‘Dancing with the Stars’ preview: Who will get the high score in week 8, ‘Dance Trios’?

We’re only three weeks away from the season 24 finale of “Dancing With the Stars”. The five remaining celeb contestants are Bonner Bolton, Normani Kordei, David Ross, Simone Biles and Rashad Jennings, and they will be dancing two routines this week (one regular dance and then a trio dance with an additional pro). With so few stars left, fan bases will be vitally important in determining which of these stars will earn a spot in the final four.

In the last few weeks Kordei and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy have been on an upward trajectory, gaining frontrunner status to be the next “DWTS” champs. They earned the second perfect 40 out of 40 of the season last week with their sizzling and sexy Argentine tango. Early frontrunners Biles and Jennings continue to fall a bit behind Kordei. They have earned nearly perfect scores, leaving them in the runner-up positions for the last few weeks — close but no cigar.

Meanwhile, Bolton and Ross continue to demonstrate that this show isn’t always about the best dancing. They have both placed at or near the bottom of the leaderboard for the last three weeks and have both escaped elimination in favor of more accomplished dancers like Heather Morris and Nancy Kerrigan.

Will Bolton and Ross be able to survive another elimination? Can Kordei and Chmerkovskiy continue to dominate the competition? Will Biles and Jennings be able to reclaim the top spot that has eluded them for the last few weeks? Check out my predictions below.

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Simone Biles & Sasha Farber

Foxtrot — Song: “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction

The foxtrot, like last week’s Charleston, is a dance in which Biles’s bubbly personality will be an advantage for her. I expect Farber to create a fun, cute routine that will light up the room, and I predict that this routine will go over well with the judges and audiences.

Score Prediction: 9 (from Carrie Ann Inaba) + 9 (from Len Goodman) + 9 (from Julianne Hough) + 9 (from Bruno Tonioli) = 36

Dance Trio with Brittany Cherry
Paso Doble — Song: “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Chainsmokers feat. Daya

For their trio dance, Biles and Farber will be paired with troupe member Brittany Cherry. I think it was a smart move on Farber’s part to select a female pro instead of a male one as Biles has had trouble expressing her emotions. I believe having a female pro will help Biles get into character for the paso, and the success of this dance will depend on if she is able to tap into her emotions and bring the passion and aggression of the paso to her dance. If she’s able to do that, then she’ll finally earn that perfect score she has yet to achieve.

Score Prediction: 10 (Inaba) + 10 (Goodman) + 10 (Hough) + 10 (Tonioli) = 40

Total Score Predictions: 76 out of 80

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Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess

Argentine Tango – Song: “Believer” by Imagine Dragons

The Argentine tango tends to be one of the higher-scoring dances for the male contestants since much of the work is done by the female partner. I think Bolton  will be able to bring the masculinity to the dance. However, he continues to struggle with the technique. The Argentine tango is known for its intricate footwork, which could be a problem for Bolton. But because of the dance style alone, I can see him getting over-scored just a hair for this performance.

Score Prediction: 9 (Inaba) + 8 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 8 (Tonioli) = 34

Dance Trio with Britt Britt Stewart
Jazz — Song: “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars

Bolton and Burgess chose troupe member Britt Stewart to join them in a jazz routine. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the problem with jazz is that it’s pretty subjective in terms of what each judge prefers. Also, mid and uptempo songs are not Bolton’s strong suit because he tends to be very stiff and tense throughout his dances. I’m definitely not expecting much from this routine.

Score Prediction: 8 (Inaba) + 8 (Goodman) + 8 (Hough) + 8 (Tonioli) = 32

Total Score Prediction: 66 out of 80

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Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater

Jive — Song: “Shake a Tail Feather” by Blues Brothers

The jive has been either a blessing or a curse for NFL players who have appeared on “DWTS.” Oftentimes many of them are flat-footed and struggle with executing the fast-paced flicks and kicks. Jennings displayed this in his dance-off last week against David Ross. I’m not sure if Slater will be able to help fix this for their dance.

Score Prediction: 8 (Inaba) + 8 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 8 (Tonioli) = 33

Dance Trio with Witney Carson
Argentine Tango — Song: “Dreams” by Gabrielle Aplin & Bastille

I predict that Jennings and Slater will be out for blood after receiving so-so scores for their jive. As I mentioned above with Bolton, the Argentine tango is usually a stronger dance style for male celebs. However, in Jennings’s case, I have no doubt that he’ll be able to handle not only the technique and lifts, but will able to exude the passion and masculinity needed for this sensual style. This will be the dance in which everything will come together for Jennings and Slater, and they too will get their first perfect score.

Score Prediction: 10 (Inaba) + 10 (Goodman) + 10 (Hough) + 10 (Tonioli) = 40

Total Score Prediction: 73 out of 80

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Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy

Contemporary — Song: “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton & Elena Boynton

Chmerkovskiy has been on a roll delivering amazing routines that showcase Kordei’s dance abilities. Kordei does a great job of delivering the technique as well as the showmanship with each dance. Based on the song choice, which is a track from the “Django Unchained” soundtrack, we can expect a very theatrical and emotional performance. I’m really excited to see how this one will play out.

Score Predictions: 10 (Inaba) + 10 (Goodman) + 10 (Hough) + 10 (Tonioli) = 40

Dance Trio with Alan Bersten
Jive — Song: “Feeling Alive” by Earl St. Clair

Alan Bersten will be joining Kordei and Chmerkovskiy for a jive routine. But alas, after listening to the song I don’t think this is going to be one of their more showstopping performances. I have no doubt that Kordei will kill the choreography, but I feel that the song doesn’t have the energy and excitement that one expects with the jive. I can see the judges being split on this performance.

Score Prediction: 9 (Inaba) + 9 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 10 (Tonioli) = 37

Total Score Prediction: 77 out of 80

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David Ross & Lindsay Arnold

Waltz — Song: “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw

I love when Ross performs ballroom routines. His frame is usually on-point, and he has fewer problems with timing or stiff movements, which have been nagging issues for him in his Latin dances. With that being said, the emotional song choice and dance style suggest that Ross will no doubt get some high scores for this routine.

Score Predictions: 9 (Inaba) + 8 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 9 (Tonioli) = 35

Dance Trio with Hayley Erbert
Paso Doble — Song: “Gangsta’s Paradise” by 2WEI

After listening to this song, I can say we’re going to be in for a treat. This paso could be entertaining for all the wrong reasons, or it could be the routine that pushes Ross into the finals, assuming he isn’t eliminated tonight. From a theatrical standpoint, I think this routine will be one of the more memorable of the evening. But in order for this routine to be a high-scorer, Arnold will need to work on getting Ross to be more fluid in his movements. As I mentioned above, he shines whenever he’s in hold — it’s when he’s on his own that the routine tends to fall apart. I can see the judges either really loving this or really laying down the law.

Score Prediction: 8 (Inaba) + 8 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 8 (Tonioli) = 33

Total Score Prediction: 68 out of 80

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So here’s how I think the overall judges’ leaderboard will break down. Do you agree with me that Kordei will return to the top spot for the fifth time?

1. Normani Kordei – 77
2. Simone Biles – 76
3. Rashad Jennings – 73
4. David Ross – 68
5. Bonner Bolton – 66

Predict ‘Dancing with the Stars’ now; change them until the show starts on Monday nights

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