June 23, 2024

‘Dancing with the Stars:’ who is taking home the mirrorball?

Jason Mraz at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival 2009. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

On Sept. 13, the season 32 cast for “Dancing with the Stars” was released, with the new season premiering on Sept. 26. 

With a number of returning pro dancers, one new pro dancer and a brand new batch of celebrities; there is no doubt that the competition is going to be hot this season. 

The celebrity list for this season is a rather interesting mix, including Tyson Beckford, Xochitl Gomez, Alyson Hannigan, Harry Jowsey, Charity Lawson, Ariana Madix, Jason Mraz, Adrian Peterson, Lele Pons, Mira Sorvino, Jamie Lynn Spears, Mauricio Umansky, Matt Walsh and Barry Williams all fighting for the renowned mirrorball trophy. 

Returning pros for this season include Jenna Johnson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Artem Chigvintsev, Pasha Pashkov, Daniella Karagach, Britt Stewart, Brandon Armstrong, Gleb Savchenko, Alan Bersten, Emma Slater, Koko Iwasaki and Peta Murgatroyd. Joining the pro list for this season is 18-year-old Rylee Arnold, the younger sister of longtime pro Lindsey Arnold.

Chmerkovskiy and Murgatroyd have both taken home two wins during their time as pros, making them the ones to beat this season. Slater, Johnson, Bersten, Chigvintsev and Karagach each have one win under their belts, while the rest of the pro cast have yet to take home their very own mirrorball trophy. 

Adrian Peterson in 2019 with the Washington Redskins. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

In season 31, Chmerkovskiy and Savchenko (with their partners Gabby Windey and Shangela, respectively) fought their way to the finals, but neither took home the trophy. Stewart and Slater also made it far in last year’s competition, but were eliminated in the semi-finals with their partners Daniel Durant and Trevor Donovan. 

Aside from the pros, it is important to look at the backgrounds of the celebrity contestants and their dance experience as well. The finalists in season 31 (Charli D’Amelio, Gabby Windey, Wayne Brady, and Shangela) all had some form of dance and performance experience that helped to put them on top of the leaderboard week after week. 

With that being said, Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix may be the one to watch out for this season. Madix was a competitive dancer growing up and even won two national dance championships, giving her a nudge above her other competitors. 

No other celebrities seem to have prior official dance experience, but in the past, football players and “Bachelorette” stars have done well for themselves. National Football League (NFL) players Rashad Jennings, Donald Driver, Hines Ward and Emmitt Smith have all taken home the mirrorball. Bachelorette stars Kaitlyn Bristowe, Hannah Brown and Melissa Rycroft have won as well. 

LOS ANGELES – MARCH 14: Internet Celebrity Lele Pons attends the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

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This season former NFL player Adrian Peterson and Bachelorette star Charity Lawson are competing. It seems plausible they will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.  

However, viewers should not discount competitors like Jason Mraz and Lele Pons, who have prior performance experience as Mraz is a world-renowned singer and Pons has a large social media presence. 

17-year-old Marvel star Xochitl Gomez, who is paired with Chmerkovskiy, could also take the top spot with her musical theater background and youthful spirit. 18-year-old Charlie D’Amelio won the previous season, proving that sometimes young age is a virtue. 

There is always the possibility that an underdog will win, but it is hard to ignore the facts. The pairings of the choreographic ability of the pros and dance background of the celebrities make for a lot of similar predictions among viewers. 

It seems likely that viewers will see Ariana Madix (Pasha Pashkov), Adrian Peterson (Britt Stewart), Lele Pons (Alan Bersten), Jason Mraz (Daniella Karagach), Xochitl Gomez (Val Chmerkovskiy) and Charity Lawson (Artem Chigvintsev) in the semi-final competition this season with Madix, Pons, Mraz and Gomez continuing on to the final competition for the Mirrorball.

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