‘Dancing with the Stars’: James Hinchcliffe has the ‘Most Memorable’ night, while Laurie Hernandez falters

On Monday, October 10, the remaining nine contestants on “Dancing with the Stars” performed routines inspired by their most memorable years. Because “DWTS” is back to a one-show-per-week schedule — no more Tuesday night results shows — there was no elimination at the end of the night, but even with no one going home there was plenty of drama. There were also surprises when it came to our predictions.

Photo Gallery: Every winner of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ to date

And you can already start predicting what will happen in next week’s show. 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 “Dancing with the Stars” in our reality TV forum.

This week our predictions contest entrants weren’t anticipating a non-elimination round. The top three we expected to be on the chopping block were Amber Rose (10/9 odds), Maureen McCormick (4/1) and Ryan Lochte (6/1); our combined predictions had forecast only a 10/1 chance of no one being sent home.

Photo Gallery: ‘DWTS’ Top 10 BEST Pro Dancers Ever

Then there was the top of the judges’ leaderboard. Laurie Hernandez, who is also the frontrunner to win the Mirror Ball Trophy, was expected to get the top score for the fourth time in five weeks (she had leading 1/3 odds), but she fell from the top spot, and she fell hard. Not literally, though — the gymnast can do tumbling passes on a balance beam with hardly a balance check, so staying on her feet on the dance floor hasn’t been a problem.

But while her scores weren’t the worst she’s ever gotten — two eights and a nine for her paso doble inspired by her 2016 Olympic year, for a total of 25 out of 30 — they put her lower than she’s ever been. She hadn’t finished lower than second place all season, but this week she dropped to fifth. What’s more, that put her just one point out of last place.

[POLL] ‘Dancing with the Stars’: Is Laurie Hernandez the show’s best-ever gymnast?

The top scorer ended up being race car driver James Hinchcliffe, who danced a tango commemorating 2015, when he survived a near-fatal accident on the race track. He improved on last week’s score when he got his first perfect 10; this week he got two 10s and a nine — judge Carrie Ann Inaba even told him that if he keeps it up he’s “the one to beat.” That wasn’t a huge surprise; if Hernandez wasn’t going to win the night Hinchcliffe was the logical next choice since he’s been challenging her all season, and our users gave him close 5/1 odds of coming out on top.

The bottom of the leaderboard, meanwhile, was a significant shock, not because of who got the lowest score but because of how many dancers got the lowest score. There was a four-way tie at the bottom, and because the quality of dancing was so high, even personal-best scores weren’t enough to avoid last place. Last week, straight eights (24 total) were enough to tie Rose and McCormick for fourth place. This week the same scores put them at the bottom.

Photo Gallery: ‘DWTS’ Top 10 WORST contestants ever

Athletes Lochte and Calvin Johnson also got straight eights, which was the best result for them as well — heck, Johnson got eights in week three and was the best dancer that night. What a difference a couple of weeks make.

But our predictions still proved to be spot-on when it came to predicting the bottom of the leaderboard. The top three dancers we predicted for the low score were among that unlucky four-way tie: Rose (10/9 odds), Lochte (23/10) and McCormick (5/1). The only one who surprised us was Johnson; we had such high expectations for him that he had 100/1 odds of landing at the bottom.

Our odds also correctly predicted how many 10s the judges would give out. There was a 9/10 chance of them giving between one and four perfect scores — they ended up giving out two, both of them to Hinchcliffe.

[POLL] ‘Dancing with the Stars’ past winners: Who’s the best female champion?

So with four dancers at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard how can we figure out who’s going home next week? And with Hernandez just one point out of last place after weeks at or near the top, could she be at risk of a shocking early elimination? Refer to the judges’ scores below before making your predictions for next week.

James Hinchcliffe – 29
Marilu Henner – 27
Terra Jole – 27
Jana Kramer – 26
Laurie Hernandez – 25
Calvin Johnson – 24
Ryan Lochte – 24
Maureen McCormick – 24
Amber Rose – 24

Next Monday, October 17, “Dancing with the Stars” will hold “Latin Night” with guest performer and judge Pitbull. What do you think will happen then?

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