‘Dancing with the Stars’ week 9 predictions update: Laurie Hernandez holds onto lead against James Hinchcliffe

Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez is the frontrunner to win the “Dancing with the Stars” season 23 Mirror Ball Trophy for the ninth week in a row according to our predictions contest entrants, but her lead continues to narrow as momentum has shifted to race car driver James Hinchcliffe in recent weeks. Below, see the current standings as of this writing (week-to-week changes are in italics), and check out our complete racetrack odds for Monday night.

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  1. Laurie Hernandez — 4/5 (last week: 1st place with 2/3 odds)
  2. James Hinchcliffe — 14/5 (last week: 2nd place with 7/2 odds)
  3. Marilu Henner — 14/1 (last week: 5th place with 40/1 odds)
  4. Jana Kramer — 14/1 (last week: 3rd place with 10/1 odds)
  5. Calvin Johnson — 22/1 (last week: 4th place with 28/1 odds)
  6. Terra Jole — 100/1 (last week: 7th place with 100/1 odds)

Hernandez is still on top in our predictions, thanks in no small part to her perfect score on “Halloween Night.” Because of a tie-breaker Hinchcliffe wound up on top of the judges’ leaderboard (the auto racer had the highest cumulative score for the season), but after weeks stuck in the middle of the pack Hernandez at least reasserted her position as one of the season’s most elite competitors.

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But Hinchcliffe keeps closing in, slowly and steadily. He remains in second place, but his odds have improved to 14/5. With his top-scoring “Suicide Squad” routine last week he topped the judges’ scores for the fourth time this season, surpassing Hernandez for the most weeks on top.

Surprisingly, Marilu Henner has rebounded in our polls. Despite getting the lowest score last week for the second time in a row, our predictions contest entrants are showing renewed confidence in her, ranking her third with 14/1 odds.

Also with 14/1 odds is singer Jana Kramer. She performed well last week, scoring straight nines for her “Little Shop of Horrors” jazz dance and then winning her dance-off against Terra Jole, but with the level of competition continuing to escalate, Kramer might need to step up her game even further.

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Despite tying Hernandez and Hinchcliffe with a perfect score last week, Johnson slips to fifth place in our rankings, though his odds have improved slightly to 22/1, up from 28/1. That was Johnson’s first perfect score of the season, but after Hinchcliffe won the tie-breaker and Hernandez beat him in a subsequent dance-off Johnson had to settle for third place for the night.

If you think we’re underestimating Johnson for the Mirror Ball Trophy, there’s still time to enter your predictions and affect our odds before tonight’s show. In our “DWTS” predictions center you can bet on who will get the high score, who will get the low score, how many 10s the judges will give out, who will be eliminated and who will win the Mirror Ball Trophy at the end of the season. You can make or edit your choices right up until the minute the live show starts at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific.

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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.

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