Everybody wants to win that Mirror Ball. And why not? The Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars trophy is big and sparkly and representative of a whole lot of competitive dancing. The question is: Who will win it. Can Kelly Monaco’s fans vote her into a win? Will daring and rebellion pay off for Shawn Johnson? Is perfection enough to hand the championship to Melissa Rycroft?

We make our predictions here.

The Case for Kelly

She isn’t the best dancer in the Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars finale. Heck, Kelly Monaco probably wasn’t one of the best dancers in the semi-finals. But she’s still in the competition and should never be dismissed.

That’s because of the fans.

Unlike so very many DWTS celebrities, Kelly Monaco showed up to dance with a legion of dedicated fans already prepared to vote for her. Add in Kelly getting scores not far off the leaders, and she may be unstoppable.

Plus, there’s Val. Even now, with only one episode left in the All-Stars season, no one knows for sure whether or not Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy are a couple. Could the mystery be enough to give this dancing pair the edge?

The Case for Melissa

No one (other than me, by the way) thought Melissa Rycroft was a good bet for the Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars finale. Her reality fame had faded a great deal since her previous season. She was dancing with Tony Dovolani, an unfortunate also-ran of the DWTS world. And how could she possibly have enough fans to carry her through the weeks of tough competition.

Apparently, dancing really, really well at just the right times is enough to propel a couple into the finale.

The Monday-night performances did nothing to decrease Melissa and Tony’s chances at that Mirror Ball. While the other finalists got points deducted for a variety of reasons, Melissa and Tony were perfect.

And then there was that freestyle dance. That was incredible.

The Case for Shawn

If athleticism and aggression win Mirror Balls, we might as well hand the trophy over to Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough right now. Their dances have been out-there and often amazing all season. And nothing at all changed in the finale.

Granted, the Shawn/Derek strategy occasionally backfires. The judges were not so happy with that non-regulation quickstep. And in a tight race, 3 points can mean a lot. The couple did manage to redeem themselves quite a bit in their bizarrely wonderful freestyle — surrounding by Olympic gymnasts.

Will that — and a strong season — be enough.

So Who Will Win the Mirror Ball?
It may be craziness and/or it may be wishful thinking, but here are my picks for the finalists:

1st Place: Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
2nd Place: Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
3rd Place: Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy

Basically, this is a pick for dancing quality over sheer fame and popularity. Sometimes that’s how it works out. Sometimes it’s not.

We’ll find out in the Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars finale!

Who do you think will win? Who should win? Vote in our poll and leave your comments below!

(Images courtesy of ABC)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.