I shouldn’t be asking that question right now. After all, the winner of the Mirror Ball trophy depends primarily on the finale dances, none of which have been seen. But what is the Internet media for, if not to make random predictions in the absence of any proof?

So here we go!

What Can We Expect?

Well, most importantly, we are getting the freestyle dances tonight. With no particular dance style (or much in the way of rules), the dancers have a tendency to go all-out when it comes to the freestyle. The specifics of these dances are always kept pretty secret — all the better to wow the audience with — but past experience can give some clues.

Hines and Kym: Due to Kym’s neck injury, this duo might not go as all-out in tricks as they might have done. Still, Hines has loads of strength, and they’d be crazy not to use that. It’s also a fair bet that whatever dance comes, it will be fun and charming. Personality and consistency are Hines’ great advantages at this point.

Chelsea and Mark: They’re going to go crazy. Early in the season, Mark’s unorthodox choreography consistently hurt the pair’s scores. In the absence of rigid rules, however, we can expect the performances be wild. Chelsea’s got a lot of technical skill, so she can probably make even the craziest of dances look right.

Kirstie and Maks: It’s personality all the way here. Kirstie isn’t as good a technical dancer as either of her competitors, but she is incredible at performance. Even at her worst, Kirstie is fun to watch. This freestyle might not be too crazy or energetic (depends on who wins that fight between Kirstie and Maks), but it will offer ample opportunity to make Kirstie likable.

Who Has the Best Chances?

Honestly, anyone could win this season’s Mirror Ball on Dancing with the Stars. So much of the season has been a race between close competitors, and the finale is no different. Each of the final three could win for a different reason.

I would pick Hines as the most likely DWTS winner. He’s been the most consistent performer throughout the season and is just coming off double-perfect scores in the semi-finals. Plus, he’s a well-known guy with a great personality. The combination of voter popularity with reliable skill may just be unstoppable.

For me, Chelsea is the dark horse. She doesn’t have the recognizable face, and she’s not likely to get oodles of votes. But the girl can dance. If Chelsea gives the performance of her life while Hines and Kirstie offer only lackluster dances, there’s a chance for the Disney star to come from behind.

As for Kirstie, her chances for Dancing with the Stars championship glory rest almost solely on the actress’ popularity. That’s not to say that Kirstie is a bad dancer — she’s actually very good. But Kirstie just isn’t quite as good as the other finalists, and that should matter at this point.

Could these predictions be wrong? Most definitely. And they are likely to alter after watching tonight’s performances. For now, however, they are a decent prediction of what will happen during tonight’s start to the season 12 DWTS finals.

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Who do you think will win Dancing with the Stars? Who do you want to win? Leave your finale predictions in the comments section!

(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.