anyone else watch her on the Apprentice? IIRC, she was hyper talkative, stayed in her head too much and was excessively worried about details. She also asked way too many questions. Does anyone else think these traits might easily and quickly irritate OCD Derek? She was sweet, high energy, creative, hard-working and tons of fun until. . .she began to grate on the laid-back, easygoing nerves of Lil Jon and Trace Adkins. Maybe it won't be an issue but from the first minute I heard about the pairing, I wondered if it would be. I adore her, by the way. But working 24/7 with someone like that could be quite a challenge.