‘Dancing with the Stars’: Carlos PenaVega rises, Nick Carter stumbles on the road to finals

dancing with the stars dwts carlos pena vega witney carson nick carter sharna burgess

As our users predicted following Tamar Braxton‘s sudden withdrawal from the competition, no one went home on Monday night’s “Dancing With the Stars.” All four teams who competed during the semi-finals advance to next week’s final round.

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49% of us got that right, and most of us also correctly predicted the night’s high score. 59% of our contest players foresaw Bindi Irwin at the top of the judges’ leaderboard (2/3 odds) for the seventh time this season, but only 8% predicted that Carlos PenaVega would tie her with high marks of his own.

Irwin pulled off her high marks with a salsa that picked up straight 9s from the judges for a total of 27 out of 30, but then she received a perfect score for her trio jazz dance with partner Derek Hough and Mark Ballas. She also won a dance-off against Nick Carter for an extra three points, which brought her total for the night to 60.

PenaVega didn’t receive a perfect score, but he came close with his contemporary dance (28) and his trio Charleston with partner Witney Carson and Karina Smirnoff (29). He won his own dance-off against Alek Skarlatos, resulting in a total of 60 to match Irwin’s.

But the night’s low score took us by surprise. Skarlatos had underperformed for weeks, so an overwhelming 84% of us thought he’d land at the bottom yet again (2/11 odds), but he exceeded our expectations, thanks in part to a perfect-scoring waltz that judge Carrie Ann Inaba called his “best ever.” He scored another 27 for his trio tango with Lindsay Arnold and Emma Slater, but even though he lost his dance-off against PenaVega, that was enough to keep him ahead of struggling Nick Carter.

Carter made mistakes during his tango, resulting in straight 8s, which is low especially at this stage of the competition. Losing his dance-off to Irwin didn’t help, so even though he scored a perfect 30 for his trio salsa with Sharna Burgess and Peta Murgatroyd, he couldn’t escape the bottom of the leaderboard. He ended up with a total of 54.

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Since the majority of us were stumped by Carter’s low score, none of our users perfectly predicted Monday’s show. But 30 of us did manage to score 67% correct predictions for the week, and out of all those, Vinny had the highest overall points total (20,333.33) and thus takes the top spot on our predictions leaderboard.

How did he pull off that high score? By placing 200 points on the non-elimination when that result had 100/1 odds, which gave him an impressive 20,000-point payout. He wagered another 500 on Irwin’s high score at 2/3 odds, which earned him another 333.33 points. Click the chart below for this week’s complete results:

dancing with the stars dwts chart

Keep your point bets in mind when making your predictions: coming out on top doesn’t just mean answering the week’s questions correctly. You also have to use your three big bets (one of 500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a long shot who pulls off an upset, you can really rack up the points. As we use those point totals to break ties when more than one user tops our leaderboard with the same number of correct predictions (as happened this week), don’t take them for granted.

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There were no major shakeups on our overall leaderboard for the season to date. WiltedYouth retains sole possession of the top spot. Thanks to his strong forecasts Monday night he holds on with 20 out of 30 correct predictions (67%) for the season to date. Karen Wood holds steady in second place with 19 out of 30 (63%). Denton Davidson remains in third with 18 out of 30 (60%).

Who do you think will be eliminated next week? Refer to this week’s scores below before making your predictions:

Bindi Irwin – 27 + 30 + 3 = 60
Carlos PenaVega – 28 + 29 + 3 = 60
Alek Skarlatos – 30 + 27 = 57
Nick Carter – 24 + 30 = 54

In our “Dancing with the Stars” predictions center, you get to answer the following questions each week:

Which celebrity will be eliminated?

Who will receive the HIGHEST score from the judges?

Who will receive the LOWEST score from the judges?

Who will win ‘Dancing with the Stars’?

Just log into your Gold Derby account (or you can register for a free account via Facebook, Twitter or Google) and then start casting your votes. Users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you log-in and give us your predictions.

At the end of each week, the eligible user with the highest prediction accuracy and most points will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, so it’s beneficial to keep coming back often and making/updating your predictions.

Photos: Mark Ballas, Alexa PenaVega, Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson, “Dancing with the Stars.” Credit: ABC

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