Dancing With the Stars Season 17 is headed into the finals, and there are just four dancers left in the fight for the Mirror Ball. The competition this season has been fierce, and the eliminations often shocking, so it's hard to predict who will take home the crown this year. Still, if we were the betting types we might just put our money on Amber Riley.
Why do we think this singing and dancing queen has a good shot at the win? Here are the five biggest factors Amber has working in her favor.
1. The Glee factor. Before Amber even set foot in the ballroom we knew she had a good shot at the finals based on popularity alone. She's a fan favorite from FOX hit show Glee, which means she has a big voting block right off the bat. For example, Amber has over a million twitter followers on her own, and she has other Glee stars like Chris Colfer (over 2 million followers) tweeting support for her. That's a lot of dedicated fans just waiting to dial in for the girl with the big voice.
2. The Derek factor. As Maks pointed out during the Semifinals, Derek Hough knows how to win Mirror Balls. He's taken home the Dancing With the Stars prize more than any other pro for a reason. He has a knack for choreographing crowd (though not always judge) pleasing performances that highlight his stars' strengths and bring in the votes. You better bet he's going to create a showstopper for Amber's Freestyle.
3. Her personality and performance skills. Even if you didn't already know Amber from Glee, it was hard not to fall in love with her on DWTS. Her smile is infectious, her work ethic is clear, and you kind of want to be her best friend. Even more importantly, she brings her big personality to her performances every time. She's so compelling that we often find ourselves forgetting Derek is even dancing next to her, and that's quite an accomplishment.
4. She can dance, plain and simple... Amber isn't one of those contestants who's all sparkle and no substance. It's clear that she's mastering new steps every week, and her natural rhythm helps her keep up with Derek's challenging choreography.
5. ...But she's not a ringer. Is Amber as technically good a dancer as Corbin Bleu? No. But unlike the High School Musical star, she doesn't have professional level dance training. Yes, she has more of a background than Bill Engvall or Jack Osborne, but prior to DWTS she was always primarily a singer and actress, only performing very basic choreography on Glee. For people who want to vote for a great dancer but find Corbin just a bit too experienced for their liking, Amber is the girl to pick.
Do you think Amber will win Dancing With the Stars Season 17? Let us know why or why not in the comments below!
Catch the Dancing With the Stars Season 17 finale on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesday, November 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.