‘Dancing with the Stars’ preview: ‘Vegas Night’ dances announced, but who will get the high score?

After two weeks of competition on “Dancing with the Stars,” we’ve seen frontrunners Simone Biles and Normani Kordei top the leaderboard in weeks one and two, respectively. And NFL star Rashad Jennings has surprisingly proved to be a serious contender by tying Kordei for first place last week.

Will “Vegas Night” keep Biles, Kordei and Jennings ahead of the pack? Will Heather Morris or Nancy Kerrigan finally live up to their expectations and deliver higher scoring routines? Or will Nick Viall, David Ross, Erika Jayne or Bonner Bolton come from behind with a showstopping performance?

Below are the dance styles that will be performed in the second week of competition and the stars who will be taking them on:

Charleston: Bonner Bolton
Foxtrot: Charo, Mr. T, Normani Kordei
Jazz: David Ross
Jive: Erika Jayne
Quickstep: Simone Biles
Samba: Nancy Kerrigan, Rashad Jennings
Tango: Heather Morris, Nick Viall

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Simone Biles & Sasha Farber

Quickstep — Song: “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley

Last week Biles and Farber dropped from first place to fourth. With her cha cha last week, we saw a bit of hesitation from her when it comes to being sexy. Like Morris and Kerrigan, Biles needs to not focus so much on trying to be someone that she’s not, so I think the quickstep will give her a boost in her confidence that she lacked last week. The quick, fast and athletic movements of the quickstep should make for an exciting routine. Will they be the first ones to receive a perfect 10 this season? If this were any other season I would say yes in a heartbeat, but I think the judges are being very conservative with these contestants. With that in mind, I’m going to be relatively conservative in my scoring predictions.

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

Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess

Charleston – Song: “A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody” by Fergie

Last week, Bolton saw a rise in his scores thanks to his “emotional” Viennese waltz, though I felt he was a bit over-scored by Hough and Inaba. This week Bolton and Burgess are going to perform the Charleston. The Charleston is a very high-energy dance, and I’m not sure if Bolton has the personality to really sell it. Also, the Charleston requires a lot of loose and limber movements, which Bolton, in my opinion, has struggled with for the last two weeks.

Score Prediction: 8 (Inaba) + 7 (Goodman) + 7 (Hough) + 7 (Tonioli) = 29

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Charo & Keo Motsepe

Foxtrot — Song: “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie Cups

In weeks one and two we got to see Charo deliver a spicy and fiery samba and paso doble. This week she and Motsepe will be slowing things down a bit with a foxtrot. The foxtrot will be a great opportunity for the judges and audience to see Charo in a different light. One of her issues in her first two dances was that she would often lose timing and would either fall behind or get ahead of the beat. And normally the foxtrot is one of the dances that the more mature stars excel at as the movements are simpler and give the celebs more opportunity to ease into the routine. I predict that this will be Charo’s highest scoring dance of the season, though it may end up being her last.

Score Prediction: 7 (Inaba) + 6 (Goodman) + 7 (Hough) + 7 (Tonioli) = 24

Erika Jayne & Gleb Savchenko

Jive — Song: “Take Me to Heaven” by Patina Miller, Debbie Kurup and Amy Booth-Steel

Last week Erika Jayne showed some improvement in her technique and musicality with her steamy foxtrot. This week, she and Savchenko will be performing a jive to “Take Me to Heaven” from the “Sister Act” musical. The jive, like the samba, is one of those dances that stars either perform very well or very poorly — rarely anywhere in-between. I think Jayne will be able to execute the flicks and kicks, but I’m more concerned about whether Savchenko will get her to move more expressively. With her samba and foxtrot, her movements were timid and lacked attack and excitement. If her pro partner is able to get her to expand her movements then this will be a step in right direction for the couple.

Score Prediction: 7 (Inaba) + 7 (Goodman) + 7 (Hough) + 7 (Tonioli) = 28

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Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater

Samba — Song: “Swalla” by Jason Derulo

In the first two weeks, Jennings and Slater proved to be formidable contenders. Jennings showed with his cha cha that he has personality for days, and with his Viennese waltz he was able to tap into his vulnerable side. This week we get to see his party side as he performs a samba. In terms of the swagger of the dance, Jennings has it in spades. It should be interesting to see if he will continue to exceed all expectations and master the bounce and technique for the routine.

