The season 26 cast of “Dancing with the Stars” was officially announced on “Good Morning America” on Friday, April 13. So who will win this special all-athletes season of the dance competition series? You can now make your predictions right here for who will claim the Mirror Ball Trophy, who will be eliminated and more.
Athletes often do well on “DWTS” due to their physical conditioning, so this season may be especially difficult to predict since all of the contestants fit that bill. But not all sports are created equal. History tells us that we should especially watch out for figure skaters and football players.
Two figure skaters have won “Dancing with the Stars”: Kristi Yamaguchi (season 6) and Meryl Davis (season 18). And it’s not hard to see why. Not only are skaters flexible and agile, their sport also trains them in choreography and musicality, so their skills translate naturally to the dance floor. This year there are three figure skaters in contention: 2018 Winter Olympic medalists Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon, and controversial past Olympian Tonya Harding.
It’s less intuitive that football players would be good dancers, but the stats speak for themselves. Four gridiron stars have claimed the Mirror Ball Trophy in seasons past: Emmitt Smith (season 3), Hines Ward (season 12), Donald Driver (season 14) and Rashad Jennings (season 24). So watch out for this season’s sole football star, NFL cornerback Josh Norman.
Baseball may also be a sport for dark horse “DWTS” contenders. In season 24 World Series champ David Ross became the first MLB player ever to appear on the show, and he became a fan-favorite, unexpectedly finishing second behind Mirror Ball champ Jennings. This year another baseball star steps up to the plate: Johnny Damon, who won World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox (2004) and New York Yankees (2009). And don’t count out softball player Jennie Finch, an Olympic gold medalist from the 2004 games in Athens.
Basketball players have struggled in past seasons of “DWTS,” but perhaps college star Arike Ogunbowale or legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will change that. And we could be surprised by athletes from sports that are unproven in the ballroom: snowboarder Jamie Anderson and luger Chris Mazdzer.
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.