We have the same person at the top of our “Dancing with the Stars” rankings for the second straight week, but we have also realized something in doing this — out of all the seasons we have watched (which is all of them), this is the hardest one to rank. While there are four or five people we can’t see winning the competition at this point, the other half on this list all have a legitimate shot if they stay consistent and their fan base turns out week in and week out.
10. Gavin DeGraw and Karine Smirnoff (last week: #11) – Thanks to Jack Wagner having quite possibly the tiniest fanbase on the show, Gavin was once again spared despite being in the bottom two. Since his supporters really seemed to be maxed out already, he needs to come up with a routine that blows everyone away … and fast.
9. Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus (last week: #10) – Gladys and Tristan gave what was in many ways a comeback performance Monday night. The problem? Comeback performances don’t mean as much on a season where everyone is scoring high. Moving forward, she may have more trouble keeping her performance level high than some of the other stars.
8. Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (last week: #9) – Melissa and Maks showed some improvement last week, and we are once arguing that the presence of the show’s most controversial pro is going to left this team above some of the others.
7. Jaleel White and Kym Johnson (last week: #4) – The tabloids are taking their toll on a man who we at one point ranked at the top of our leaderboard. Is he talented enough to be a better dancer than some of the people above him? Yes, but he’s losing his goodwill among many hardcore fans, and if he has a bad week we expect to see Urkel leave the building. At this point, we certainly can’t see him getting the Mirrorball in the end.
6. Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower (last week: #6) – Despite a good performance, there’s no real movement on the rankings this week for Roshon. Why? Everyone else above him is just about as good, and they seem to be more popular among fans than an unknown Disney star.
5. Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy (last week: #2) – Did Sherri give a good performance this past week? Sure, but after watching some other people pass her in performance quality we wonder if some of the fun is starting to wear off when it comes to seeing her dance.
4. William Levy and Cheryl Burke (last week: #3) – William continues to perplex us. The show desperately wants to make William the next Giles Marini, but the problem with that is that this season, there are several people who are equally as talented. Do William’s fans outweight the fans for Derek or for Donald? We’re not sure, so we are still hesitant to anoint him a favorite.
3. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (last week: #5) – Make out on the dance floor, and this is what happens to you! These two are clearly winning the chemistry award this season, and this helps Maria, a contestant who we were otherwise worried about when it comes to her personality connecting with voters.
2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd (last week: #7) – The moment we found out that voters in Wisconsin were literally jamming their local providers’ lines in order to cast votes Donald’s way, we realized that we were underestimating his fan base. So long as he continues to give stellar performances, he’s sure to at least be a finalist.
1. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (last week: #1) – Katherine can dance! There’s really no other way of looking at why she is at the top of our rankings for the second straight week. She’s got the highest scores of anyone, and we could actually see voters connecting with her more than other strong female contenders that went out before their time in the past (see Sabrina Bryan or Audrina Patridge). She’s funny, classy, and also is vulnerable enough to talk about losing her father on television, as she did this past week.
As always, check back Monday, where we will see if some of our rankings are proven to be right or wrong.