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

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Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev

Samba — Song: “Shake Your Bon Bon” by Ricky Martin

For the last two weeks, Kerrigan and Chigvintsev have received the same exact score from the judges: straight 7s, for a total of 28 out of 40. Will her samba to Ricky Martin’s “Shake Your Bon Bon” change that? Kerrigan was one of the stars that I expected to perform extremely well right out of the gate. Unfortunately, while she hits all her marks, the routines have been pretty forgettable, which isn’t great considering she performed both of her previous routines in the first half of the show. The samba is probably the hardest Latin dance for stars to master as it involves a lot of bounce and intricate movements. Luckily, Kerrigan already learned the cha cha, which should help her in mastering the fast movements and hip action for this routine. If she’s able to let loose and believe in herself then she should finally see those scores go up.

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

Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy

Foxtrot — Song: “Big Spender” By Shirley Bassey

Last week’s top scorer Normani Kordei and her partner Chmerkovskiy are looking to stay on top with their foxtrot to “Big Spender” by Shirley Bassey. I’m excited to see this performance. We’ve only scratched the surface of what Kordei can do. The foxtrot will give her the chance to be flirty and sultry, which the song choice will be able to bring out of her.

Score Predictions: 9 (Inaba) + 9 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 9 (Tonioli) = 36

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Heather Morris & Alan Bersten

Tango — Song: “Toxic” by Britney Spears

Last week Morris had the unfortunate task of dancing with a new partner, Alan Bersten, while her regular partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, was out due to an injury. I thought Morris was dynamic and worked really well with Bersten considering the circumstances. However, the judges were mixed on their jive, especially the hip-hop portion that irked Goodman. This week Morris will perform again with Bersten as Chmerkovskiy continues to recover. Week after week she and the judges — especially Hough — have defended her extensive dance experience (as has been discussed before she was a backup dancer for Beyonce). I feel that has been overkill and only hurts Morris as she puts unnecessary pressure on herself and could cause her to no longer enjoy the experience like the other stars. Hopefully, she’ll be able to channel all the criticism to improve her tango. I predict that she will see great scores from Inaba, Hough, and Tonioli but will see Goodman continue to underscore her until later in the competition.

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

Mr. T & Kym Herjavek

Foxtrot — Song: “Ain’t that a Kick in the Head” by Robbie Williams

Mr. T is currently the lowest scoring celebrity left in the competition now that Chris Kattan has been eliminated. His paso doble last week didn’t deliver as his pro partner Herjavek practically danced around him for the entire routine. Mr. T is performing a foxtrot this week. As I mentioned above with Charo, I hope that the foxtrot is a dance that will suit Mr. T better than the styles he performed before. He may be able to better showcase his personality with a nice and simple routine.

Score Prediction: 7 (Inaba) + 6 (Goodman) + 7 (Hough) + 6 (Tonioli) = 27

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David Ross & Lindsay Arnold

Jazz — Song: “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent

MLB world champion David Ross seems to be the audience favorite by far this season. He and his partner Arnold are performing another hip-hop-inspired routine this week: a jazz dance to 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop.” The one thing about jazz routines is that pretty much anything goes, and there really isn’t much in terms of specific, traditional steps that the judges can critique, which bodes well for Ross and Arnold. Expect this routine to be full of laughs and entertainment. But I am curious to see as he performs more Latin and ballroom styles if Arnold will be able to work on his technique.

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

Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd

Tango — Song: “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga

“Bachelor” star Nick Viall has gotten off to a rocky start with his week-one cha cha and week-two foxtrot. But now he and Murgatroyd are looking to heat up the dance floor with a tango to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” In his dances, Viall has tended to rush through the movements, making him look stiff and uptight. So I think the tango will work for him as he will be in hold for the entire performance and can lean on his partner for guidance. He should see a noticeable improvement in his scores this week.

Score Predictions: 8 (Inaba) + 7 (Goodman) + 7 (Hough) + 7 (Tonioli) = 29

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

1. Simone Biles – 36
1. Normani Kordei – 36
3. Heather Morris – 35
4. Rashad Jennings – 34
5. David Ross – 32
5. Nancy Kerrigan – 32
7. Bonner Bolton – 29
7. Nick Viall – 29
9. Erika Jayne – 28
10. Charo – 27
10. Mr. T – 27

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