Early Picks for Dancing with the Stars Season 29

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Dancing With The Stars Early Picks Season 29
Do not worry Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) fanatics. The pandemic did not halt the production of the show’s 29th season.

On September 2, DWTS announced its celebrity lineup of dancing hopefuls. ABC’s roster includes several singers, talk show hosts, athletes, actors, and actresses.

The show aired its first episode on September 14 at 7 pm central time. With a few pandemic inspired tweaks, the show promised a fun, exciting and energetic season.

ABC alternative Chief Rob Mills guaranteed, “It will still feel exactly the same and give you that two-hour break from what’s going on in the world.” Regardless of the excitement level, I will give you my thoughts on each week’s performance.

Opening odds are listed below. Who will take home the mirror ball trophy?

Act Odds
AJ McLean +400
Johnny Weir +450
Justina Machado +750
Jeannie Mai +900
Monica Aldama +900
Nelly +900
Skai Jackson +900
Chrishell Stause +1200
Jesse Metcalfe +1200
Kaitlyn Bristowe +1200
Vernon Davis +1400
Anne Heche +1600
Charles Oakley +1600
Nev Schulman +1600
Carole Baskin +5000

First Elimination: Charles Oakley

On Tuesday night, the first elimination of the season occurred in episode 2. In the past, former athletes have done surprisingly well.

Unfortunately, Charles Oakley fell a little short of well. His stiff cha-cha performance landed him in the bottom two alongside cat lady Carole Baskin.

While Oakley’s performance was certainly more exciting than Baskin’s, the judges saved the feline femme. I would imagine at +5000, Baskin was saved for short term ratings.

Fans also believe judges saved Baskin for ratings.

Maybe the show will continue to save her if her deceased husband’s family continues to buy $ 100k ads.

The elephant in the room, or tiger rather, is how many episodes will Baskin make it to. Her first two dances (the Paso Doble and the Viennese waltz) were much slower paced. Will Baskin have the athletic stamina to survive dances like the cha-cha?

Baskin is my last pick. Not only will she struggle as the dances get more difficult, she will not have fan votes. If you are unfamiliar with the show, viewers at home vote for who they believe should progress to the next episode.

Not only were fans outraged the judges saved Baskin, they could not believe judges gave Skai Jackson a lower score than the tigress.

While the cat lady will get voted off at some point, it has been interesting to watch the number of cat themes the producers have concocted for the alleged murderer. She has danced to Eye of the Tiger and Pussycat.

She will dance to The Lion King next week. How many cat themes can the producers dream up?

Baskin dances into next week at the bottom of the pack. I predict she will be up for elimination again next week.

McLean and Weir Will Make the Top Third

It is no surprise AJ McLean (+400) and Johnny Weir (+450) were top runners prior to the premiere of the season. Both have a history of choreography mastery as performers.

After episode 2, Weir dropped two spots while McLean gained a spot. McLean can certainly count on the votes of his Backstreet Boy fans.

I thought McLean’s week 1 performance did not display his twinkle toe abilities. He seemed a little nervous. Fast forward to week 2, and the boy band alum shined with a lot more pizzazz and ease.

The judges noticed the same comfort level. The judges gave the dancer 19 out of 30.

On the other hand, Weir dropped a couple of spots. He is clearly headed in the wrong direction.

Often, a winning pair can be spotted by looking at the dancing pro’s past wins. This time it is a tiny bit harder to predict.

Weir’s partner, Britt Stewart, is a newcomer to the show. Even though she does not have a mirror ball trophy under her belt, Stewart comes with an extensive background.

The dancing duo has plenty of time to climb to the top spot. They will absolutely make it into the final rounds.

Keep Your Eyes on These Stars

Each season, there are a few surprising performances.

If these celebrities continue to improve, I believe have a chance to take home the winning title.

Jeannie Mai

Jeannie Mai (+900) may have dropped three spots in episode 2, but she has what some of the others do not have. She has showmanship.

