‘Dancing with the Stars’ 20: Why Nastia Liukin, Willow Shields, Riker Lynch are poised to go far

Willow -Dancing with the Stars” returns on Monday with its 20th season (!), and we definitely want to do our part today in preparing you to the best of our ability. With that in mind, we are hear today to give you what we think is going to be the breakdown of the season.

So why make these bold predictions? It’s in part to entertain ourselves, and to also laugh really hard in the event that we are ridiculously wrong (which is a strong possibility). Our criteria here is perceived dance ability first and foremost, and then followed by popularity and also the professional partner’s success rate on the season. We also want to hear from you! Vote for your preseason pick to win in the poll at the bottom of this article.

1. Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough – She’s an Olympian, he’s the most successful winner in the show’s history. What else do we really have to say?

2. Willow Shields and Mark Ballas – She may not be well-known to older viewers, but we can see her being endearing still to voters.

3. Riker Lynch and Allison Holker – He’s probably going to be very good at this, but he’s not well-known with the show’s demographic and that will hurt him in the end.

4. Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess – We don’t feel confident that he’ll be anywhere near as good as J.R. Martinez, but he’ll be such an inspiration that it will carry him.

5. Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd – Football stars do well. Football stars with a story behind them should also do really well, but he’s hurt slightly by not having a full team’s fanbase behind him.

6. Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy – Probably the “most likely to smolder” among any of the teams. The problem here could be figuring out who are Rumer’s voters.

7. Redfoo and Emma Slater – He’ll do great until he has to do some of the emotional dances. We can’t imagine leather pants during a rumba.

8. Chris Soules and Witney Carson – Bachelor alumni don’t tend to fare too well on this, and Chris has already shown a noticeable lack of dance talent.

9. Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev – Patti will get a bump for being an entertainment legend. Unfortunately, that won’t help her to keep up with the younger crowd.

10. Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson – Outside of “Shark Tank,” will the common fans be picking up the phone for him? We love Robert, but we’re not sure.

11. Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe – Right now, the model curse has us concerned. We do hope that Keo makes it a little further this season, just because he seems like a fun guy and we haven’t seen enough of him.

12. Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani – Maybe we’re wrong here, but we just don’t see Suzanne appealing to anyone under the age of 55. Granted, there are quite a few voters who watch this show who are older than that.

If you want to see specific breakdowns of all the pairs this season, view all of our spotlight articles over here! Also, dance over here to sign up for some further TV updates via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: ABC.)


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