Entertainment Television


By Jane Stevenson, Postmedia Network

Are Mr. T and his partner Kym Herjavec tough enough to take the title on Dancing With the Stars? ABC

Are Mr. T and his partner Kym Herjavec tough enough to take the title on Dancing With the Stars? ABC

ABC's beloved reality competition series Dancing with the Stars will mark 400 episodes when it debuts its 24th season Monday night with contestants ranging from actor Mr. T to The Bachelor's Nick Viall.

Here are my early predictions on who's most likely to win the Mirror Ball trophy, starting with the most likely to the least.

1 Heather Morris & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Some are crying it's an unfair advantage for the 30-year-old Glee actress because she is a professional dancer. (She backed up Beyoncé's live TV performances of Single Ladies.) Plus, she has one of the best (and most demanding?) partners in Maks who recently said on The View that his Mirror Ball-winning family - fiancée Peta and bro Val - are all going to go for it this season. But Morris has insisted her previous dance experience does little to prepare her for ballroom dancing. She's still my favourite to win.

2 Simone Biles & Sasha Farber

After her U.S. Olympic teammate Laurie Hernandez won last season, this 20-year-old gymnast seems poised to follow in her footsteps. Unless some fluke occurs and her coordination doesn't translate to the ballroom dance floor, she's Morris' biggest threat.

3 Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater

For obvious reasons, athletes have finished well on DWTS. And the 31-year-old NFL running back and free agent should have the talent to transfer that footwork off the field to ballroom dancing. That and he's 6'1" which always makes for a nice frame!

4 Normani Kordei & Valentin Chmerkovskiy

The 20-year-old member of Fifth Harmony (really Fourth Harmony now that Camila Cabello has left) has had to learn some choreography with the pop-R&B group so she does have some dance background. And her super competitive partner Val will only up the ante here.

5 Erika Jayne & Gleb Savchenko

Don't underestimate the 45-year-old star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills who has recorded a whopping nine No. 1 dance songs and performs choreography for her live appearances and in her fun music videos.

6 Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev

Rumours of diva-like behaviour have already popped up about the 47-year-old Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater of the '90s, who became known as much for getting whacked in the knee in an attack set up by the ex-husband of rival Tonya Harding. But she does know how to compete and her figure skating skills should in theory help her on the dance floor.

7 Charo & Keo Motsepe

Miss "Cuchi Cuchi" is 66-years-old - if you believe her adjusted birth year of 1951 (from 1941). However, the Spanish native has been performing in concert and on TV since the '60s as a flamenco guitarist, singer, actress and comic so she certainly knows her way around a live audience. Hips don't lie.

8 Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess

Everyone loves a comeback story and over the past 14 months, the 29-year-old has gone from being the world's No. 1 bull rider to being paralyzed in a competition accident to becoming a model. His time with the formidable Burgess on the dance floor will only further that story.

9 Mr. T & Kym Herjavec

"I pity the fool!" who comes up against this determined 64-year-old actor-turnedwrestler-turned motivational speaker of Rocky III and The A-Team fame. He's physical and he means business. Look no further than that haircut.

10 Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd

This year's 36-year-old Bachelor, who proposed to Montreal's Vanessa Grimaldi, has traded in roses for dance shoes and recently admitted to me in a 24 Hours interview that dancing was not one of his hidden talents but "it's something I'm going to work hard on." Helping inspire him will be Peta, who's back on the show just two months after giving birth to her and Maks' son.

11 Chris Kattan & Witney Carson

If there's a God in heaven the 46-year-old actor will revive his Saturday Night Live male exotic dancer character Mango in his quest for the Mirror Ball. Or at least the sequined short shorts and beret.

12 David Ross & Lindsay Arnold

The 39-year-old retired baseball catcher, who helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 2016, is proof you can go out on top. Now serving as the Cubs' special assistant and an ESPN baseball analyst, his latest challenge seems like a victory long shot but you just never know. He is also the first baseball player to ever compete on DWTS.