Professional dancer Keo Motsepe usually can’t catch a break on “Dancing with the Stars.” He has been eliminated first or second from the show far more often than you could chalk up to just luck of the draw. But this year the South African hoofer might finally have himself a real contender for the Mirror Ball Trophy in “Harry Potter” actress Evanna Lynch. Could she finally take him all the way?
Motsepe was the first pro sent home three times: with track-and-field star Lolo Jones (season 19), singer Chaka Khan (season 21) and “Shark Tank” entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran (season 25). And there were two occasions when he was the second to go home: with model Charlotte McKinney (season 2o) and entertainer Charo (season 24). Even in the debut season of “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” he couldn’t escape his curse: he was the adult mentor for child chef Addison Osta Smith, who went home on night one.
There were two occasions when he went farther. He was paired with “Fuller House” actress Jodie Sweetin in season 22 and made it all the way to week eight, when they were eliminated in sixth place. That was a bittersweet farewell for the duo since that was the first night they got a perfect score from the judges.
Motsepe made it to fourth place with softball Jennie Finch Daigle during the “Athletes” season this past spring, but I’m not sure I’d count that as a better outcome. That season was only four weeks long, and Motsepe and Daigle were eliminated with two other couples in week three. In that time they never scored higher than 6s and 7s — except for one eight awarded by guest judge David Ross.
Things are looking a lot more promising with Lynch. Though the judges were stingy to them in past weeks, their Halloween Night tango earned them 10s from Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli and a 9 from Len Goodman. Those were the first 10s Motsepe has gotten on the show since Jodie Sweetin. And we know Lynch is a fan-favorite because in week one she got low scores from the judges but still managed to rise into the top seven safe contestants when viewer votes were factored in. There are only two female celebs left in the competition — Lynch and Instagram model Alexis Ren — and it looks like Lynch might be the last woman standing.
Could she even win? Our users are starting to think so. In week six she rose to first place in our combined predictions, and she’s still there in week seven. As of this writing she gets leading odds of 3/1 to win the Mirror Ball Trophy, placing her ahead of Milo Manheim (11/2 odds) and Juan Pablo Di Pace (6/1 odds), who have owned the top of the judges’ leaderboard for most of the season thus far. But if anyone can work their magic and take Motsepe to the finals, it just might be Lynch.
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