“Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” ends tonight just like it began, with Adam Rippon as the front-runner to win the Mirror Ball Trophy. The Olympic figure skater has been the favorite to win this special four-week season of “DWTS” ever since the cast was announced, and he has been the highest-scoring contestant on the judges’ leaderboard every week. Is he truly unbeatable?
Every week our readers enter their predictions for who will stay and who will go on “DWTS,” and as of this writing Rippon gets leading odds of 4/9 based on support from 69% of users who have entered their picks in our predictions center. He’s followed by football player Josh Norman with 4/1 odds and another figure skater, Tonya Harding, with 9/1 odds.
But could there be an upset? The two figure skaters who have won the show in the past were both women: Kristi Yamaguchi (season 6) and Meryl Davis (season 18). That could benefit Harding, who also has the benefit of a redemption narrative: she was disgraced from her sport after the 1994 attack on her competitive rival Nancy Kerrigan, and she has been fighting to win back America’s respect and support.
And you can never count out an NFL star. While two figure skaters have won “DWTS,” there have been four football players who have triumphed: Emmitt Smith (season 3), Hines Ward (season 12), Donald Driver (season 14) and Rashad Jennings (season 24). Norman tied Rippon for the highest judges’ score in week one of the competition, so we already know that Norman can keep up with Rippon’s fancy footwork.
But Rippon might have the most support from viewer voters, which determines half of the results on “DWTS.” Just consider our poll results: we asked readers which of the final three deserves the Mirror Ball Trophy, and 49% said Rippon, compared to 30% for Harding and 21% for Norman (see those complete results below). That’s not a blowout by any means, but the momentum is unmistakably in his favor.
Do you agree with our forecasts, or are we in for a surprise ending?
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.