It’s that time again, kids – time for my seasonal preliminary power rankings! For those of you unfamiliar, I do these after each performance show, and it’s basically a measure of how likely a couple is to stay vs. how likely they are to get sent home a particular week – the #1 spot is saved for the couple I think is the safest, and the bottom spot is who I’m predicting to get sent home. Keep in mind that it is NOT simply a ranking based on scores – how boring would that be? For my rankings, I tend to take into account fanbase, scores, memorability, running order, demographics, the whole shebang. And for this edition, I’m simply relying on what I know and have seen of the couples thus far – so here’s who I think will be the first to go, all the way up to who I think will make it to the middle of the season. Enjoy!
12.) Katherine & Mark – I went back and forth over who I thought would be the first to go, but I think that ultimately, these two probably have the greatest hurdles to overcome in order to stick around and I’m not sure they’ve got the juice to do it. There’s been painfully little media on these two – only the occasional candid tourist shot in London, and no official promo interviews. The little rehearsal footage we’ve seen hasn’t really told us much, other than the fact that Katherine is probably decent but not fantastic. And worst of all – Katherine is coming into this competition as a relative unknown, surrounded by quite a few sentimental favorites & big personalities who may be fanbase ringers. If there’s anyone that really & truly needs to be making a big splash right now, it’s Katherine – and we’ve seen next to nothing from her. As for dance skills, she has the potential to be quite good, given what little concert & rehearsal footage I’ve seen of her. She does have a natural rhythm, and she’s not terrible to look at – but keep in mind that dance skills really don’t mean sh*t if people aren’t motivated to vote for her. She has Mark, which I would say is more of an advantage than a disadvantage, given his skill & popularity; however, even Mark is not immune to the dreaded early elimination, as we’ve seen with Kim, Shannen, & Kristin. Could she blow us all away & have some staying power? Possibly, but she’s got a LOT of catching up to do in order to have a shot at keeping up with juggernauts like Jaleel, Melissa, Sherri, Maria, and Gladys. And at this point – I’m afraid any exposure she’s gonna get is gonna be too little, too late :-(
11.) Gavin & Karina – I may be seeing things, but I had a bad feeling about this couple from the first time I saw them interact during the cast announcement – it seemed like a very strained, awkward encounter, and it made me seriously question if they were truly a well-matched couple. Then I heard that Gavin was still going to be touring while doing the show, and I became even more skeptical. Then finally, I saw a video of them rehearsing – and now I’m pretty convinced that they aren’t going to last long. The biggest issue I see here is commitment – I get the feeling Gavin is really only doing the show to promote his new album, and his true commitment lies not with the show itself, but his tour. It’s very much like Michael Bolton all over again, for me – a currently touring musician who does a short stint on the show as a bit of self-promotion. Don’t get me wrong, Gavin seems like a nice guy & all – I just don’t think his heart or his head are 100% in the game. And with all the “squeezing in” they’ve had to do with their practice time, I’m not sure he’s going to have the skills to improve upon what I consider to be a pretty weak dance background. Then, of course, you’ve got all the celebs this season who are likely quite a bit more popular than he is – a singer who was arguably more successful & well-known 5 years ago than he is now, vs. a soul legend, an iconic tv character, a well-established actress, and a talk show host with a big mouth? He’s either going to have to be a fabulous dancer from the get-go, or ridiculously charming, or both – because he’s up against some stiff competition for votes.
10.) Martina & Tony – Ok, I know a lot of you have been saying “Oooh, Martina’s gonna be so fierce this season! She was fierce on the tennis court!”, but I’m not quite sold on the idea that her talent on the court is going to translate seamlessly into success on DWTS. A great work ethic is always an asset, but I think Martina is going to struggle quite a bit with the performance aspect of the show – in the few videos I’ve seen of her, she has an almost “zen” quality to her: very calm, collected, resolute, and confident. But calm, collected, resolute, and confident are not exactly what you need when you’re doing the jive and should generally be acting like a cartoon character :-) And while I do praise her focus and “zen-ness”, the fact that Tony has a track record of having partners that tend to blend into the woodwork is a bit worrisome – if Martina doesn’t come out with both great & memorable dancing, I think she could be gone quicker than we expect. I also wonder if she might be splitting votes with someone like Jaleel or Melissa, who were at the height of their fame at roughly the same time Martina was. It seems like it could be a battle of the pop culture icons. I think she has the potential to be a pretty good dancer, but a lot of it will hinge upon the choreography she’s given…and the impact she makes.. Read more..