Mai is fun to watch. Her bubbly personality came through in her high energy performances in episodes 1 and 2.

Mai has mastered the facial expressions of dance. With strategically placed facial expressions, Mai drew the audience’s view away from her slightly wild feet.

According to ET, “The judges all appreciate their connection, but have critiques for her frame and footwork. While the dance looked great, the judges seem to know how much potential she really has and are judging her based on that metric.”

Mai is one of my dark horse picks. Next week she will be dancing The Viennese Waltz to Married Life from the movie Up.

Her next performance commands less high energy and more grace. Maybe that will give her the ability to concentrate more on her footwork.

Justin Machado

Actress Justina Machado (+750) is a triple threat. Machado can act, sing, and dance. Machado was a former student at the Franklin Fine Arts Center.

While it is unclear how long Machado took dance, it is clear she is a dancer. She brought the heat in her first performance dancing the cha-cha. This past Tuesday, she showed her versatility after gaining seven spots with her Foxtrot.

Machado will be someone to keep your eye on. She can easily take the two favored winners, McLean and Weir.

Skai Jackson

Eighteen-year-old, actress Skai Jackson (+900) continues to wow audiences with how she carries herself. Jackson is the youngest competitor this season.

Jackson had a few slip-ups in her samba performance, but she continued to power through it. Judge Derek Hough lends some comforting words, “a setback sets you up for a comeback.”

Jackson is poised for a comeback next week after being scored lower than cat woman, Carole Baskin. Jackson had nice lines and her moves were sharp. She has a shot to be in the final 5.

Some Longshots

There can only be one winner, which means there will be a lot of losers. I would not put my money on these celebrity hopefuls: Chrishell Stause, Carole Baskin and Anne Heche.

Chrishell Stause

While Stause has the figure for pretty lines, her footwork needs some work. Stause is undeniably pretty when she strikes poses throughout her performances.

Unfortunately for her, she must actually dance. While Stause will not make it to the finals, it is clear she is enjoying herself.

In each performance, the reality star is grinning from ear to ear. No doubt she is proud for putting herself out there. You go girl.

While some are in support of Stause’s big improvement over last week, others are outraged judges overlooked her mistake and penalizing Skai Jackson for the same mishap. The theme of this week’s episode seems to be Oakley and Jackson were cheated.

Carole Baskin

I do not need to rehash why Baskin will not make it to the end. Fans have even proposed how to boot the alleged murderer.

Clearly, fans not only believe Baskin should be booted, they also predict Chrishell will be at the bottom of the list.

Anne Heche

One word. Meh. Week 1 I thought was terrible. Week 2 not bad.

Heche lacks the flair to keep audiences engaged. I predict viewers will get bored with her. Her fan base will not be large enough to float her to the top spot.

Who Gets Eliminated in Week 3?

Next week’s theme is Disney. ABC has released next week’s dance and song assignments.

Based on the setlist itself, it is hard to predict who will be at the bottom next week. Nicely done ABC. Keeping us on our toes…

My prediction for the bottom two next week: Carole Baskin and Anne Heche. Baskin is dancing the samba.

Up until now, Baskin has only done much slower dances. Samba requires a lot more technique and stamina, all of which I do not think she has.

Heche is dancing the Fox Trot. I do not see her energy levels being high enough to deliver an engaging performance. She does not have the facial theatrics to carry her lack of pep.

Heche will be voted off before Baskin. The show is counting on the ratings and the Tiger King shock factor for just a tiny bit longer.

The ratings for the first two episodes indicated there is a drop off in viewers from last season. To gain those viewers, the network will keep the Baskin controversy going.

Besides, Heche does not generate enough buzz for the show. It will be easy to sacrifice her.

You have my thoughts on episode 2. Go make your bets at the top entertainment betting sites. Circle back next week for additional commentary and thoughts on the season.