Laurie Hernandez is the favorite to win “Dancing with the Stars” according to our prediction contest entrants and she solidified her position on Monday night by getting the first perfect score of the season. If she does take home the Mirror Ball Trophy at the end of the season she’ll be the youngest winner of all time at age 16 and the second gymnast to prevail, following Shawn Johnson in season eight. One other Olympic gymnast competed on “DWTS”: Nastia Liukin, who finished fourth in season 20. But who was the best?
Johnson actually competed twice on “Dancing with the Stars.” She returned to the dance floor in season 15 for the all-star edition of “DWTS” and made the finals once again, but fell just short of a second Mirror Ball; she finished second to reality TV star Melissa Rycroft.
Liukin didn’t have quite as much luck. Her flexibility and athleticism made her a strong “DWTS” contender from the very beginning, but she didn’t connect as well with judges or viewers at home, so she was sent home right before the finals; actress Rumer Willis won that season of “Dancing with the Stars” instead. But did Liukin deserve a better result?
Hernandez connected with judges right away, taking the top of the leaderboard for three out of four weeks so far. If she keeps this up she’ll trounce her competition as decisively as her US gymnastics team defeated their opponents at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But how do you think she compares to her fellow gymnasts-turned-dancers on “DWTS”? Vote in our poll below.