‘Dancing with the Stars’ preview: ‘Most Memorable Year’ dances announced, but who will get the high score?

This week the remaining 10 couples on “Dancing with the Stars” will be performing routines based on the “Most Memorable Year” of their lives. This theme typically makes for one of the more emotional weeks of the season as the viewers get a chance to see these stars at their most vulnerable. So expect to see a lot of tears shed by judge Carrie Ann Inaba, the stars, and viewers.

Last week Normani Kordei topped the judges’ leaderboard for the second week in a row. Simone Biles, Rashad Jennings and Bonner Bolton each took a dip in their scores while David Ross, Heather Morris and Nancy Kerrigan saw their numbers go up. Mr. T and Bolton were the unfortunate celebs who landed at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Will Kordei continue her top-scoring dominance? Will Morris or Kerrigan top the leaderboard for the first time after their breakthrough performances last week? Or will Biles or Jennings bounce back to the top after strong showings in weeks one and two? Finally, will we see a perfect 10 this week from the judges? Check out my scoring predictions for each couple below.

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Below are the dance styles that will be performed in the fourth week of competition and the stars who will be taking them on:

Cha Cha: Erika Jayne, Heather Morris
Contemporary: Rashad Jennings
Foxtrot: Bonner Bolton, Nancy Kerrigan
Rumba: Nick Viall, Normani Kordei
Waltz: Mr. T
Viennese Waltz: David Ross, Simone Biles

Simone Biles & Sasha Farber

Viennese Waltz — Song: “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin

After topping the leaderboard in week one, Biles has struggled to get back on top. In the first three weeks, we’ve seen the bubbly and energetic side of the gymnast, but this week she will have to tap into her more vulnerable side. For the last two weeks it seems like the judges have been split in their scoring of the Olympic champion, so pro partner Farber should create a routine that is not only full of content but allows Biles to connect with the music emotionally. With both her quickstep and cha cha she performed well but lacked the connection with the song to really take the performance to the next level. If she is able to do that, she will receive the scores from the judges that she deserves.

Score Prediction: 9 (from Carrie Ann Inaba) + 9 (from Len Goodman) + 9 (from Julianne Hough) + 9 (from Bruno Tonioli) = 36

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Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess

Foxtrot – Song: Song: “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble

Bolton and Burgess saw a huge drop in their scores with their Charleston last week. They are hoping to get back on track this week as they dance a foxtrot to Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good.” In terms of emotional backstories, Bolton’s definitely stands out from the rest (he broke his neck in a bull riding accident). However, aside from his Viennese waltz in week two, he has lacked the personality that is needed to sell his dances. I think from a technical standpoint, Bolton should be fine. I’m just not sure if he will be able to convince all the judges that he’s really a contender. I’m predicting that the judges will be split when scoring this routine.

Score Prediction: 8 (Inaba) + 7 (Goodman) + 8 (Hough) + 7 (Tonioli) = 30

Erika Jayne & Gleb Savchenko

Cha Cha — Song: “Express Yourself” by Madonna

“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne and her partner, Gleb Savchenko, took a bit of a stumble with their jive last week. This week they are already performing their third Latin routine of the season, a cha cha to Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” But Jayne and Savchenko could be in real danger of being eliminated soon. They don’t have the high scores of Jennings, Kordei, Kerrigan, Biles or Morris, and they don’t have the fan base or charm appeal of Bolton, Mr. T, Viall or Ross. I’m also worried that her cha cha will be overlooked for the more emotional routines of the night. With that being said, I think she’ll perform a solid dance that will be fun and true to her personality.

Score Prediction: 7 (Inaba) + 7 (Goodman) + 8 (Hough) + 8 (Tonioli) = 30

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Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater

Contemporary — Song: “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry

Jennings’s samba last week lacked the bounce and technique to keep him on top of the leaderboard. This week he and Slater will be performing the only contemporary routine of the night. As I’ve mentioned in the past, Jennings has done a great job of embracing and connecting to each dance style he’s performed so far, and like his Viennese waltz in week two I expect another emotionally charged routine from him. I think after suffering a dip in his scores last week he will be more determined to live up to his expectations. I expect this routine to be full of amazing lifts and lyrical movements while delivering an emotional story.

