‘Dancing with the Stars 23’ rankings: Laurie Hernandez, James Hinchcliffe still strong entering week 3

Laurie -Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars” performance is going to be a little bit of an odd one. Due to the Presidential debate taking place at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time we are looking at a one-hour episode, and then a results show on Thursday. There are face-off dances ahead, and you should really think of this as one of the quicker, possibly-more-manic shows than any that ABC has put on the air over time.

So where do we think the remaining dancers stand leading up to it? That is what we want to try to figure out in the latest edition of our rankings today. We’re going to be using as our primary criteria performance quality, judges’ scores to date, and also the perception of their popularity by America.

12. Rick Perry and Emma Slater (last week: 13) – Rick remains the worst dancer by a pretty wide margin, and while his fans / supporters were able to get him through the first two weeks of the competition, we see him heading back to Texas before much longer.

11. Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev (12) – She may love the show, but she is still struggling with some of what it takes in terms of being able to handle the pressure of the ballroom and delivering some consistently strong performances.

10. Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke (3) – Well, color us wrong when it comes to Ryan. We felt like the swimmer was going to see this past show as a redemption story, and that he would get a huge sympathy bump from viewers after what happened in the premiere. While we don’t know for sure if he was in the actual bottom two last week (the series never revealed that), we do worry about his future given his scores weren’t all that great.

9. Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (8) – Maks and a huge social-media following are the two biggest things that Amber has going for her right now. While she’s got the potential to be a great dancer, she hasn’t put together the pieces technically just yet.

8. Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson (7) – We haven’t seen a whole lot out of him just yet that is exemplary, and those scores plus a busy schedule for him makes us wonder if he could be doomed for a relatively-short run on the series this fall.

7. Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko (10) – Two episodes into this season, our biggest concern for Jana is not her dance ability or even her injury; instead, it’s that we don’t know how many viewers are familiar for either her or Gleb.

6. Babyface and Allison Holker (11) – After a great second routine, we’re starting to realize that we may have underestimated the singing icon. We’ve also come to really like him as a person, and Allison as a pro has always remained great.

5. Terra Jole and Sasha Farber (6) – She’s two great routines into the season, and there’s very little evidence so far that she could be the sort of fly-by-night performer who goes home a very short period of time into this season. She’ll stick around a while.

4. Marilu Hnner and Derek Hough (5) – Marilu continues to impress, and while having Derek as a partner may be a big part of that, we also probably underestimated how much we’d want to root for her on the basis of her energy in the ballroom. She really is fun!

3. Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold (4) – This is where being an NFL player comes into play, especially one who spent their entire career in a place like Detroit. While he’s been far from perfect through two dances, his “Family Matters” tribute was inspired and Lions fans should be behind him.

2. James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess (2) – Sure, we’re still worried about the amount of IndyCar fans who are actually watching this show (how many can it be?), but for the most part we do still think that James is a candidate to go very far in the competition. He’s a very skilled dancer, he’s funny, and he’s the sort of person you want to get to know.

1. Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy (1) – She’s got the best score by a margin of three points after first two weeks, and coming off of the Olympics, we’ve also got a feeling that she’s one of the most popular Stars. It’s hard to find anything to be particular upset about here.

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