“Dancing with the Stars” delivered its first ever “Cirque du Soleil Night,” with the remaining 11 couples performing routines inspired by the world-famous acrobatic circus troupe, and with this first-of-its-kind theme night came major surprises on the dance floor. Does that change your opinion about Tuesday night’s elimination — which we learned will be a double elimination? Our predictions center is back open so you can make or revise your picks for who will be sent home, and you can keep updating your predictions for who will claim the Mirror Ball Trophy.
Do you agree with our odds? Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “DWTS” in our reality TV forum.
The top of the leaderboard was no surprise. We had given Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez leading 2/7 odds of getting the top judges’ score, and she not only achieved that, she also shattered her already sky-high expectations. The judges are usually slow to give perfect 10s — last week they didn’t score anyone higher than eights — but Hernandez’s Michael Jackson-inspired jazz routine scored 10s across the board from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli for a perfect 30 out of 30, the first perfect score of the season. (Head judge Len Goodman was out this week working on the British version of the show, “SStrictly Come Dancing.”) With Hernandez spending three out of four weeks on top, are the other contestants just competing for second place at this point?
If anyone can still challenge Hernandez for the “DWTS” crown it might be race car driver James Hinchcliffe, who closed the show with a quickstep that received two nines and a 10 of his own from Tonioli for a total of 28. Those were by far the two highest scoring routines of the night.
The fact that the judges gave out so many 10s was itself a surprise to our predictions contest entrants. We collectively bet that the judges would be stingy again this week (1/2 odds), while the possibility of between one and four 10s had 13/5 odds. So if you bet on that result, you have a leg up in our contest going into Tuesday night’s results show.
Speaking of which, model and actress Amber Rose was the odds-on favorite to be eliminated before Monday night’s performance episode, followed closely by actress Maureen McCormick, but we might want to reconsider our bets. Rose and McCormick tied for fourth place on the leaderboard with 24, which made these the best dances for both women.
Instead, the lowest score went to singer-songwriter Babyface, who has been inconsistent all season and had a disastrous tango with pro partner Allison Holker in which they kept missing all their marks. Their mistakes were all the more noticeable because overhead spotlights were timed to coincide with their movements — and they were off on virtually all of them. We had given Babyface 16/1 odds of getting the lowest score of the night, so that took most of us by surprise as well.
We were also surprised by the struggle of actress Marilu Henner. She hit most of her steps during her paso doble with partner Derek Hough, but the judges felt she overthought her dance, which made it stiff. She scored respectable sevens across the board, but on a night when nearly everyone improved, that was enough to leave her second to last in the scores.
Who do you think will win the season, and who do you think is going home? Refer to the judges’ scores below before making your predictions.
Laurie Hernandez – 30
James Hinchcliffe – 28
Terra Jole – 25
Maureen McCormick – 24
Amber Rose -24
Calvin Johnson – 23
Jana Kramer – 23
Vanilla Ice – 23
Ryan Lochte – 22
Marilu Henner – 21
Babyface – 18
Did the judges get it right. Make sure to join the “DWTS” discussion in our forums.