Dancing with the Stars
has many new twists and turns in season 18, and one of them is how the
eliminations will work. While last season featured a convoluted system
in which the previous week's viewer votes and the current week's judges'
scores were combined, this year is all about last week.
The judges' scores from week 1 and the viewer votes will be combined and they alone will decide which couple goes. It will be interesting to see how this is handled since it means one of the couples that has been rehearsing all week is already eliminated, they just don't know it yet.DWTS Season 18 Premiere Recap>>
The breakdown this season is pretty dramatic, which should make predicting the first few eliminations fairly simple.THE LEADERBOARD27 (10.3 percent)
: Charlie White25 (9.5 percent)
: Candace Cameron Bure24 (9.2 percent)
: Danica McKellar, Meryl Davis, Amy Purdy22 (8.4 percent)
: Cody Simpson21 (8 percent)
: NeNe Leakes, James Maslow, Drew Carey20 (7.6 percent)
: Sean Avery18 (6.9 percent)
: Diana Nyad15 (5.7 percent)
: Billy Dee WilliamsDEFINITELY SAFE
Olympic ice dancer Charlie White had the best score of the premiere with a 27 for his Contemporary routine with Sharna Burgess. It's only the third time in the history of the show that someone earned a 27 in the first week (the other two were eventual winners Kristi Yamaguchi and Amber Riley).
He's joined in the top tier of stars this season by his Olympic partner Meryl Davis, Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy and '90s sitcom girls Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKellar. They all scored 24 or higher, and they should all be safe for a long time.IN THE MIDDLE
A second tier of stars also emerged in the first week. Pop stars Cody Simpson and James Maslow, comedian Drew Carey, reality star NeNe Leakes and former NHL player Sean Avery all scored between 20 and 22. They're all average, and that should keep them around for at least this week.IN DANGER
For the first week, it's really between the two oldest contestants: Diana Nyad and Billy Dee Williams. They got the lowest scores from the judges (18 and 15, respectively) and, more likely than not, whichever one is safe this week will go home next week.
It's really a coin flip. Billy Dee's incredibly low score and awful dancing could send him home, but I'm guessing he has more fans than Diana. Besides swimming from Cuba to Florida, she's not really a star and that lack of fame could let Billy Dee's Star Wars
popularity keep him in over her. If you look at the numbers, he only needs to beat Diana in the public vote by 1.2 percent, which is quite possible.MY PREDICTION
I predict that Diana Nyad
will be the first star to be eliminated on Dancing with the Stars
season 18. She didn't do very well, she's not that famous and she's stuck with one of the new pro partners, Henry Byalikov. I think that Billy Dee has enough fans from Star Wars (and his partner, Emma Slater, has enough fans from her strong run with Bill Engvall last season) that he can overcome being in the bottom this one time.Dancing with the Stars
airs Monday at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)