‘Dancing with the Stars’: Frankie Muniz switch from acting to race car driving could help him win Mirror Ball Trophy

When Frankie Muniz begins to compete on the upcoming 25th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” it’ll be his first time back in the TV spotlight since “Malcolm in the Middle” ended its seven season run on FOX back in 2006. The new season begins on September 18, so before he and his competitors hit the dance floor, let’s consider his pros and cons as a potential contender for the Mirror Ball Trophy.

PROS

He started his acting career at a very young age when he played Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol” at Theatre in the Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, so he has some experience on a live stage.

He marked his big break a few years later not only with “Malcolm in the Middle,” but also with his first starring role on the big screen with “My Dog Skip” (2000). He then went on to star in other films such as “Big Fat Liar” (2002), “Agent Cody Banks” (2003), and “Racing Stripes” (2005). So he’ll be familiar to many TV and movie watchers.

After “Malcolm in the Middle” ended, Muniz put his acting career on hold to pursue open wheel racing. In 2007, he moved up to the more competitive Champ Car Atlantic Series, where he competed in the entire season of 12 races. That wouldn’t necessarily seem like an advantage in a dance competition, but race car drivers have done surprisingly well on “DWTS.” Helio Castroneves won season five, and James Hinchcliffe finished second in season 23.

After he finished open wheel racing, Muniz then spent two years as a drummer in the band Kingsfoil. Musicians have also done well on the show, including past winners Nicole Scherzinger (season 10) and Kellie Pickler (season 16).

CONS

Given how much Muniz has been away from the spotlight in the past decade, it’s unknown if he’ll have enough fans to support him throughout the competition.

He’s paired with professional dancer Witney Carson, who has so far had a pretty mixed track record from the past seven consecutive seasons she competed as a pro. She won season 19 with Alfonso Ribeiro, but the rest of her results haven’t been quite as stellar. When she was paired with Cody Simpson in season 18, they finished in ninth place. When paired with Chris Soules in season 20, they came in fifth place. She finished fourth with Carlos PenaVega in season 21, but then eighth with Von Miller in season 22. She and Vanilla Ice came in 10th place in season 23, and then she was the first to be eliminated last season when teamed with Chris Kattan. So Muniz can’t expect to be carried along by her fan base alone.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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