Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dancing With The Stars - Season 24 Scouting Report

I have been a faithful watcher of Dancing With the Stars for the last decade. I would tell you it was a guilty pleasure, but that would mean I actually felt guilty about watching - I don't. Through all my watching, I have become quite adept at scouting the field. Before the dancing begins, I wanted to offer up my initial review of what I think is to come this season.

(All pictures courtesy of ABC)

Simone Biles & Sasha 

Sasha has had two strong seasons back-to-back. He tapped into the personality of Kim Fields, and then last season, he was fantastic with Terra Jolle. I'm excited to see him with one of the top competitors from this round, and I'd be shocked if they weren't in the finals.

Prediction: Top 2 - Obvs.



Charo & Keo 

If Keo's known for one thing, it's a less than stellar draw on partners. Unfortunately, this looks to be what has happened once more. My prediction is that Charo is the Gary Busey of this season. She won't take direction, and I'm fully expecting weird dancing improv. Once more, Keo goes early. *Womp Womp*

Prediction: They are the first or second to go.


Erika Jayne & Gleb

I know zero things about Erika like I do about all the housewives. She's not the first one to be on the show, and they've typically done okay. Gleb is also coming off a strong season with Jana Kramer. If he can tap into Erika's talent like that, they could be a sleeper pick to make it deep into the competition.

My Prediction: Eh, somewhere in the middle.


Heather Morris & Maks

Maks is my all-time favorite pro. He's the best of all-time, and he should have more mirror balls than he does (Mel B > Helio). Given he's a new dad and back on the show, there's stories to tell and emotions to tap into all-around. Heather Morris is Brittany from Glee, and most importantly, A FORMER BEYONCE BACK-UP DANCER. I'm already over people complaining that she has professional dance experience. After all, Nicole Scherzinger once won the freakin' show. It also works because there are other cast members who also have a dance background, so this should create some fun competition.

My Prediction: I hope they win it all.


Mr. T & Kym

Mr. T's going to bring the personality, and that'll work to his advantage. He won't have the best moves, but I think he's going to have fun with the contest. He'll use his lines, try his best, and it'll be good TV. Kym also always has great energy, and this will be a fun pairing.

My Prediction: They'll be around for a few weeks.


Lindsay & David Ross

David Ross is the first baseball player EVER on the show which is bananas. He's a likable guy, and he'll have the backing of Cubs fans everywhere. Although I'm not sure that all of the Cubs fans watch the show. Lindsay does a good job with her partners and is generally hilarious both intentionally and unintentionally. I think this will be a good fit with Grandpa Rossy.

My Prediction: Likability gets them to the halfway point of the season.


Nancy Kerrigan & Artem

Okay, this is hard for me to say - I don't think this will go as well as people might think. Yes, two other female skaters have won - Kristi Yamaguchi in Season Six with Mark Ballas, and Meryl Davis in the 18th season with Maks. I don't think it'll be the worst, but the talent this season is fierce, and it's just not going to be their time. Also, I will be real interested to see if the Tonya Harding incident comes up at any point.

My Prediction: They're the fourth or fifth to go.


Nick Viall & Peta

Following in the footsteps of Chris Soules (finished 5th), Chad Lowe (finished 6th with Peta) and Jake Pavelka (finished 7th), here's Nick. I know enough about Nick to know he's not universally loved, but he's not the total worst, so he won't be first out. I also know Peta is awesome and does a great job of playing to her partner's strengths, and she's just the best on our own. She's back after a season off to have a baby and be a new mom, and I'm excited to have her return.

My Prediction: They go early. Sorry, Peta.


Normani Kordei & Val

This is the third contestant in the "Talent Like Whoa" trifecta contest. I think her experience with Fifth Harmony will serve her well. Val is coming off a winning season with Laurie Hernandez, and he'll be ready to compete once more, especially against his brother who also has a super talented partner.

My Prediction: Third or Fourth Place.


Rashad Jennings & Emma

Football players have historically done quite well on the show. Emma hasn't been partnered with one before, so I'm excited to see what she does with the opportunity. She's had some seasons with some less than talented folks along the way, so I'm excited to see what she does with someone who can do more advanced choreography. The tricky thing is the women on this season have exponentially more talent that I think will run the tables.

My Prediction: Top Finisher for the men, but only amounts to fourth or fifth because of the rest of the talent here.


Bonner Bolton & Sharna

Okay, I have no idea who this guy is. Y'all, he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. But here's the thing, Sharna did magical work with James Hinchcliffe (Indy Car Driver) last season, and I had no idea who he was either. If this guy has some talent, Sharna will make it work. If he doesn't, then the lack of name recognition means an early exit.

My Prediction: Fifth or sixth place if he's got talent and personality. Second or third out if he just doesn't have it.


Chris Kattan & Witney

I adore Witney. She's one of my favorite pros. However, she's just not set up for success here unless Kattan has all this secret ballroom talent he's never shown off. Also, I think this will depend if Kattan is excited to be on the show. If he is, it could buy him a few weeks because people like people who are having a good time.

My Prediction: First or second to go.


Stay tuned next week when I'll recap the premiere and offer revised picks once I see the talent that's out there!

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