‘Dancing with the Stars’ scores predictions: Nikki Bella redeemed? Frankie Muniz struggle with samba?

This week of “Dancing with the Stars” should be a lot less stressful for the remaining contestants as they only have to perfect one routine as opposed to the two they performed in week two. For this week each of the remaining stars will dance a previously unlearned style to reflect their favorite guilty pleasure. This is also the first week where we’ll get to see some stars perform some non-traditional styles like Charleston and jazz.

After receiving the first 9 of the season and beating frontrunners Jordan Fisher and Lindsey Stirling for the top spot on the “Latin Night” judges’ leaderboard, will actor Frankie Muniz continue to surprise both the audience and judges? Will Nick Lachey step up and deliver after narrowly escaping elimination last Tuesday? And will athletes Nikki Bella, Derek Fisher and Terrell Owens finally get some love from the judges and place near the top of the leaderboard?

Below are my scoring predictions for each couple for week three.

Victoria Arlen & Valentin Chmerkovskiy – Quickstep (“Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba)

Last week Victoria earned her highest score this season with a sultry tango for “Ballroom Night.” However, she received a bit of criticism for her rumba on “Latin Night” the following evening. This week Victoria and Val are hoping to step up their scores with a quickstep. I feel that this dance could go either way for the couple. While I think she’ll do well staying in hold and maintaining her frame, I’m a bit concerned about her control of her legs — she lost the feeling in her legs as the result of an illness and only learned to walk again a year ago. Will that hurt her in keeping up with Val? I predict that she’ll continue to surprise the judges, audience, and herself by delivering a solid quickstep.

Scoring Prediction: 8 (Carrie Ann Inaba) + 7 (Len Goodman) + 8 (Bruno Tonioli) = 23/30

Nikki Bella & Artem Chigvintsev – Viennese Waltz (“Love on the Brain” by Rihanna)

Week two saw Nikki and Artem perform both their highest scoring dance (waltz) and lowest scoring dance (samba) of the season. As the lowest scoring couple going into tonight’s show, they need to pull out all the stops to ensure their place in the competition if they escape elimination this week. This week Nikki and Artem will be dancing a Viennese waltz to Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.” The good thing for Nikki is that she received great notes from the judges for her waltz last week, so that should be a great indicator on how she’ll handle this similar style of dance. The bad news is that she could be overshadowed by the more energetic and flashier routines of the night.

Scoring Prediction: 8 (Carrie Ann) + 8 (Len) + 8 (Bruno) = 24/30

Derek Fisher & Sharna Burgess – Cha-Cha (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince)

After receiving the same exact score last week for both their foxtrot (“Ballroom Night”) and paso doble (“Latin Night”) — 19 out of 30 — Derek and Sharna are looking for a breakthrough. They’re hoping to get the party started with a fun cha cha to “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Personally, I feel that this song would be better suited to a jazz routine. I can see Derek struggling to stay on beat due to the nature of the song and style of dance. With that said, I think his charm and determination will put smiles on the audience’s faces.

Scoring Prediction: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 6 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 20/30

Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold – Charleston (“Glory Days” by Michael Giacchino)

Jordan’s Viennese waltz and samba last week were both in a league of their own. Surprisingly, neither of those performances received anything higher than 8s from the judges. The expectations are high for their Charleston this week. As I’ve mentioned before, Jordan is a star. He’s in tune with his body and is one with the music each week. I have high hopes for this routine, as it will allow him and Lindsay to go balls-to-the-wall with the choreography. Expect to finally see Jordan earn a well-deserved 9 or two.

Scoring Prediction: 9 (Carrie Ann) + 8 (Len) + 9 (Bruno) = 26/30

Nick Lachey & Peta Murgatroyd – Jazz (“Jump (For My Love)” by the Pointer Sisters)

Last week’s foxtrot and Argentine tango didn’t help Nick score any major love from the judges or help him outscore his wife Vanessa. To make matters worse, Nick was also in jeopardy of being eliminated on “Latin Night.” This week I think the producers decided to throw Nick and Peta a bone by giving them a jazz routine. Normally, jazz numbers are pretty much freestyles in that there don’t seem to be any rigid stylistic rules. Hopefully, this will give Nick the chance to let loose and have fun. If he’s not able to pull that off then his days are numbered on the show.

