We have some more changes in our “Dancing with the Stars” rankings this week, in particular when it comes to who is standing tall in the top spot.
While we base our rankings on judges’ scores along with perceived viewer support, as learned last week that even these factors cannot protect us from what we can never see coming — a solid performer in Sherri Shepherd going home thanks to being the first star to dance and getting some below-average scores.
9. Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff (last week: #10) – As much as we would like to put Gavin and Karina higher on the last — and talent-wise they deserve it — we really can’t. It took Gavin going last this past week to avoid being in the bottom two, and he can’t be at the end of the show every time.
8. Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus (last week: #9) – There’s still something about Gladys that has people voting, even though she’s probably the weakest dancer at this point in the competition. We can see her star power carrying her a few more weeks, but this will run out of steam eventually.
7. Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower (last week: #6) – Despite being one of the better dancers this season, his bottom two appearance proves that his fan base is probably smaller than just about everyone else in the competition. He’s going to have to work harder than everyone else, and one bad performance could send him home.
6. Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (last week: #8) – We actually expect Melissa and Maks to score lower than everyone else in the competition Monday. Melissa’s concussion is probably going to lead to a simplified routine, and her rehearsal time will likely be down. However, she has such a sympathy vote going for her at the moment we’d be stunned to see her going home.
5. Jaleel White and Kym Johnson (last week: #7) – Jaleel was vulnerable last week for reasons both on and off the ballroom floor, but he seems now to have weathered some of the tabloid stories without landing in the bottom two. So long as he keeps his performance quality high, we’re probably going to be seeing more of him in the weeks to come.
4. William Levy and Cheryl Burke (last week: #4) – Even though the show has already anointed him a star in the making (in particular when he takes his shirt off), William had a pretty awful dance during Rock Week with mistakes left and right. The good news? He still avoided the bottom two. We expect him to recover in a big way this week.
3. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (last week: #3) – After all of her injuries, we are pretty sure now that Maria would keep dancing even if a magician sawed her in half. We do worry slightly about her fanbase, but her performance history — coupled with having Derek as a partner — fail to make us worry too much.
2. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (last week: #1) – Do we think that Katherine is the best dancer overall this season? Probably, but she had an off week in only getting a 24. With that in mind coupled with the rise of our new #1, she is going to have a major challenge trying to secure the fan base necessary to come out on top.
1. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd (last week: #2) – For the first time in three weeks, we have a new #1 in the Green Bay Packers star. Not only was his 27 the best scores out of any routine during Rock Week, but you have to remember all the guys and gals in cheese hats jamming up Wisconsin phone service Monday nights.
What sort of rankings do you have for the remaining nine stars? Be sure to both vote in the poll and share your thoughts with a comment below!