PureDWTS Season 25 – Preliminary Power Rankings

So I haven’t done one of these in quite a few seasons, and some of you asked if I was ever gonna bring it back. Well the mood struck me, so here it is – but I’ve switched up the format a bit. This season is a bit unique, as I don’t see anyone that appears to be an automatic early out; last season, most of us called Chris Kattan as the first out before we ever even saw him dance. This time around, things are a lot less finite – I’m not as resolute in who I think will do poorly vs. who I think will do well, and I think a lot is going to depend on who can and cannot endear themselves to the audience.ย  So instead of ranking the couples 1-13 in a finite order of elimination (where some of the smart asses that lurk and troll here are bound to comment “lolololol ur rankings were sooooooo wrong LMAO *crying laughing face*” when they don’t match up perfectly with the elims), I’ve broken them up into four tiers based on how well I think they’ll do. Keep in mind that they are in no particular order WITHIN each tier – just because I have Nikki listed before Victoria & Drew does not mean I necessarily think she’ll do better than them, etc. Likewise, Barbara & Keo being lower than Sasha & Gleb doesn’t mean I think she’ll do worse than them. The only things that matter in these rankings are the tiers ๐Ÿ™‚

1st Tier (couples I think stand a good chance of winning this season):

Jordan & Lindsay: I think, barring some HUGE upset, we will see these two as part of the last two standing – I just think between Jordan’s background and recent success, and Lindsay’s momentum from the past 4 seasons, the stars are aligning right for these two to go far.ย  I’ve seen a lot of comparisons (usually unfavorable) to Roshon & Chelsie’s partnership in season 14 – but one area in which I think Lindsay really excels (and that Chelsie didn’t) was not only harnessing her partner’s strengths, but also making them likeable and relatable…and I have no reason to believe she won’t do the same with Jordan.

Lindsey & Mark: Like Jordan & Lindsay, I feel like this is another couple that just has the right momentum heading into this season – Mark’s riding high on the buzz about his return to the show, he seems excited to have Lindsey, and she seems pumped about doing the show.ย  The fact that she’s musical also doesn’t hurt – not sure if ballroom will come naturally to her or not, but the fact that she plays an instrument usually points to a good sense of musicality. That, coupled with Mark’s choreography, is likely to take them far.

2nd Tier (couples I think stand a decent chance of making it to the finale, but not necessarily winning):

Nikki & Artem:
Well I’m already happy with this couple and ready to see what they can do – mainly because this is the first younger, more athletic partner that Artem has gotten. I think Nikki’s got the work ethic to carry her far, along with some natural rhythm – and Artem seems excited, so that’s a plus…especially since he had some good choreographic momentum going last season with Nancy. And WWE is still really popular, and the Bella Twins are probably the most popular of the Divas at this point – I think she’s actually going to have a decent fanbase coming in, and depending on how she plays her hand, she could gain some voters as well.

Victoria & Val: I’m still curious to see just how the audience reacts to Victoria – I maintain my opinion that she may not get as much outward sympathy as someone like Amy or Noah, simply because her disability isn’t readily visible like theirs. But I do think she’ll be at least halfway decent, and that, coupled with Val’s fanbase, is probably going to keep her in the competition for awhile.ย  But with so many big personalities this season (and some of them with some existing dance chops), I’m not sure her winning is going to be feasible.

Drew & Emma:
Given that they were the first couple announced, and voting rules have basically been changed to allow Canadians to vote for Drew, I think this is probably one of the more buzzworthy couples this season – plus, Property Brothers seems to have quite a following, and with their book coming out and Drew’s upcoming wedding, there’s a lot of cross-promotion happening with these two.ย  Also doesn’t hurt that Emma’s still riding the high from her win with Rashad last season – I could see these two actually gelling well together and sticking around for awhile.

