It’s the goal of every new TV show to reach a season 2. Since most don’t, getting a second crack automatically makes a show a “success”. I’m not sure what to call a show that’s lasted 23 seasons. I don’t think English has the requisite superlative. But scrutable or otherwise, that’s just what Dancing with the Stars has done. ABC’s reality mainstay is set to premiere season 23 on Monday, Sep. 12.
The producers went hard on the Olympic angle this season, nabbing both gold medal-winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez and village idiot Ryan Lochte. They also opted for the usual dose of nostalgia with Vanilla Ice, Maureen McCormick (Marsha from The Brady Bunch), and Marilu Henner (Elaine from Taxi).
The contestants are rounded out by the usual staple of musicians, actors, and athletes … and also Rick Perry. (I call that last addition a “DWTS-WTF.”)
Who’s going to take this year’s mirrorball trophy? What celebrities will be in the audience? Will Ryan Lochte tag the toilet in the green room? I set the odds for all the burning season 23 questions!
Dancing with the Stars season 23 odds
Odds to win season 23
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy: 9/2
Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold: 6/1
Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson: 9/1
Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 9/1
James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess: 12/1
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Allison Holker: 14/1
Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: 14/1
Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: 16/1
Jake T. Austin and Jenna Johnson: 16/1
Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke: 18/1
Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev: 25/1
Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber: 25/1
Gov. Rick Perry and Emma Slater: 50/1
There aren’t a lot of contestants with a dance background this time around. Athletes tend to do well on DWTS, though. Hernandez’ gymnast forerunner, Shawn Johnson, won it all in season 8. Hernandez’ odds are boosted by being paired with Val Chmerkovskiy, who took Ginger Zee to a third-place finish last season.
Calvin Johnson, a former NFL star, has a good shot with Lindsay Arnold (fourth in season 22, third in season 23). Megatron tip-toed the sidelines with the best in his playing days.
Vanilla Ice will be an interesting one to watch. He spent a lot of his younger days breakdancing. Will that translate to a finely tuned fox-trot? Maybe, if he stops, collaborates, and listens to partner Witney Carson.
Jana Kramer and Babyface, two musicians, should at least be familiar with keeping time. That gives them an edge over the actors.
Odds to be the first contestant eliminated
Gov. Rick Perry: 6/1
Marilu Henner: 19/2
Maureen McCormick: 9/1
Ryan Lochte: 10/1
Terra Jolé: 10/1
Jake T. Austin: 10/1
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds: 12/1
Jana Kramer: 12/1
James Hinchcliffe: 15/1
Amber Rose: 15/1
Vanilla Ice: 25/1
Calvin Johnson: 25/1
Laurie Hernandez: 30/1
Eliminations are based on both judges’ scores and fan votes. How is the voting public going to react to Ryan “the Over-Exaggerator” Lochte? My guess: not favorably. Does he have the coordination and rhythm to save his finely sculpted bootie? Maybe. (I bet he spends a lot of time on club dance floors.) Whether he does or not might not matter. Would the producers let the show lose its biggest draw so early in the season?
Gov. Perry and Emma Slater are going to be in tough; he’s not well-liked (for some pretty good reasons) and has no dancing pedigree to speak of. Slater’s never been in the top-three.
Odds on being the first athlete eliminated
Ryan Lochte: 2/1
James Hinchcliffe: 3/1
Calvin Johnson: 4/1
Laurie Hernandez: 5/1
Odds any athlete (Hernandez, Hinchcliffe, Johnson, Lochte) wins season 23: 1/1
Odds on Ryan Lochte’s hair color on the Season 23 premiere
Red, white and blue: 9/1
The controversial swimmer has made some controversial tonsorial choices in the past. But he showed up for his Matt Lauer interview with his normal brown hair. And when you’re trying to make the country like you again, it’s best not to show up looking like a spoiled frat boy. Lochte is going to look like a spoiled frat boy, regardless of his hair color, but he can downplay it with a demure brown mop.
A patriotic red, white, and blue might be his best Plan B.
Odds Ryan Lochte will be arrested before being eliminated: 99/1
He’s dumb, but he’s not usually criminally dumb, at least, not on US soil.
Odds on the first Brady Bunch actor to appear in the audience (supporting Maureen McCormick)
Florence Henderson: 5/2
Christopher Knight: 5/1
Barry Williams: 6/1
Eve Plumb: 25/1
Will Jan (Eve Plumb) finally show some solidarity with Marsha? Not likely. That sororal feud is going to the grave. Seriously, they don’t like each other.
The powers-that-be would probably like to get Florence, and she’s a former contestant, so her number should be on speed dial.
Odds on the first Taxi actor to appear in the audience (supporting Marilu Henner)
Tony Danza: 3/1
Judd Hirsch: 5/1
Christopher Lloyd: 8/1
Danny DeVito (with or without wife Rhea Perlman): 12/1
Let’s be honest, other than Danny DeVito, none of these people have anything better to do these days. Sorry, Tony, no one’s hankering for another Angels in the Outfield. If they are, it will only be greenlit if Joseph Gordon Levitt signs on. (Hey, that one applies to Christopher Lloyd, too!)
Photo credit: Agência Brasil Fotografias [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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