‘Dancing with the Stars 23’ spotlight: Will Jake T. Austin, Jenna Johnson bring wizardry to the ballroom?

Jake T Austin -

Today, we kick off our “Dancing with the Stars” spotlight with someone who we had heard would be a part of the show many weeks ago in Jake T. Austin. He’s someone who some people out there are thrilled to see, and then also someone other people probably don’t know well at all. If you’ve watched a few different shows over the years, you probably know him really well!

So what are his odds of doing well this season? That is what we want to do our best to try and figure out now!

Claim to fame – Star of Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place.” He later appeared on “The Fosters” as Jesus before the role was eventually recast, and since then a variety of feature films. “Wizards” still remains his most notable career highlight.

Partner – Jenna Johnson. The former “So You Think You Can Dance” star and recent troupe member is getting her first chance to work with a celebrity partner this season, and she’s getting a good one. Jake is someone with a built-in audience, and has the skills to be rather good at this.

Strengths – Despite everything that he has done, Austin is only 21 years old. He’s still got the ability to be trained into a good dancer, and is in good enough shape to pick up some of the physical demands. He should get solid scores in the early going, and longtime fans of his will likely vote for him. Also, as an actor we imagine him being able to get into the character of some of the more dramatic dances.

Weaknesses – Will Jake have the support of older viewers? “Dancing with the Stars” skews rather old, and we’re not sure sure how many people 50+ will know what “Wizards of Waverly Place” is. Like Kyle Massey or Chelsea Kane, he is going to have to figure out a way to appeal to this demographic along with his established fans to make it extremely far into the show.

Prediction – As of right now, we’re saying that Jake ends the competition in around fifth place. We think he’ll be naturally good at dancing, but since his audience is so young, he’s a toss-up when it comes to votes. Also, he has a new pro, and Jenna doesn’t have the built-in support of a Derek Hough or a Cheryl Burke.

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