ABC’s Dancing With the Stars returns this month, when a new cast of stars hit center stage for the 23rd installment of the franchise. The latest edition promises to feature another star-studded cast, ranging from popular athletes to celebrities trying to prove they can win the top spot with their dance moves.
With September already here and the action set to blast off on Monday the 12th, now is the time to look over the new DWTS cast to see who might end up winning the whole thing.
Here’s a quick look at the Dancing With the Stars Odds, per Bovada, followed by a breakdown of each pairing:
Hernandez, a now famous 16-year old Olympian, will be paired with Chmerkovksiy, who finished third last season with Ginger Zee. Chmerkovksiy has had fantastic success on DWTS, taking first place in season 20 with Rumer Willis, while finishing inside the top-3 four other times.
Given Hernandez’s Olympic background and Chmerkovskiy’s impressive DWTS success, this pairing is the top threat to take first in this season’s competition.
Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Amber Rose comes in second for Dancing With the Stars odds this year, and she’s also in good company thanks to a pairing with Maksim Chmerkovksiy, the older brother to Valentin. The elder Chmerkovksiy also has had plenty of success on Dancing With the Stars, as he debuted on the show back in the second season and has finished inside the top-3 five times. He nailed first place with Meryl Davis back in season 18.
Amber Rose is a mild surprise with the second best DWTS odds over a week before the competition goes live on ABC, but the model/actress/fashion designer has dancing experience in her past that could give her a leg up on the rest of the cast.
Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson
Vanilla Ice has some dancing experience from his days as a song artist, but it will be interesting to see just how his skill-set translates to the live stage. Luckily he’s paired with the young and vibrant Carson, who won in season 19 and came close (4th) again in season 21.
Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold
Football players have fared well on Dancing With the Stars – Donald Driver, Hines Ward and Emmitt Smith have all won – and retired former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson will hope that trend continues.
Johnson is joined by Arnold, who finished third in season 21 and could be working her way up to a first place finish.
Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko
Dancing With the Stars welcomes a little bit of country this season, as country singer Jana Kramer will try to line dance her way to a first place finish. In all seriousness, Kramer has experience in the spotlight and could be a sleeper to watch.
Kramer will go into the competition paired with Gleb Savchenko, who didn’t fare too well in season 17 – his only stop with Dancing With the Stars.
Marilu Henner and Derek Hough
Many know Marilu Henner from her time on the Celebrity Apprentice, as well as several other media outlets. The 64-year old star will try to become one of the oldest winners in show history.
Henner couldn’t have picked a better partner to attempt to do so, as Hough is the winningest DWTS dancer to this point. Hough won recently in season 21 and has claimed the top prize a whopping six times. He’s not an amazing bet to do so in season 23, but history suggests he can never be ruled out, no matter who his partner is.
Jake T. Austin and Jenna Johnson
Jake T. Austin will attempt to go from popular child star to a more sophisticated dancer this season, when he tries to become one of the youngest DWTS winners. It will be interesting to see if being partnered with recently named “pro” dancer Jenna Johnson will be beneficial to his plight.
Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke
Ryan Lochte, the controversial Olympic swimmer, will try to erase a forgettable summer in Rio by taking a stab at a top-3 finish at Dancing With the Stars. His swimming background and natural athleticism certainly put him in play to do well, while being paired with Cheryl Burker doesn’t hurt his chances, either.
Burke has been with the show since season two, when she took first with Nick Lachey. Since then, she’s enjoyed solid success with first place finishes in season three and five other runs inside the top-3. Her experience and success bode well for Lochte, who could use a big win right about now.
James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess
Hinchcliffe is best known for burning rubber on the race track, but the IndyCar star will try to burn a different kind of rubber when he touches his toes to the dance floor this season.
Hinchcliffe has already suggested he’s ready for the pressure of DWTS, but it only helps that he has a strong partner in Burgess. Burgess has come on as of late, finishing in the top-5 in season 22 and nabbing a third place finish in season 20.
Babyface and Allison Holker
Kenneth Edmonds is best known for his soft voice and his nickname – Babyface – but this month he’ll see if he can’t impress people with his legs. Babyface has been in show business for most of his life and after winning 11 Grammy’s, could be an interesting sleeper to monitor.
Bayface will look to finish high with Allison Holker, who is best known for standing out initially on the So You Think You Can Dance series. She later appeared in the All-Star shows (7 and 11) and has been part of the DWTS cast three previous times. Holker had one great showing back in season 20 when she took second place with Riker Lynch.
Terra Jole and Sasha Farber
Dancing With the Stars gets a first this season, as Little Women: L.A. star Terra Jole will become the first little person to step foot as a contestant on DWTS.
Jole will take on the rest of the competition with no fear, especially since she enters the race not too long after giving birth. She should be up to the task along with partner Sasha Farber, who has appeared in two previous DWTS seasons, finishing 8th both times.
Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev
Many will remember Maureen McCormick from her days as a member of The Brady Bunch, but now the 60-year old actress will test her talents on the dance floor.
McCormick is one of the older contestants on the show this year, and she won’t be done any favors with her pairing with Artem Chigvintsev, who has yet to place inside the top-3 in the Dancing With the Stars competition.
Rick Perry and Emma Slater
Governor Rick Perry is not so shockingly the cast member with the worst DWTS odds, as he enters as someone who doesn’t come off as a natural athlete. It may not help that Perry is of the older members this season at 66 years old.
Perry figures to face an up-hill battle with Emma Slater, who has never managed to finish inside the top-3.
Season 23 Dancing With the Stars Prediction
There is no doubt the athletes tend to rule the competition, which has Olympic star Laurie Hernandez as the understandable favorite heading into the competition. NFL players have also fared well on Dancing With the Stars, however, so it will be very interesting to see if the retired Calvin Johnson can bust enough moves to take the Mirrorball Trophy.
That being said, this is a very diverse cast. Marilu Henner could be an easy person to cast aside, but she showed serious spunk and competitiveness in her time on the Celebrity Apprentice and we certainly can’t ignore the impact of her partner, Derek Hough. Vanilla Ice, James Hinchcliffe, Babyface and Ryan Lochte are all suitable sleepers, while Amber Rose joins Hernandez as one of the top favorites.
One thing to consider here is that popularity and the way some of these athletes/celebrities come off can greatly impact their success on the show, while a good back story also can’t hurt.
Due to age, image and other reasons, we can quickly take Ryan Lochte, Rick Perry, Terra Jole, Babyface, Jake T. Austin, Maureen McCormick and Jana Kramer out of the running. Of that group, Lochte probably has the best odds given his athleticism and charm, but public perception of him is not great after his time in Rio.
That leaves Hernandez, Vanilla Ice, Calvin Johnson, Amber Rose, James Hinchcliffe and Marilu Henner as the logical options.
Henner’s age could be an issue, but she has been dancing her entire life, is very likeable and she could be a bit of a surprise. She’s in great shape and is paired with the best dancer on the show. Hinchcliffe should also be a surprise as an underrated athlete and he could draw the affection of racing and country fans, alike.
If we want good odds, experience and some upside, our pick lies with Marilu Henner. Her partner is elite, she has dancing experience, she’s in great shape and it’s possible some won’t see her coming.
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