When Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough were announced as being a part of “Dancing with the Stars” this season, it was easy to have one overwhelming emotion: Surprise. These two both are extremely busy, and Derek had previously claimed that he wasn’t even going to be a part of the show.
Despite all of this, we do still anticipate these two being the almost instant favorites to take this home. Both understand hard work, and they will be able to take on almost every hurdle pretty well. However, is it possible that this could at some point work against them? This is something that we analyze at length in our new spotlight article! Check it out below, and be sure to view some of our others. You can also vote in the poll below as to how well you project they will do.
Name – Nastia Liukin
Age – 25
Claim to fame – A five-time Olympic medalist and gymnast. She competed with former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Shawn Johnson, who also worked with Derek Hough.
Partner – As we just mentioned, it’s Derek. He is the most successful pro in the show’s history, and there are some conspiracy theories out there already about him getting all the good partners. The reality this season is this: Nastia was the only way that Derek could compete this season. He’s doing a show in New York, and this gives him an opportunity to rehearse with her in the Big Apple, where she also goes to school.
Strengths – She’s obviously athletic, she’s young, and she is used to performing in front of judges. Almost akin to Shawn, she should be capable of doing things other people cannot. She’s also at least reasonably well-known, and representing your country tends to lead to getting a ton of support.
Weaknesses – Sometimes, being the instant favorite can actually work against you, given that expectations are higher, and there may be some annoyed about a talented Olympic gymnast and Derek are paired together. The only other potential drawback here is that Nastia is still going to school, so she may have less time to actually rehearse this season given her and Derek’s schedules.
Prediction – We do think that the cross-country travel and the other responsibilities are going to make this incredibly hard for the two in the long-term. They’ll make it really far, but we wouldn’t be shocked if they left either right before the finale, or in third or fourth place.
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