Is Evanna Lynch the one to beat now on “Dancing with the Stars”? That’s what our predictions say, putting the actress ahead with 17/20 odds to take home the Mirrorball trophy for Monday’s episode tonight over Milo Manheim, Alexis Ren and Bobby Bones. But with the way this season’s unfolded, it’s still anyone’s game. Let’s size up the final four.
Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten
For her: Uh, the showmance? The Sports Illustrated model always had the dance ability, but things have been working out well for her since the show deployed Operation Renten three weeks ago, culminating with a televised kiss.
Needs to work on: Connecting with the dance. Ren is a good dancer, but her routines feel mechanical, like she’s literally just going through the steps. Outside of her contemporary, which was in honor of her late mother, they lack emotion, unlike Lynch’s dances, which is ironic since Ren is apparently head over heels for Bersten.
Why she might win: Never underestimate a showmance, no matter how contrived it is.
Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess
For him: Personality and being the Average (not Grocery Store) Joe dancer. Of the final four, Bones is the least skilled, and he knows it. He’s promoted himself as a regular guy just learning to dance and working hard. The country radio host’s at times over-the-top personality can rub some people the wrong way, along with his impromptu flossing, but you need to stand out and be memorable on this show.
Needs to work on: Technique. Bones has improved a lot since Week 1, but his footwork is still rough around the edges.
Why he might win: He’s the underdog. And he has the fan base that could push him to the top — they already helped him overcome a 15-point deficit to outlast Juan Pablo Di Pace.
Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe
For her: A growth arc. Not that she was a terrible dancer to begin with, but the “Harry Potter” star is the only contestant this season who has visibly improved and keeps improving since Week 1. She is the definition of “peaking at the right time.” Her breakthrough rumba in Week 7 could be the turning point if she wins.
Needs to work on: Refinement. Lynch tends to punch her lines; a little more softness will go a long way.
Why she might win: Lynch has the most complete journey of the finalists, which fans love to see on the show. Her partnership with Motsepe has also really clicked in the last few weeks, and longtime fans would definitely root for Motsepe, so often a victim of early exits — he’d never even been to a semifinal until now.
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson
For him: Natural ability and joyful enthusiasm. Manheim’s skill level and gung-ho attitude belie his 17 years. What’s most impressive about his run is that he started strong out of the gate and has stayed strong, never suffering a drastic dip in performance quality or scores. Since Week 2, when he received a 26, Manheim hasn’t scored lower than a 27; even Di Pace got a 24 in Week 4 in the midst of his five 30s.
Needs to work on: Control. For a tall dude, Manheim moves incredibly well and has lots of body awareness, but he can dance too big sometimes in faster routines. Keep it tight — but not too tight.
Why he might win: Manheim, who’d be the youngest male winner, has been a top contender since his first performance, but he never had the burden of being the one to beat, like Di Pace did with his handful of perfect scores. On the contrary, the judges were harsher on Manheim, giving him one 30 so far, which might’ve actually helped him if fans felt he got hosed. And fans — and teen fans at that — he definitely does have, thanks to “Zombies.” He also has the perk of being partnered with the only pro finalist who has won before, so Carson knows what it takes to get across the finish line.
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.