‘Dancing with the Stars’ season premiere shockers: Is Nyle DiMarco, Wanya Morris or Ginger Zee the new frontrunner?

dancing with the stars nyle dimarco wanya morris ginger zee dwts season premiere

Did you correctly predict who would come out on top during the season 22 premiere of “Dancing With the Stars“? If so, you should be taking part in our weekly prediction contest. Hurry — make your “Dancing with the Stars” predictions for a chance to top our famous leaderboards. It’s fun and easy, so start now by scrolling down to predict which celeb will be eliminated next.

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As predicted by our exclusive Gold Derby odds, there was no elimination in the season premiere episode – this week’s judges’ scores will be combined with viewer votes to determine who stays and goes next week. We had forecast a 59% chance of a non-elimination round (2/3 odds), but that doesn’t mean there were no surprises in the first night of competition.

The big surprises came from how well the celebs did as a whole. The judges’ scored conservatively throughout the night, as they usually do in week one – there were no 10s given out, as most of us expected, and in fact the judges scored no one higher than eight – but despite saving the big numbers for later in the competition, the vast majority of contestants scored well: nine out of the 12 received sevens or eights, and those nine dancers all scored within three points of each other. If this level of quality keeps up, season 22 could be one of the show’s most competitive ever.

But even with so many stars excelling, the top scorers weren’t who we expected. There was a three-way tie for the top of the judges’ leaderboard (23 out of 30 points), but none of them were among the top three stars we were predicting. We thought UFC fighter Paige VanZant would score highest (2/1 odds, 34% chance), followed by actress Jodie Sweetin (13/5 odds, 28% chance) and football player Antonio Brown (10/1 odds, 9% chance).

Instead, fourth-ranked Nyle DiMarco (also 10/1 odds, 9% chance) finished on top despite the fact that the model is completely deaf. Tying him were meteorologist Ginger Zee, who we ranked sixth (28/1 odds, 4% chance), and most surprisingly Wanya Morris, who we ranked seventh with 80/1 odds and a scant 1% chance of coming out on top.

Consider also how those stars ranked in our predictions for who will win the Mirror Ball Trophy: DiMarco was fourth, Zee was sixth and Morris was way back in 11th place, but expect them to rise as our users make their predictions for next week.

‘DWTS’ power rankings: Nyle DiMarco & Antonio Brown are the men to watch

Congratulations to SpankyHotDog for earning the top score in this week’s contest. He is one of four contest entrants to reap perfect 100% accuracy predicting all of the questions for this episode, though he broke the tie with his high 5,254.55 point score thanks to locking in the best odds throughout the week. He got his biggest windfall by betting 100 points on Zee as the night’s top scorer at 40/1 odds; that alone resulted in a 4,000-point payout. If eligible, as per our contest rules, he will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

Can YOU take down our top-scoring reader next week to earn bragging rights and a place on our season 22 leaderboard? There are still many weeks left to play in our contest.

Consider this week’s judges’ scores before you enter your own picks for next week:

Nyle DiMarco – 23
Wanya Morris – 23
Ginger Zee – 23
Antonio Brown – 21
Marla Maples – 21
Von Miller – 21
Paige VanZant – 21
Kim Fields – 20
Jodie Sweetin – 20
Mischa Barton – 16
Doug Flutie – 15
Geraldo Rivera – 13

‘DWTS’ power rankings: Jodie Sweetin & Paige VanZant are the women to beat

So who do you think will win and lose? In our “Dancing with the Stars” predictions center, you get to answer the following questions before each episode airs on ABC every Monday at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET.:

Who will win ‘Dancing with the Stars’?

Which star will be eliminated?

Who will receive the judges’ HIGHEST score?

Who will receive the judges’ LOWEST score?

How many 10s will the judges give out?

At the end of each week, the eligible user with the highest prediction accuracy and most points will be the leaderboard champ for the week, so it’s beneficial to keep coming back often and making/updating your predictions.

Remember that coming out on top doesn’t just mean answering that week’s questions correctly. You also have to use your three big bets (500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a longshot who pulls off an upset, you can really rack up the points, so don’t take them for granted.

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Who do you think is going to be eliminated? Making your “DWTS” predictions is fun and easy. Just log into your Gold Derby account (or you can register for a free account via Facebook) and then start casting your votes to the right or at the bottom of this post.

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save Predictions” when you’ve settled on your choice.

You’ll compete to win bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the current season of “Dancing with the Stars” in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.

Photo Credit: ABC

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