Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and race car driver James Hinchcliffe got the top scores from judges during the September 12 season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars.” So is one of them on their way to winning the Mirror Ball Trophy for season 23? Click through our gallery of past winners above, and click here to make your predictions for week two of the competition.
Hernandez would be the second gymnast to win “Dancing with the Stars,” following Shawn Johnson in season eight. At age 16 she would also be the youngest winner in the show’s history, coming in just under Johnson and Bindi Irwin (season 21), who were both 17 when they prevailed.
Hinchcliffe would be the second race car driver to win, following Helio Castroneves‘s victory in season five. Since auto racers aren’t known for their fancy footwork, our predictions contest entrants weren’t sure what to make of Hinchcliffe before he entered the ballroom: he only had 100/1 odds of getting the top judges’ score.
Other noteworthy stats in our gallery include Derek Hough winning six times, more than any other professional dancer in the show’s history. In fact, no other pro has won more than twice. This season he’s competing with actress Marilu Henner, who at age 64 would be the oldest winner by more than a decade, beating Donny Osmond who was 52 when he won the season-nine title.
In terms of gender, past winners have been almost even, with women having a slight historical advantage. Out of the past 22 champs there have been 12 female celebs and 10 men. And the winners represent wide-ranging fields including football players, actors, recording artists, and models. So even though Hernandez and Hinchcliffe have made a strong first impression, it’s still too early to rule out their competitors.
Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions for “Dancing with the Stars.” 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. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “DWTS” in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.