‘Dancing with the Stars’ preview: Will Simone Biles or Normani Kordei get high score in the week 9 semifinals?

Ladies and gentleman, we’re only one week away from the “Dancing with the Stars” season 24 finale. Will this season’s top scorer, Normani Kordei, solidify her spot in the finals with another pair of impressive routines? Will fans rally behind gymnast Simone Biles after the harsh criticism she faced from the judges last week? Can Rashad Jennings‘s charming and entertaining routines make him the latest addition to the long list of NFL stars who have made it to the “DWTS” finals? Or will David Ross, the first MLB player to appear on the show, continue to defy the odds and earn a spot in the finals despite the 14-point difference between him and last week’s leading scorer, Kordei?

For semifinals, each couple will once again be dancing two individual routines: One will be a dance style that the star has yet to perform, and the other will be another new dance style selected by one of the judges.

Below are my thoughts on what to expect from the celebs with each dance style:

Simone Biles & Sasha Farber

Judges’ Choice: Carrie Ann Inaba
Jive — Song: “Faith” by Stevie Wonder

Biles and Farber will be dancing a jive chosen by judge Carrie Ann Inaba. It will be very interesting to see how Biles responds to Inaba’s coaching after last week’s tiff between them regarding Biles’s lack of a smile during her trio paso doble. Out of all the dance styles, the jive should be in Biles’s wheelhouse. It’s a very athletic dance that’s full of flicks, kicks, jumps and high energy, which should come more naturally for the gymnast. She and Farber have yet to receive a perfect score of 40 out of 40 from the judges. I think this routine will be the one that gets them that perfect score that has eluded them all season.

Score Prediction: 10 (from Inaba) + 10 (from Len Goodman) + 10 (from Julianne Hough) + 10 (from Bruno Tonioli) = 40

Rumba — Song: “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato

Biles’s second dance will be a rumba to Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” I think the rumba would be a great opportunity for her to show her vulnerable side, which the judges have been asking her to do for the last couple of weeks. If she’s able to let her guard down and nail the hip action, then expect her and Farber to have a perfect night.

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

Total Score Predictions: 80 out of 80

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Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater

Judges’ Choice: Bruno Tonioli
Rumba — “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur

Bruno Tonioli selected a rumba for Jennings and Slater. Jennings, like Biles, has received his fair share of inconsistent scoring from the judges, but I honestly think that he shouldn’t have any issue with the emotional connection of this dance. For many male stars the rumba is one of the more challenging dances, as it requires fluid and sensual movements as well as a lot of hip action, though that shouldn’t be a problem for Jennings.

Score Prediction: 10 (Inaba) + 9 (Goodman) + 10 (Hough) + 10 (Tonioli) = 39

Quickstep — Song: “Yes I Can” by Superhumans

Jennings’s second dance will be a quickstep to “Yes I Can” by Superhumans. I think the song has the perfect tempo and feel for a quickstep, so I fully expect to see a very entertaining and fun routine. The one thing Jennings will need to be mindful of is his footwork. The quickstep requires lots of rapid movements, so one misstep can mess up the entire routine. However, if all goes well, this could be the first perfect routine for Jennings and Slater.

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

Total Score Prediction: 79 out of 80

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Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy

Judges’ Choice: Len Goodman
Viennese Waltz — “Desperado” by Rihanna

Len Goodman has selected a Viennese waltz for Kordei and Chmerkovskiy to “Desperado” by Rihanna. Goodman has definitely been this couple’s biggest critic, oftentimes being the one judge to prevent a perfect score for the duo. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen them perform a ballroom routine, but I think with the song choice and coaching from Goodman we should be in for another treat.

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

Jazz — Song: “What A Wonderful World” by Ray Chew Live

After wowing the judges and audiences with a contemporary routine last week, Kordei and Chmerkovskiy get another opportunity to amaze with a jazz routine to “What a Wonderful World.” My understanding is that this will be a tribute to Kordei’s hometown of New Orleans, where she and her family survived Hurricane Katrina. I’m loving how in these last few weeks she is finally opening herself up to the audience. I’m glad that she was able to have that breakthrough considering how unpredictable fan voting has been all season. This girl is a star, and I’m glad that America is finally taking notice.

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

Total Score Prediction: 80 out of 80

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David Ross & Lindsay Arnold

Judges’ Choice: Julianne Hough
Foxtrot — “You Make Me Feel So Young” by Michael Buble

Judge Julianne Hough selected a foxtrot for Ross and Arnold. I think this was a good call on Hough’s part as the remaining dance styles available to the couple — like contemporary, rumba or samba — would be a disaster for them. I think this will probably be one of Ross’s best dances of the season, or maybe even his very best. His strength on the show has always been ballroom. And Arnold will no doubt create a routine that is a great balance of content and entertainment value.

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

Tango — Song: “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran

For his second dance, Ross will be dancing the tango to “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran. As I mentioned above, Ross will do well in maintaining his hold in the routine, and hopefully Arnold has worked on his shaky posture and footwork. But I can totally see the judges, besides Hough, low-balling their scores for this routine: just in case this couple happens to sneak into the finals, the judges probably don’t want to risk them threatening one of the more accomplished teams for the Mirror Ball.

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

Total Score Prediction: 70 out of 80

So here’s how I think the overall judges’ leaderboard will break down. Do you agree with me that Biles and Kordei will share the top spot?

1. Simone Biles – 80
2. Normani Kordei – 80
3. Rashad Jennings – 79
4. David Ross – 70

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