Scoring Prediction: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 7 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 21/30

Vanessa Lachey & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Jazz (“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper)

Last week Vanessa proved that she wasn’t a one-trick pony by delivering a dazzling foxtrot and a fun and flirty salsa. Will this week’s jazz routine to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” keep her near the top? I’m actually going to make a bold prediction and say that we’ll see a dip in her scores this week. First off, the song choice isn’t the most exciting for a jazz routine, and after Heather Morris’s disappointing jazz number last season, I’m not expecting much.

Scoring Prediction: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 7 (Len) + 8 (Bruno) = 22/30

Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson – Samba (“It’s Gonna Be Me” by N Sync)

Frankie proved with his tango and cha cha last week that he’s able to hang with the big dogs. Surprisingly, his cha cha earned the first 9 of the season, besting frontrunners like Jordan, Lindsey, and Vanessa. Will Frankie continue to amaze us this week by conquering the samba, aka the dance of death? I believe that Frankie will give his best effort, but I think he might struggle a bit in mastering the bounce of the samba. The great thing is that he has a popular song that could allow for Witney to craft some creative choreography to cover Frankie’s potential shortcomings with the dance.

Scoring Prediction: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 7 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 21/30

Terrell Owens & Cheryl Burke – Salsa (“The Breaks” by Kurtis Blow)

After being underscored in week one Terrell saw a considerable jump in his scores last week. However, that wasn’t enough as he still landed near the bottom of the pack following his samba on “Latin Night.” T.O. and his partner Cheryl are adding an old school hip-hop vibe to their salsa this week. Terrell has natural rhythm, but so far it seems like he’s afraid to go full-out in his routines. If he wants to be a Mirror Ball champion like fellow NFL stars Emmitt Smith, Rashad Jennings, Hines Ward and Donald Driver he needs to find a way to commit fully to each dance and also add his charm like each of the footballers did before him.

Scoring Prediction: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 6 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 20/30

Sasha Pieterse & Gleb Savchenko – Jazz (“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” by the Four Tops)

Last week proved to be a breakthrough for Sasha, as she not only received her highest scores but was also able to show more of her personality. Now that she’s starting to let her guard down, Gleb needs to make sure that the audience and judges continue to see that. Sasha and Gleb will be performing one of three jazz routines this week. Like Vanessa and Nick’s song choices, I don’t see how Gleb can pull off an exciting and entertaining jazz routine to this music. I’m worried that this could possibly be a step down for them, which risks them getting lost in the shuffle.

Scoring Prediction: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 7 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 21/30

Drew Scott & Emma Slater – Argentine Tango (“Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds)

Drew has been on a slow rise since week one. Both his foxtrot and rumba last week showed promise. With new confidence thanks to the increasing admiration of the judges, Drew and Emma are hoping that their Argentine tango will show them as potential dark-horse contenders. But even though Drew is making small improvements he still comes off a bit awkward and stiff in his movements.

Scoring Prediction: 8 (Carrie Ann) + 7 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 22/30

Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas – Jive (“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!)

Lindsey and Mark continued to bring their quirky yet entertaining style of dancing to both their quickstep and salsa routines last week. Expect things to get cheesy with their jive to Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Lindsey and Mark’s partnership is one of the best this season. It seems like they really understand each other, which makes their routines even more dynamic and memorable. Mark does a great job of choreographing some fantastic jives. I’m expecting this one to be full of content, entertaining and most importantly memorable.

Scoring Prediction: 9 (Carrie Ann) + 8 (Len) + 9 (Bruno) = 26/30

Predicted Rankings

1 Jordan & Lindsay — 26
1. Lindsey & Mark — 26
3. Nikki & Artem — 24
4. Victoria & Val — 23
5. Vanessa & Maks — 22
5. Drew & Emma — 22
7. Nick & Peta — 21
7. Sasha & Gleb — 21
7. Frankie & Witney — 21
10. Terrell & Cheryl — 20
10. Derek & Sharna — 20

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

More News from GoldDerby