When Jordan Fisher begins to compete in the upcoming 25th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” he’ll be the latest in a long line of Disney kids who’ve competed for the Mirror Ball Trophy, but how will he do compared to the young stars who have come before? The new season begins on September 18, so before he and his competitors start competing on the dance floor, let’s consider his pros and cons.
When he was only two years old Fisher got involved in gymnastics. Though when he was in fifth grade, he transitioned into musical theater after having performed in a production of “Schoolhouse Rock.” Gymnasts have done quite well on the show in the past, with Shawn Johnson (season eight) and Laurie Hernandez (season 23) both winning the Mirror Ball Trophy. While Fisher didn’t become an Olympian like those two, that gymnastics background should give him the kind of athleticism, flexibility, and rhythm that will serve him well in the ballroom.
Fisher went on to have roles on the small screen in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Teen Beach Movie,” and “Liv and Maddie.” Then in 2014 Fisher released three pop-soul songs on Radio Disney before signing with Hollywood Records the following year. And in 2016 he appeared as Doody in FOX’s “Grease: Live” and spent over three months taking on the roles of John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in the Broadway production of “Hamilton.” That extensive media exposure might give him a broad fan base, and with his musical theater experience we know he already has musicality and dance skill.
Disney kids have done pretty well in the past. Kyle Massey finished in second place in the 11th season. Chelsea Kane finished in third place in the 12th season. Zendaya finished in second place in the 16th season. And Corbin Bleu came in second place in the 17th season.
Fisher will be paired with pro dance partner Lindsay Arnold, who first competed in the 16th season, yet came in eighth place when she was paired with Victor Ortiz. But she did much better after she returned in the 21st season with Alex Skarlatos, with whom she finished in third place. Then she finished fourth with Wanya Morris in season 22, third with Calvin Johnson in season 23, and second with David Ross in season 24. So Arnold has been gaining momentum in recent seasons, and Fisher might turn out to be her most naturally gifted partner yet.
While some of the Disney kids have done well in the ballroom before, several others, not so much. Monique Coleman ended up finishing in fourth place in the third season. Sabrina Carpenter finished in seventh place in the fifth season and eighth place in the all-star season. Cody Linley finished in fourth place in the seventh season. Roshon Fegan finished in sixth place in the 14th season. And Jake T. Austin came in 13th place on the 23rd season. So at this point, it’s unknown how much of a fan base Fisher has that will be there to support him throughout the competition.
Is Fisher too experienced for “Dancing with the Stars”? Coming to the show with extensive training can be an advantage, but sometimes the audience sees that as an unfair advantage. Just as Heather Morris, who consistently received some of the highest scores in season 24 but was eliminated in eighth place because the fans didn’t support her.
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