Now that we have made it into this season of “Dancing with the Stars,” we are very pleased to begin what is a weekly tradition at CarterMatt most seasons: Contestant rankings! Yes, we do know that the contenders are in some ways ranked already thanks to the judges’ scores, but we do think that there is another component to this thanks to the public vote. In these articles, we’re going to try to merge these two different sides of what is important. Granted, that’s a little harder without seeing any results so far this season.
13. Kim Zolciak and Tony Dovolani – The biggest problem with Kim is that she’s basically at the crossroads of two different things that are bad on this show: She’s not a great dancer yet, and we don’t think the show’s voting block is that familiar with her. This doesn’t bode well for poor Tony getting a chance to last longer this season.
12. Victor Espinoza and Karina Smirnoff – We really thought Victor would be better in the first week, and he is now in a little bit of real danger. Performing first is never great for being memorable, and it doesn’t help when the main reason people know you is because of a horse.
11. Chaka Khan and Keo Motsepe – We weren’t that shocked that Chaka had some issues with her routine, but more than that, we were hoping that she would be a little more memorable coming out of the show. She does have the whole “music icon” thing going for her, but that will only go so far.
10. Paula Deen and Louis van Amstel – We said this from the onset about Paula: She is going to have supporters, and she even did when she was in the middle of the backlash a little ways back. She’s not a good dancer, but we think that her following probably has an us-against-the-world mentality that will keep her around a few weeks.
9. Gary Busey and Anna Trebunskaya – The worst-case scenario with Gary is that he’s the wrong kind of cheesy and gets the David Hasselhoff treatment: An early exit. We do think, though, that the entertainment factor alone makes him more appealing than some of the other bad dancers so far.
8. Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold – He was a pretty good dancer in his first outing, but for now we have to put him fairly low until we see what sort of voting block he could have. A total wild card.
7. Hayes Grier and Emma Slater – Another wild card to us, mostly because the sort of people who follow Hayes on Vine are not typically the sort who watch this show. We’re not sure what the carryover is going to be this season.
6. Andy Grammer and Alison Holker – We were pretty impressed by Andy’s suave demeanor and moves the first time out. We do think, though, that the real challenge for him is going to be figuring out how in the world he will handle a faster, more energetic routine.
5. Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson – Our big concern with Carlos is that first and foremost is the following. We know he’ll be a really good dancer, but is he someone the average voter is that familiar with?
4. Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas – Our concern with Alexa is somewhat similar to her husband, but she’s got an edge for two reason: Being paired with someone like Mark who is very popular in his own right, and her fame thanks to “Spy Kids.”
3. Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy – We were impressed not just by Tamar’s dancing, but she also brought some personality and humor to the show. We think there’s no one this season like her, and that will help her.
2. Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough – We thought that Derek would do well with Bindi, but who knew that the daughter of Steve Irwin would be both a very good dancer and so energetic in such a short amount of time? We thought before the season that she’d be the runner-up, but she really cemented her status as a potential favorite here.
1. Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess – Still, you are going to have to move mountains to stop Nick this season, being that he is the opposite of Kim: The most famous person on the show this season, and arguably also the best dancer. He is going to be a monumental threat to overtake.
Who do you think is #1 at the moment? Vote in the poll below, and head over here to get some other news about the theme for Monday’s show! Also, sign up to get some other news worth dancing over via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: ABC.)