Score Prediction: 10 (Inaba) + 9 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 9 (Tonioli) = 37

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Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev

Foxtrot — Song: “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts

Last week, Kerrigan and Chigvintsev received their highest scores of the season with a steamy and fun samba. For “Most Memorable Year” week they will be dancing the foxtrot to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts. I expect this routine to be one of the more emotional of the night judging by the song choice. Kerrigan is now hitting her stride in terms of owning her confidence and selling the performance, so I expect this routine to be beautiful, memorable, emotional, and full of content and technique.

Score Predictions: 9 (Inaba) + 10 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 9 (Tonioli) = 37

Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy

Rumba — Song: “Impossible” by Shontelle

Kordei and Chmerkovskiy have been on a hot streak, topping the leaderboard for the last two weeks. After two sexy and sultry performances, we can expect to see a more vulnerable side to Kordei with her rumba. I’m hoping that this week audiences are able to connect with her on an emotional level. Everyone knows by now that she can dance, but I feel there could be a bit of a disconnect with audiences in terms of relatability. Hopefully, Chmerkovskiy has created a memorable routine that not only shows her amazing dancing skills but also lets viewers see who she is. If the choreography is able to do that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on top for another week. I’m actually going to go out on a limb and predict that she will be the only star to receive two 10s.

Score Predictions: 9 (Inaba) + 9 (Goodman) + 10 (Hough) + 10 (Tonioli) = 38

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Heather Morris & Alan Bersten

Cha Cha — Song: “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon

Morris’s tango last week finally got Goodman on board; he finally gave her the scoring she deserved (8 out of 10). For the third week in a row Morris will be dancing with troupe member Alan Bersten as Maksim Chmerkovskiy continues to recuperate from his calf injury. But since she started dancing with Bersten, I’ve noticed a huge difference in her. She’s more confident on the dance floor and looks like she’s having fun. Like Jayne, Morris will be dancing a cha cha, but I’m not sure if her routine will have enough oomph to really stand out. I’m also worried, based on the song choice, that her most memorable year will probably be centered around her extensive dance background, which I hope isn’t the case as it emphasizes the most controversial aspect of her “DWTS” candidacy. I think her tango last week was the perfect example of what happens when everyone is fixated on her dance instead of her dance background.

Score Prediction: 9 (Inaba) + 9 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 9 (Tonioli) = 36

Mr. T & Kym Herjavek

Waltz — Song: “Amazing Grace” by Ray Chew Live

Mr. T and Herjavek were one of the many teams to receive their highest scores of the season on “Vegas Night.” I thought it was nice last week to see a more refined and debonair Mr. T. “Most Memorable Week” for most stars is a great opportunity to let down their guard and connect with the viewers. Based on the song choice and dance style this is likely to be a very emotional routine for Mr. T and could also keep him in the competition a bit longer assuming he isn’t eliminated at the end of the show.

Score Prediction: 7 (Inaba) + 7 (Goodman) + 7 (Hough) + 7 (Tonioli) = 28

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David Ross & Lindsay Arnold

Viennese Waltz — Song: “Forever Young” by Youth Group

After two fun and entertaining hip-hop-driven routines, Ross and Arnold will be taking a more serious tone with a Viennese waltz. Although it’s been great to see him have fun on the dance floor, I feel that he has relied more on his likability than on technique and content. This routine will show us whether his impressive week-one quickstep was a fluke or not. I’m going to predict that the baseball star will continue to surprise us and deliver a beautiful routine.

Score Predictions: 9 (Inaba) + 8 (Goodman) + 9 (Hough) + 8 (Tonioli) = 34

Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd

Rumba — Song: “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran

Viall and Murgatroyd have yet to really impress the judges with their routines. Hopefully this is the week where they’ll be able to change that. They will be dancing what I’m expecting to be a steamy rumba to Ed Sheeran’s mega-hit “Shape of You.” Like Bolton, Viall has huge potential, but with the high level of competition this season I don’t think he will be able to deliver a standout performance by comparison. With that being said, based on the “Most Memorably Year” theme, I can see the judges going a bit easy on him.

Score Predictions: 7 (Inaba) + 7 (Goodman) + 7 (Hough) + 7 (Tonioli) = 28

So here’s how I think the overall judges’ leaderboard will break down. Do you agree with me that Kordei will return to the top?

1. Normani Kordei – 38
2. Rashad Jennings – 37
2. Nancy Kerrigan – 37
4. Simone Biles – 36
4. Heather Morris – 36
6. David Ross – 34
7. Bonner Bolton – 30
7. Erika Jayne – 30
9. Nick Viall – 28
9. Mr. T – 28

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