[WATCH] ‘Dancing with the Stars’ contest winner: Laurie Hernandez is ‘inevitable,’ but don’t dismiss Terra Jole

Forecasting season 23 of “Dancing with the Stars,” Gold Derby reader Tony Randall points out, “I think Laurie Hernandez has far more stage presence and is a more natural performer [than Shawn Johnson, the Olympic gymnast who won season eight]. It seems inevitable.” Randall won our predictions contest for week six of the competition, “Latin Night,” so we chatted via webcam to dish this season’s surprises and debate what will happen next. Watch above.

Photo Gallery: Every winner of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ to date

But if Hernandez is such a foregone conclusion, what about race car driver James Hinchcliffe? He has topped the judges’ leaderboard just as often as Hernandez has (three times) and has given the gold-medalist a run for her money at almost every turn. “I think it’s obvious it’s going to be those two at the end; I don’t really see who their competition would be. But I think Laurie is much better,” Randall explains about their rivalry. “His personality exudes in his dancing, and that’s great. Technically, I think they’re not in the same league whatsoever.”

But as strong as the scores for Hernandez and Hinchcliffe have been, the contestant that Randall has been most enthusiastic about is reality TV star Terra Jole, the first little person ever to compete on the show. When I ponder whether she could be at risk of elimination Randall protests, “I refuse to accept that Terra is in trouble. Terra is the only celebrity that I have any vested interest in this season. She’s great. [Her partnership with Sasha Farber] is great. She is such an entertainer … I actually might stop watching if they get rid of Terra because then Laurie is just going to win — it’s over, just give it to Laurie.”

Photo Gallery: ‘DWTS’ Top 10 BEST Pro Dancers Ever

Do you agree with Randall about Hernandez, Hinchcliffe and Jole? Our predictions center is open so you can bet on week eight of “DWTS.”

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” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “Dancing with the Stars” in our reality TV forum.

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