Dancing with the Stars season 19 is underway, and for the first two weeks, ABC is bringing back Tuesday night results shows. The cast is definitely an odd and wacky assortment of characters who all did surprisingly well
Scores on the first night of performances ranged from 5s to 9s with Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson in the lead while Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani are in last place. However, for the past three seasons, the first couples eliminated weren’t the ones with the lowest scores from week 1, it’s been the couples with the SECOND lowest scores. It’s also important to note that, in the five seasons before those, it was the lowest score that was eliminated first. No one higher than the bottom two on the leaderboard in week 1 has gone home first since Shannen Doherty in season 10.
36 (9.7 percent): Alfonso Ribeiro
34 (9.1 percent): Sadie Robertson
32 (8.6 percent): Lea Thompson, Bethany Mota
31 (8.3 percent): Randy Couture
30 (8.1 percent): Jonathan Bennett
29 (7.8 percent): Janel Parrish, Tavis Smiley
27 (7.3 percent): Tommy Chong
25 (6.7 percent): Antonio Sabato, Jr., Michael Waltrip
22 (5.9 percent): Lolo Jones
20 (5.4 percent): Betsey Johnson
Alfonso Ribeiro came out of the gate swinging and proved himself to be the clear frontrunner and the best dancer of the season. Teenage girls Sadie Robertson and Bethany Mota also did well, and having Mark Ballas and Derek Hough as their partners should keep them safe too.
Lea Thompson got off to a great start, as did Randy Couture and Jonathan Bennett. Since no one in the top half of the first week’s leaderboard has ever been eliminated, I feel confident that they will be safe as well.
IN THE MIDDLE
Janel Parrish was probably underscored due to how early she performed, but the Pretty Little Liars fandom and partner Val Chmerkovskiy’s fans should keep her safe. I originally predicted that Tavis Smiley was a shoo-in to be eliminated first, but he proved to be a very compelling figure and a surprisingly decent dancer, so I think he could be safe too.
Tommy Chong also seemed like an obvious contender for an early elimination, but he was so darn entertaining that it’s hard to imagine him not moving forward, especially with some solid scores.
That leaves the four stars at the bottom of the leaderboard. Michael Waltrip is banking on the Bill Engvall voters to keep him safe, but if they line up behind Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson instead, he might hit a speed bump.
Antonio Sabato, Jr.’s biggest hurdle is that he performed first and the show was so rushed that people may have forgotten he was even there. In the episode, he was done and gone before we hit the first commercial break. That plus low scores could make him a surprise exit in week 1, especially since his “sex appeal” vote got sidetracked by Carrie Ann Inaba and Julianne Hough getting all hot and bothered over Tommy Chong and Randy Couture.
But the stars in the most danger are definitely Lolo Jones and Betsey Johnson. Johnson got all 5s, a miserable score, but so did Billy Dee Williams last season and Bill Nye did even worse than that at the start of season 17, but neither of them were the first to be eliminated. Betsey has to hope that her quirky demeanor can win over enough votes.
Lolo, however, has bigger problems. As I pointed out, in the past three seasons, the first couple eliminated are the ones who got the second-lowest score in week 1, and that honor goes to Lolo this season. Her routine was a mess, something she even admitted, but will she get a second chance? Sympathy is what she needs, but it also hurts that her partner is Keo Motsepe, a new and unknown pro. Last season the first couple eliminated also had a first-time pro, Henry Byalikov.
Since I’m a big fan of statistics and history, I have to believe that the second-lowest score being eliminated three seasons in a row is a sign and that it will now be four in a row. I predict that Lolo Jones and Keo Motsepe will be eliminated. It would be a shame since I think Lolo is probably quite good and just had one bad night, but sometimes that’s the way it goes.
It would also be less than ideal, optically, for the show’s first ever black pro partner to be eliminated right away. Keo was definitely exciting, but he just ran into bad timing with Lolo’s off night.
Who do you think will be eliminated first on DWTS season 19? Find out Tuesday at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)