Willis and partner Val Chmerkovskiy revisited the foxtrot that put them at the top of the leaderboard in the very first week of competition. It originally scored 32 out of 40, so this week's perfect score was an improvement of a whopping eight points. They followed that with a pared-down freestyle that focused on intricate technique and choreography; it was set to a cover of Britney Spears's "Toxic" performed by Willis and Chmerkovskiy.
That left military veteran Noah Galloway in third place in the judges scores. He too received a perfect 40 for his freestyle dance, helped by the fact that partner Sharna Burgess didn't have to work around the double-amputee's physical limitations on a specific ballroom style; she was able to tailor the routine specifically to him.
Unfortunately, their first dance wasn't as successful. He bobbled a lift in a repeat of their Argentine tango. With straight 8s from the judges (32 total), they still improved on their previous score by two points, but 8s are unusually low for any couple in the finals.
An overwhelming 85% of users predicted Galloway would get the low score, giving him 2/11 odds, so beating your fellow users on that question will mostly depend on what his odds were at the time you made your bets and whether you placed your 500-point or 200-point big bet on the outcome.
How did our top users fare? Everyone in the top eight of our overall predictions leaderboard answered both of Monday night's questions correctly. Ninth place Erik10101 predicted Lynch's high score, but wrongly bet on Willis to receive the low score. Meanwhile, Other Daryl, perhaps hoping to move up from 10th place on our leaderboard, bet on long-shot Galloway to get the high score and Lynch to get the low score.
Is Galloway completely out of the running now after finishing a full eight points behind perfect Lynch and Willis? He overcame steep odds just to make it to the finals, but taking the mirror ball trophy from third place is an especially tall order.
So if Tuesday night's results really do come down to Lynch vs. Willis, which of them has the advantage? Willis was our frontrunner going into Monday night's performance episode, but another perfect night for Lynch means he is officially the judges' highest-scoring dancer of the season, finishing five points ahead of Willis.
Why is that significant? Because as user Eeric previously pointed out, the last five "DWTS" champs all had the best judges' marks: Melissa Rycroft (season 15), Kellie Pickler (season 16), Amber Riley (season 17), Meryl Davis (season 18), and Alfonso Ribeiro (season 19). The last time a contestant won the mirror ball trophy without the highest judges' score was season 14, when football player Donald Driver prevailed; he was the judges' third favorite dancer based on their scores.
Is that a bad sign for Willis?
When making your predictions, remember that 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 answers, don't take them for granted.
So if you think Lynch has the secret advantage, you can put your 500-point bet on his victory at 12/5 odds and score 1,200 if you're right. By contrast, betting 500 points on Willis at her leading 4/7 odds will only give you a 285-point payout. Sometimes it pays to bet on an underdog, but as Monday night's results prove, it's sometimes smart to play it safe. Bet wisely.
Just click "Save Predictions" when you've settled on your choice.
To enter your predictions, make sure you are logged into your Gold Derby account or register for a free account via Facebook, Twitter or Google.
After logging in, click on the "Predictions" button found at the top-right of every page. That will bring you to a list of every event currently being predicted at Gold Derby.
We are forecasting everything from the results on TV shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Survivor" to the winners of the Primetime Emmys and Tony Awards.
Click on any box to bring up that event, then scroll down to start making your predictions.
For each TV show, cast your votes on several different questions relating to the upcoming episode. And remember to place your 500 and 200-point bets wisely.