As of this writing, Davis gets 3/10 odds to win the season, and Purdy follows with 10/1 odds, tied with James Maslow. Candace Cameron Bure trails with 16/1 odds. Purdy has never led our racetrack odds, but she has proven over the weeks that she has what it takes to pull off a shocking upset.
The judges consistently fawn over Davis’s technique; she was the first contestant to receive 10s this season, and she has gotten more of them than any other contestant, including two perfect dances on “American Icons Night” that put her at the top of the leaderboard going into finals.
But she’s beatable.
On the night of celebrity dance duels, Davis found herself in an unusual position – last place – after the judges criticized her out-of-synch collaboration with Danica McKellar. Meanwhile, that same night, Purdy surged to the top for the first time.
Purdy also has the season’s best narrative. Reality TV loves a good underdog story, and it might equally resonate with the fans who vote for reality TV for the prize to go to a resilient double-amputee performing difficult routines on prosthetic legs. Alternately, while it makes sense that Davis, a gold medal-winning ice dancer, would prove an equally adept ballroom dancer, be a judges’ favorite, and then win the season, it wouldn’t be as dramatic a story.
It doesn’t hurt that Purdy is paired with pro dancer Derek Hough, himself an audience-favorite and a five-time winner of “Dancing with the Stars,” including the last two seasons in a row. His legion of fans will likely give Purdy a boost, but will it be enough to take down Davis?
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