3rd Place Prediction: William Levy & Cheryl Burke First of all, if you’re a male celebrity, your odds of doing well are significantly increased if you are paired with Cheryl. She won seasons 2 and 3, then found herself back in the Finals on season 6, 8 and 13. She took second place with Rob Kardashian last season, thanks somewhat to his family’s fan base but also the slow burn of his low-key personality and his massive dance improvement (courtesy of Cheryl’s infamously tough instruction). Rob and Cheryl had the largest Twitter fan base of Season 13 and, combined, William Levy and Cheryl have the most Twitter followers on Season 14. The last time Cheryl was paired with hot foreign guys she took both of them to the finals — Cristian de la Fuente on Season 6 and Gilles Marini on Season 8. There’s no reason to believe, with the same fan base/hotness combo — she won’t at least take third place with sexy Cuban-American telenovela star William. We predict Cheryl and William manage to edge Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus out of the finals, leaving them with fourth place, with Maria Menounos and Derek Hough having to settle for fifth. But who knows.
2nd Place Prediction: Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower Roshon is already a potential frontrunner to win because of his previous dance experience, but sometimes being too good too soon can bite you in the butt. Fans don’t always want to reward the “ringer” if there’s someone else who seems to have worked harder to get the same results. Chelsie has never made the finals, coming closest when she took fourth place with Ty Murray back on Season 8. Roshon may be her ticket to the finals and it’s possible she could win, since they seemed to be well matched when it comes to youthful energy and exuberance. Besides, Disney stars have done well lately. Kyle Massey took second place on Season 11 and Chelsea Kane took third on Season 12.
Winner Prediction: Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy Sherri’s gregarious, opinionated, soundbite-ready personality should mesh well with Val’s dry wit and intense dance floor passion. She doesn’t look like she’ll be stiff and timid, a la Val’s pervious partner Elisabetta Canalis. She should be easy to root for (as long as she doesn’t start talking about the world being flat) and probably easy to work with. This partnership should give Val an opportunity to show more of his potential — which we didn’t get to see on Season 13. She’ll soften him up. He’ll bring out her dance floor goddess. They’ll get a lot of free plugs on The View. They seem like they’ll have good chemistry. At the very least, we hope they’re the amusing Team MacGrace of this season, since it looks like Tristan and Gladys are both so calm, cool and low-key they won’t butt heads in that adorable Bickersons way Tris and Nancy did last season.
Will any of that happen? It depends on the chemistry between each couple, the couples’ combined fan bases, and each celeb’s dance skills, stamina, personality and entertainment value. Who will be the J.R. Martinez of Season 14 … and who will be the Ron Artest? Weigh in on our Facebook page.