Nick & Peta: I keep going back and forth over whether or not I think Nick is actually going to be a good dancer, but at the end of it, I could see TPTB trying to ensure that at least one member of the Fam actually makes it to the finals – and depending on how mobile Victoria is, I think they may fall back on Nick & Peta to fulfill the Chmerkovskiy quota in the later weeks of the competition.ย  On top of that, I could almost guarantee they’ve got Drew Lachey waiting in the wings for trio week, since they’re apparently bringing back former celeb contestants to join the couples for trios.

3rd Tier (couples that I think will probably make it to the back half of the season, but maybe not the finals):

Debbie & Alan: Debbie seems to be this season’s nostalgic favorite – the one the bulk of the main viewing demographic is likely to remember fondly, and possibly be motivated to vote for.ย  On the flip side, she has a new pro with a yet-to-be-tested fanbase – when you’re a rookie pro up against more established pros, you’re probably at a bit of a disadvantage. I think Debbie will definitely have some natural talent – the question is, can Alan harness it?

T.O. & Cheryl:
These two have the opposite problem as Debbie & Alan: here, the pro is very established and has a formidable fanbase, while the celeb has been out of the public eye for a bit and may struggle with votes as a result.ย  Additionally, T.O. was also a bit polarizing even when he was at the height of his fame, so who knows what his fanbase is like. On the plus side, T.O. has wanted to do the show for awhile, and given his financial issues in recent years, I daresay he needs this money – so I get the impression he is going to be on his best behavior, listening to whatever Cheryl says and working as hard as he can to stick around.

Derek & Sharna: So we don’t exactly have a great precedent for basketball players on this show (of the other three we’ve had, two have been out within the first 1-3 weeks, and the other made it to 6th place), but Sharna’s a good choreographer, and Derek does seem like he’s ready to work hard. Will Lakers fans support him? Who knows.

4th Tier (couples that I think will be out within the first half of the season):

Frankie & Witney: For the second season in a row, they’ve handed Witney someone that was pretty well-known at one point, but has since fallen out of the public eye for a decent number of years. Granted, Frankie is much younger and more able-bodied than Chris Kattan, but I’m still wondering what niche of the voting audience he’s going to appeal to for votes – I feel like he might be sharing a bit of the same voting base as Nick, whose band was at the height of their fame around the same time Malcolm in the Middle was popular. I’m also not 100% sure he’s going to be a natural dancer – the vibe I got from him at the cast announcement is that he may be a bit of an awkward mover.

Vanessa & Maks: I mentioned this in the comments of my “What’s Getting Court’s Goat?” post the other day, but in the midst of this whole “married couple vs. married couple” storyline, I feel like Vanessa is being reduced to just being “Nick Lachey’s wife” and not a model, beauty queen, actress, and TV host in her own right. I’m also getting some serious lackadaisical vibes from Maks, whose body language in this interview screams to me “Who cares???” as his partner is talking. They’re unfortunately becoming a bit of a non-event for me, and I have to wonder if others feel the same way.ย  In the same token, though, I could see TPTB wanting to milk this married couple schtick for all it’s worth, so who knows – maybe Vanessa & Maks get thrown a bone every now and then to keep them around.

Sasha & Gleb: I know this is bound to upset the PLL fans, but here’s my concern: Sasha is so laid back, down-to-earth and easygoing that I worry that she’s going to fade into the woodwork up against some of the more outgoing personalities this season. I’m also slightly dubious about Gleb’s choreography, given that he was pretty one-note with Erika last season and never managed to break out of the “sexy” mold.

Barbara & Keo: Although I’ve heard that these two are an absolute hoot to watch and I don’t necessarily see them being the first out, I do wonder just how much Barbara is going to struggle, given that she’s dyslexic and has admitted she’s not good at remembering choreography. I think they’ve got at least a couple weeks in them, but by the time weeks 3 and 4 roll around and the judges start to get serious, I could see the schtick wearing thin and these two getting low-balled on scores and subsequently eliminated.ย  But I think they’re going to be fun to watch in the meantime ๐Ÿ˜‰

So those are my thoughts headed into Monday night’s premiere – I will probably end up crumpling them up and starting all over once we’ve seen everyone dance, but it is what it is ๐Ÿ™‚ What are your predictions for this season?