The 10th anniversary of Dancing with the Stars is almost here with the season 20 premiere Monday, March 16 at 8pm on ABC. The 12 couples have all been announced, rehearsals are underway and now it’s time to see them take the dance floor for the new golden Mirror Ball Trophy.
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Before DWTS begins, it’s important to know what to look for. What styles will be performed? What records could be broken? And how important is the week 1 leaderboard in predicting the future?
Here are five things to keep an eye on while watching Dancing with the Stars season 20.
What Styles Will We See?
The first week will feature three of the most common styles on DWTS: Cha-Cha-Cha, Jive and Foxtrot. Interestingly, Derek Hough and Val Chmerkovskiy have the same style since they also danced the same styles in each of the first four weeks last season. Here’s a complete breakdown of the dances and songs that will be featured in week 1:
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-Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess:”I Lived” by One Republic
-Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson: “Bills” by Lunch Money Lewis
-Redfoo and Emma Slater: “Juicy Wiggle” by Redfoo
-Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd: “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
-Willow Shields and Mark Ballas: “Lips Are Movin”” by Megan Trainor
-Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani: “Physical” by Olivia Newton John
-Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev: “Lady Marmalade” by Patti LaBelle
-Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough: “New York, New York” by Ray Quinn, featuring Ultra Love
-Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy: “Take Me to Church” by Hozier
-Riker Lynch and Allison Holker: “What I Like About You” by The Romantics
-Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe: “Shake a Tail Feather” by The Blues Brothers
-Chris Soules and Witney Carson: “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins
How Important Is Getting the Best Score in Week 1?
Including ties, there have been 23 couples who topped the leaderboard in week 1 throughout the first 19 seasons of DWTS. Of those, eight ended up winning and six more finished in second place. In fact, being at the top of the leaderboard in week 1 gives a couple an 82 percent chance of making the Final 4, so expect whoever lands on the top in week 1 to be there at the finale.
Not surprisingly, Derek Hough has been at the top of the leaderboard in week 1 five times, and four of those times he went on to win. If he and Nastia can get the highest score right away, they will surely solidify their role as the ones to beat.
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Who Will Be Eliminated First?
The week 1 leaderboard can do a great job of predicting which couple will be the first to get eliminated. For the past four seasons in a row, the couple with the second-lowest score in week 1 went home first, so whoever does the worst in the season 20 premiere shouldn’t be that worried. And for the last 10 seasons, the first couple eliminated has been the lowest or second-lowest on the week 1 leaderboard.
Who Will Get a 9?
In the first 16 seasons of DWTS, only seven couples managed to get at least one 9 from the judges on the first night. But in the last three seasons, five different couples have done it. Obviously the judges have gotten more lenient at the start of the season in recent years, so who will join the list of stars to get a 9 in week 1? And will there be two couples to do it like in each of the last two seasons?
Will Derek Hough Keep His Streak Alive?
Coming into season 20, Derek Hough has 37 individual routines in a row without getting anything lower than an 8 from any of the judges. That streak began with Amber Riley and continued with Amy Purdy and Bethany Mota. Now with partner Nastia Liukin, he has a great chance to keep the streak alive. And if he can go eight routines this season without getting a 7, he will officially surpass the all-time record holder, Val Chmerkovskiy, who once went 44 consecutive individual dances without a 7 or lower.
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Look out for all of this and more on the Dancing with the Stars season 20 premiere Monday, March 16 at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)