If there’s one takeaway from Dancing with the Stars season 25, it’s that Lindsay Arnold is a fantastic professional partner. The former So You Think You Can Dance contestant is only in her sixth season as a DWTS pro, yet she’s already established herself as one of the best, if not the best.
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Though she has yet to win a Mirror Ball (something she will hopefully do with Jordan Fisher), she still has a decent claim as the best pro on the show. Whether it’s her placement over the last three years, her consistent ability to earn perfect scores from the judging or her beautiful partnerships, Lindsay is the total package.
Getting to the Finale
In Lindsay’s six seasons as a pro, season 25 marks the fourth time she’s made it to the finale, all in the last five seasons. Her other two finishes saw her reach the Semifinals with Wanya Morris and getting to eighth place in her first season as a pro with Victor Ortiz.
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Of the 32 pros who have competed in multiple seasons of DWTS, Lindsay is one of only four to reach the finale more than half the time (the others are Derek Hough, Mark Ballas and Val Chmerkovskiy). And with season 25, Lindsay joins Derek and Val as the only pros to reach the finale in three consecutive seasons.
Her Perfect Scores
In just six seasons, Lindsay has already racked up 14 perfect scores, with four more competitive routines left in season 25. For a comparison, Karina Smirnoff has also earned a total of 14 perfect scores, but that’s with 18 seasons as a pro. Derek, Mark, Val, Cheryl Burke and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are the only pros with more perfect scores than Lindsay, but each of them has competed in more than double the number of seasons as her.
All of these accomplishments would be impressive regardless of Lindsay’s partners, but they are what make her the best pro. Lindsay hasn’t been handed a series of ultra-talented ringers (well, except for Jordan) over the years. Wanya Morris may have been in Boyz II Men, but he was in his 40s when he competed on DWTS. Calvin Johnson was an NFL player, but not one who came in with a lot of expectations. Alek Skarlatos was an everyman and an Army hero, but he came in with no fan base of dance ability and yet Lindsay helped get him to the finale.
And then there’s her most stunning achievement, getting to second place with baseball player David Ross. Lindsay was a perfect partner, became like another daughter to her, and that connection helped keep them around long after they should’ve been eliminated.
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Lindsay is able to make a beautiful and unique connection with each of her partners, understanding their strengths and limitations. She doesn’t just do the same routines every season regardless of her partner, she caters each journey to whichever star she gets paired with.
That’s why Lindsay Arnold has reached the Semifinals five seasons in a row. That’s why she’s been to the finale in two-thirds of her seasons. And that’s why she’s been able to get perfect scores with five out of her six partners.
In a very short time, Lindsay has zoomed past her many of her fellow pros and become the best. Whether she finally wins her first Mirror Ball with Jordan Fisher or not, Lindsay has proven herself to be the best pro in the current rotation and possibly one of the best ever.
Do you think Lindsay is the best pro ever (or at least the best female pro, due to Derek Hough)? If not, which female pros are better than her?
The two-night Dancing with the Stars season 25 finale airs Monday at 8/7c and Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC. For more DWTS updates, follow BuddyTV’s Dancing with the Stars Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of ABC)