Laurie Hernandez gets leading 4/11 odds to win season 23 of “Dancing with the Stars” according to our very early predictions. This season’s 13 celebrity contestants were announced on August 30 on “Good Morning America,” but no one enters the ballroom until the season premiere on September 12, so what makes our users already think Hernandez has what it takes to win?
For starters, she has history on her side. Hernandez is an Olympic gymnast who won a gold medal with the US women’s team in Rio de Janeiro. Commentators especially praised her for her floor exercise routines, in which she showed off some of her dance moves. From that we know she has impressive balance, strength, flexibility and rhythm, and those athletic traits have translated well to the dance floor in seasons past.
Consider Shawn Johnson, another Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast, who won the Mirror Ball Trophy in season eight and then finished second in season 15’s all-star contest. Then Johnson’s Olympic teammate Nastia Liukin competed on “DWTS” in season 20, just missing out on the finals in fourth place.
It’s not just gymnasts who have proven adept on the dance floor. Olympic figure skaters also have skill sets that translate well to the ballroom, which helped gold medalists Kristi Yamaguchi (season six) and Meryl Davis (sseason 18) win their own Mirror Ball Trophies. So there’s a strong chance Hernandez will perform well, and the good will she’ll carry over from the Olympics could also make her a fan-favorite, which is crucial in getting the viewer votes needed to win.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, who do our users think will land at the bottom of the heap? We’re predicting that no one will go home in the first week of competition: the odds are 8/11 that there will be a non-elimination round at the start of the season. But it still doesn’t look good for politician Rick Perry. After two failed presidential bids, the former Texas governor gets 12/5 odds of being sent home first and overwhelming 2/9 odds of getting the lowest score from judges, so he may be on the verge of losing another campaign in its early stages.
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 choice.
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