‘Dancing with the Stars’ Finale predictions update: Laurie Hernandez on her way to Mirror Ball Trophy

Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez looks as strong as ever in the race for the Mirror Ball Trophy in season 23 of “Dancing with the Stars.” She led our predictions even before the season premiered, and has never left the top spot. The week of the two-night “DWTS” finale is no exception. Below, see the current standings as of this writing (week-to-week changes are in italics), and check out our complete racetrack odds for Monday night.

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  1. Laurie Hernandez — 8/15 (last week: 1st place with 1/2 odds)
  2. James Hinchcliffe — 10/3 (last week: 2nd place with 10/3 odds)
  3. Calvin Johnson — 11/1 (last week: 4th place with 28/1 odds)
  4. Jana Kramer — 33/1 (last week: 3rd place with 28/1 odds)

Hernandez had another two perfect dances on “Semi-Finals Night” — in fact, she hasn’t received a judges’ score lower than a 10 for the last three weeks. That keeps her ahead in our leaderboard predictions, just about even with last week at 8/15 odds.

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Race card driver James Hinchcliffe was very nearly perfect last Monday night — one nine from Carrie Ann Inaba for his Argentine tango kept him from tying Hernandez and Terra Jole at the top of the leaderboard — but he continues to be one of the season’s most consistent performers and holds steady in second place with 10/3 odds.

Hernandez and Hinchcliffe appear to be secure in the top two slots, so season 23 of “DWTS” may be a race for third place. Country singer Jana Kramer and football player Calvin Johnson have been evenly matched over the weeks, but Johnson has moved ahead of her in our predictions, jumping into third place with 11/1 odds, up significantly from 28/1 odds last week even though he finished at the bottom of the leaderboard on the night of semi-finals.

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That leaves Kramer in fourth place with 33/1 odds. She had a slightly better night than Johnson during semi-finals, scoring two points more from the judges, so perhaps our predictions contest entrants are betting that Johnson’s abundant charisma will carry him through to the top three.

If you think we’re underestimating Kramer or Johnson for the Mirror Ball Trophy, there’s still time to enter your predictions and affect our odds before tonight’s show. In our “DWTS” predictions center you can bet on who will get the high score, who will get the low score, how many 10s the judges will give out, who will be eliminated and who will win the Mirror Ball Trophy at the end of the season. You can make or edit your choices right up until the minute the live show starts at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific.

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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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