Dancing with the Stars Season 23 – Who will take the Mirror Ball Trophy home?

Even though most of the cast has been announced via social media or the slow reveal on Good Morning America, today the full cast and their pro partner has been officially announced.  Boy, is this the most eclectic cast I’ve seen in some time.  Couple of Olympians, a politician, a few reality stars, and the usual singers and actors all make up the 23rd season cast.  There is no shortage of big (and wholly controversial) names this season, but what about possible dancing skills?  This is a competition all about the moves, after all.

Out of the barrage of celebrities who is most likely to take home the Mirror Ball Trophy?  Let’s talk about the possibilities:

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

This gold medal moron hopefully gets the boot quick no matter how good his moves are.  I’m not going to hide my bias on this one.  He may have apologized for embarrassing himself and the US at the Olympics, but having him on this show for too long is rewarding bad behavior, especially in the light of formal charges being brought against him by the Brazilian government.  I feel kind of bad for Cheryl.  On her last season she complained she had too many duds in a row and now her first season back she gets another one with no dancing experience and no brain in his head.  Prediction – First or second to go.

Rick Perry and Emma Slater:

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

Once again out to embarrass my home state of Texas, it is Rick Perry.  If he dances like he runs for President, then he should be out pretty quick.  Since the majority of the watching audience tends to be on the conservative side, it could be argued that Perry will do well whether he can dance or not.  I say he is not the most liked conservative politician and if he starts backing a certain Presidential Candidate too much, it will hurt him.  Emma is returning after taking a season off and maybe she can get some life out of the guy.  Prediction – First or second to go.

Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Allison Holker:

Image Courtesy of Bennett Raglin

Image Courtesy of Bennett Raglin

The 57 year old legendary singer/songwriter will have a natural musicality that should help him out in competition, but not all older musicians have done well.  Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, and Billy Dee Williams are just the latest examples of those with music in their blood not quite up to the rigorous nature of the show.  The much loved Allison comes back after taking a couple of seasons off to have her second baby in March.  All three of her partners have finished high in the past and she could get a good performance from the multiple Grammy award winner.  Prediction – Middle of the pack elimination.

Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev:

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

I’ve got the over under of the someone saying “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” at 10 over the course of the season.  That is if she gets very far.  The Brady Bunch actress just turned 60 years old and she looks pretty damn good and Artem knows how to work it.  Let’s just hope she doesn’t get hit in the face with a football by the NFLer competing this season.  Prediction – Eliminated late, seventh or eighth.

Terra Jole and Sasha Farber:

Image Courtesy of Lifetime

Image Courtesy of Lifetime

Star of TLC’s Little Women: LA is known for her “Little Lady Gaga” act which could come in handy.  I don’t watch the show, so I don’t know too much about her.  She did have a baby just a few weeks ago and Sasha will definitely work that pregnancy weight off of her.  If she has nearly as much personality as the singer she models her act after, then this partnership will be a blast to watch.  Prediction – Middle of the pack elimination.

Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy:

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

The talk show host/model has posted videos of her moves, but can the body shaking translate to good ballroom skills?  With a partner like Maks, that is a possibility.  The biggest issue is Maks is not exactly easy on his dancers and there are some rumors circulating already she is being a bit of a diva behind the scenes.  Heads clashing between pro and star could tank this couple early.  Prediction – Eliminated quick, third or fourth.

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy:

Image Courtesy of NBC

Image Courtesy of NBC

She is tiny, she is adorable, she has great showmanship, and she is partnered with a pro that could take her all the way to the finals.  I’m not going to hide my bias on this one either.  I think Laurie is adorable and most likely she will have me smiling ear to ear each time she hits the floor.  Prediction – Finals, Possible Winner.

Jake T. Austin and Jenna Johnson:

Jake T. Austin

The 21 year old Wizard of Waverly Place and The Fosters actor seems like he is a nice kid who will probably get lost in the competition amongst the louder, more controversial contestants.  This is Jenna’s first time competing as a full time pro and doesn’t have the recognition with the audience many of the pros possess.  This could make the pairing a dark horse couple or gone quickly.  Prediction – Early to middle elimination, fourth or fifth.

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold:

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

Athletes are hard to predict, especially football players.  Some have the natural footwork and rhythm necessary to go all the way ala Emmett Smith, Lawrence Taylor, Chad Ochocinco, and Antonio Brown.  Or he could be awkward and stiff like Michael Sam, Doug Flutie, and Keyshawn Johnson.  Either way, Megatron should be entertaining.  Prediction – Eliminated late, seventh or eighth.

Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson:

Image Courtesy of DIY Network

Image Courtesy of DIY Network

This 90’s icon can dance and is not a stranger to reality competition.  He competed on Dancing on Ice in the UK and was eliminated in the sixth week.  Name recognition and nostalgia love alone will carry him far.  You just know he is going to dance to “Ice, Ice Baby” early in the competition and I am going to be singing along like the giant dork that I am.  Witney is an excellent pro who could bring out the best in the rapper/home renovator.  Prediction – Finals.

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savenko:

Jana Kramer

The first country singer to compete since Kelly Pickler won the Mirror Ball Trophy back in 2013 has a bit of a messy home life going on behind the scenes.  Her and her husband of just 15 months separated earlier in August.  But all the more reason why she should throw herself into the competition and give it her all.  Gleb has competed as a pro on DWTS in the 16th season and didn’t do so well with his reality star partner.  Maybe someone with a natural musicality will be the trick for the pro to go far.  Predicion – Eliminated late in the game, sixth or seventh.

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough:

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

The Taxi star may be in her mid 60’s, but an amazing memory might be the thing that will give her the edge in this competition.  The question is, can she move?  Her partner, the returning Derek, is really good about teaching his dancers a few really good steps and he uses them over and over to wow the audience.  Her big personality and his dancing flair will make them really entertaining to watch.  Prediction – Finals.

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess:

James Hinchcliffe

The Canadian born Indy Car driver could be a sneaky one.  Not too much is known about his possible dancing ability, but he does have a likableness to him and a hell of a near death story that could carry him to the late stages of the competition.  Sharna can take him far as long as he puts in the work.  Prediction – Dark Horse.

Who do you think is going to take the Mirror Ball Trophy home?  Will it be one of the athletes?  One of the reality stars?  Or one of the actors?  Let me know in the comments section below.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

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