At this point, you probably have a guess as to who will win Dancing With the Stars Season 17. You may be wrong — this season is nothing if not surprising! — but your winner prediction may or may not match what your heart wants to happen.
So who should win DWTS Season 17, in your esteemed opinion?
First, let’s go through some pros and cons for the Final 4, then go ahead and vote in the poll.
Amber Riley and Derek Hough
Pros: The popular, entertaining pair has provided great routines week after week, despite back and knee injuries. They set the tone of the season from Week 1, when they topped the Leaderboard with triple 9s. Derek — now an Emmy-winning choreographer — has won the show four times, so he knows what to bring out of his partners to make America want them to win. Their Freestyle will probably be amazing.
Cons: Derek has already won the show four times, and even though it’s supposed to be about the celeb, not the pro, some on-the-fence voters may just think enough is enough for him. Also, the Glee star may have started at the top, but it’s all about how you finish, and Amber’s knee injury slowed her down for a few weeks, though she picked up steam in the Semis. And some fans just have injury fatigue in general.
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff
Pros: Is there a better dancer this season than Corbin? Probably not. He and Karina are a joy to watch together, and they have a positive partnership behind the scenes, too. Corbin is just a likable guy who’s easy to root for, and he’s given us some serious showstoppers, like that Jazz Trio! Can you imagine their Freestyle?
Cons: That Jazz Trio was amazing, as were both of his Semifinal dances, but it’s partly because Corbin seems like a pro on his own. He has previous dance training, and it shows. He even did a Broadway-style Macy’s Stars of Dance routine on a Results Show a couple of years ago, and he had Debbie Allen speaking about training him in his semifinals package. If it comes down to Corbin vs. a newbie, fans might prefer to vote for someone who started from zero.
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke
Pros: Jack may be the perfect balance — he didn’t start with dance experience, but he has visibly improved, and he’s now earning his 10s. If this show is about celebs learning to dance from nothing and steadily getting better through the journey, Jack is the poster boy. Plus, he seems to take the show seriously without taking it too seriously. He’s bemused by his success in a uniquely charming way, and his inspiring story and positive attitude go a long way. There’s no reason not to like him.
Cons: He’s not the best dancer, and he’s kind of a dark horse in that he doesn’t get fans talking as much as some of the others, for whatever reason. He’s very self-deprecating, to the point where Cheryl continually has to prop up his ego. That gets old. And is his transformation story more compelling than his sister’s on Season 9? Kelly only made it to third. Plus, the cameras keep going over to his famous family for their tearful post-show reactions. Do we really want to deal with Sharon’s on-air sob-fest if he wins?
Bill Engvall and Emma Slater
Pros: Bill and Emma started with the lowest scores of any of the final 4, so arguably he's come the farthest. He and Emma flew under the radar until their positive attitudes started attracting fans. At 56, Bill would be the oldest champ ever, and he's clearly won America's hearts. The judges call him the people's champion for a reason.
Cons: Bill may be improving, but it's a very slow progress. Jack, who also came in with no experience, has gotten a lot better a lot faster. A win for Bill may be seen as proof DWTS is "just" a popularity contest. The "best" dancer doesn't always win, but Bill would be the first champ who is so clearly not the best.