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Confession: Prior to last month, I had never watched a single episode of Dancing With the Stars. But you’d better believe I’ve seen every single episode of The O.C. — multiple times, in fact. And when ABC announced back in March that
Marissa Cooper Mischa Barton was set to compete on its 22nd season, I excitedly set my DVR and hoped for the best. Sure, Barton’s post-O.C. ventures have been a mixed bag at best — here a questionable movie based on the notorious Russian pop duo t.A.T.u., there a confusing e-cigarette campaign — but still. DWTS would mark the start of Barton’s glorious pop cultural comeback. Right?
Not exactly. On Monday night, just three weeks into the competition, Barton and her professional partner Artem Chigvintsev were kicked off the show. One look at the pair's three performances, and it’s pretty obvious why they were cut. The first week, the two showed off a somber tango that involved more walking than actual dancing; the third, they inexplicably set their samba to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.” Barton couldn’t keep up with the choreography or with her experienced counterpart, Chigvintsev, and feedback from the judges was almost always negative. But even though I knew Barton deserved the boot, it still feels like she was written out of the story too early (sound familiar, O.C. fans?).
So since high-drama dancing’s obviously not in the cards for our former teen soap sweetheart, what’s her best next move? (Certainly not the foxtrot. Ha.) Below, a few options worth considering — “Misched” opportunities, if you will.
1. A role on Scream Queens Season 2: The casting list for the first season of FOX’s buzzy horror-comedy hybrid was nothing if not star studded, with everyone from Jamie Lee Curtis to Nick Jonas to Ariana Grande putting in screen/scream time. Barton, meanwhile, has appeared in her fair share of scary flicks, both good (The Sixth Sense) and bad (Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard). Ryan Murphy, are you listening?
2. Become the queen of Coachella: To be sure, Barton’s a regular at the West Coast’s biggest, buzziest music event, with the closetful of vintage rock tees and bordering-on-costumey fringed vests to match. Still, she hasn’t attended Coachella as many times, nor as enthusiastically, as Vanessa Hudgens, arguably the celebrity face of the festival. It’s time for someone to challenge Hudgens for her (flower) crown. And that someone is Barton. California, here we come?
3. Do the DJ thing: Say what you will about Barton’s dancing and acting talents, but her taste in music (and ‘70s rock in particular) is pretty solid. She almost certainly owns a laptop. And she’s pretty. Her fellow mid-aughts pop cultural icon Paris Hilton’s certainly done well for herself since rebranding herself as a DJ — so why not Barton?
4. An O.C. reunion: Improbable, sure — but considering that Fuller House is a (terrible) thing that happened, it’s not impossible. Barton’s said multiple times that she has no desire to step back into Marissa Cooper’s Chanel flats and doesn’t even watch reruns of the series that made her famous, but still. Perhaps Peter Gallagher could convince her. Who could say no to those majestic eyebrows?!