Bonner Bolton is the only person on the Dancing with the Stars season 24 cast we weren’t familiar with going into the season, and as a result of that, we of course entered this spotlight needed to do a bit of research. This isn’t meant to be throwing shade; this is just a recognition that we know NOTHING about professional bull-riding, even if we grew up only an hour or so away from the Stockyards at Fort Worth.
Bonner’s going to be an interesting contestant just because he comes from that same classification as James Hinchcliffe, ironically Sharna Burgess’ partner last season — many of the show’s viwers won’t have heard of him, so he’ll have to be able to win them over. With a bit of Southern charm, though, we suppose that this is more than possible!
Claim to fame – Professional bull rider / model. Bonner’s story made headlines when he fractured his C2 vertebra in a bull riding accident. After concerns that he would be paralyzed for the remainder of his life, he eventually was able to walk and move his arms again.
Partner – Sharna Burgess. She’s one of the more-noteworthy pros to be consistently a part of the show these days, and working with athletes (oh, and Andy Dick) seem to be her specialty these days. In addition to James, she’s also worked with Antonio Brown.
Strengths – He’s young, he’s athletic, and he’s going to be driven to win this. He’s coming into the season without the benefit of having a whole lot of information out there about who he is, and that’s something that he could use to motivate him further. The good news is that there isn’t a negative perception of him out there, so he can enter the season without being altogether worried that anyone out there already has a bad opinion and won’t vote for him because of it.
Weaknesses – He’s probably got to play up the bull rider part of his personality more than the modeling, since models don’t tend to fair well on the show and it’s not a profession that viewers tend to connect with. He’s going to need to make a big splash early — that’s something that James did, and it absolutely served him well over the course of the season.
Prediction – Bonner is a guy we want to root for. We’ve got a lot of family ties out in West Texas, so we want to see him do well because of that and because he’s a part of a sport that doesn’t get a lot of recognition these days. It’s not unheard of that someone can enter the show with little name recognition and end up being the winner (look at J.R. Martinez). The big difference this time, though, is that Bonner is on a season with people like Simone Biles and Heather Morris. That’s a two-headed dragon that we’re not sure anyone will be able to take down.
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How well do you think Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess are going to fare? Vote in the poll below! (Photo: ABC.)