Dancing with the Stars: Athletes features five women from the world of sports: four Olympians and an NCAA MVP. While the male athletes may be difficult t predict, with several having potential to go far, the story seems different for the women.
Meet the Cast of DWTS: Athletes>>>
There seems to be one very clear frontrunner and four other women whose odds don’t seem that great. Even more problematic is the fact that the male pros they’re partnered with have never finished in the Final 3, making the road much harder.
Which Male Athletes Will Do the Best?>>>
Here’s a closer look at the five female athletes competing this season.
An Olympic figure skater, Mirai is obviously the clear favorite to win out of the women and is probably one of the likeliest Mirror Ball winners this season. She could easily follow in the footsteps of Kristi Yamaguchi and Meryl Davis with her athleticism and personality. While her partner, Alan Bersten, has only been a pro once, he’s been getting a lot of screentime over the past few years as a troupe member, filling in as a last-minute partner whenever needed. On paper, their partnership seems like a perfect fit and should easily get them to the finale.
Snowboarders have done well on DWTS before. Louis Vito finished in eighth place on season 9, which featured 16 couples, while Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy made it to second place. Her fearlessness and X-Games mentality could serve her well. However, she seems a little too chill and that relaxed attitude could hurt her chances at getting viewer votes.
Still in college, this breakout star of the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament from Notre Dame is the youngest contestant this season. The fact that NCAA rules prohibit her from doing promotional work for the show could hurt her chances, but if she has enough enthusiasm during the episodes bout the experience it might make her a surprise fan favorite. Or she could be a dull mess and go home early. Like Chris Mazdzer for the men, Arike is a bit of a mystery to me and it’s hard to predict where she’ll finish.
Probably the most well-known name from the entire cast, Tonya was a controversial figure in the ’90s but seems to be getting a redemption arc over the past year thanks to the Oscar-winning I, Tonya. Notoriety could win her votes, or it could turn people against her. We just saw Nancy Kerrigan compete and while she made it far, she didn’t do as well as some might have expected. If Nancy couldn’t make it to the Final 5, it seems doubtful that Tonya will.
At 37, this softball pitcher is one of the older contestants this season (only Johnny, Kareem and Tonya are older than her). Her partner, Keo Motsepe, has been the first or second person eliminated in five out of his six seasons. I could easily see this becoming a Lolo Jones situation where Jennie isn’t particularly good on the dance floor and she’s tough on herself because of it, leaving her with low scores and not many fans. If I had to pick which woman would be the first to go home, Jennie would be it.
It’s going to be a difficult journey for most of these women to make it to the finale. Mirai seems like a shoo-in and she’s my early pick to win the entire season. But when we reach the finale on May 21, I doubt any of the other female athletes will still be in the running.
Do you think any women other than Mirai can make it to the finale or win the Mirror Ball? Dancing with the Stars: Athletes premieres Monday, April 30 at 8/7c on ABC. For more updates, like BuddyTV’s DWTS Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of ABC)