Who will win Dancing With the Stars? The pros in Monday's finale handicap their chances
The big day is here! Dancing With the Stars is about to award its 30th mirror ball trophy, and while it may seem like JoJo Siwa is a shoo-in, even the folks behind the scenes at ABC believe that Iman Shumpert, Cody Rigsby, or Amanda Kloots could squeak out a win.
Cheryl Burke (partnered with Cody Rigsby)
Number of mirror ball trophy wins: 2 (seasons 2 and 3)
What they've got going for them: Our fans. We haven't had the highest scores because we have been toward the bottom every week. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the fans. Peloton riders are quite a gang! There's a full-on group that loves Cody.
What's working against them: Cody tends to get in his head and get very nervous. I have to put everything into perspective almost every time before we go live, just so he reminds himself that this is just a dance show. We're not curing cancer.
What past partner Cody reminds her of:
You know, no? I've never had an openly gay partner.
(Juan Pablo Di Pace, Burke's partner in 2018, came out the following year).
Proudest moment this season: It's not just one moment. It's our journey together. You saw firsthand how we actually moved on from COVID-19 (both she and Rigsby tested positive). I hope we're a reminder that when you put your mind to something, you can achieve anything. It was a rough few weeks after we got into the ballroom while everybody has time to bond and be together. We had to figure out our relationship via Zoom. It was not easy, you know?
Daniella Karagach (with Iman Shumpert)
Number of mirror ball trophy wins: zero
What they've got going for them: The fact that we have a height difference actually worked in our favor at the end. We started off as the underdogs, and now we learned to work together and to create things that look good with our bodies. This is what the show needs. It needs challenges, and the fact that I'm the smallest and Iman is the tallest in the competition made it way more fun and interesting.
What's working against them: JoJo has so much experience dancing. Iman is the only one left in the competition without any dance experience!
What past partner Iman reminds her of: This is only my second season! My first season I had Nelly, and we made it to the finals last year as well. He's a really amazing rapper and is able to feel the music. Iman isn't just a basketball player. He also does rap so he does have a feel for music.
Proudest moment this season: We didn't expect [their Us-inspired routine] to go viral. We just did our thing. It was the first time we could really commit to a movie and really portray our roles. He's just so good at acting.
Jenna Johnson (with JoJo Siwa)
Number of mirror ball trophy wins: 1 (season 26)
What they've got going for them: We are uniquely different. We have been all season, but I'm excited to hopefully have that stand out for this last episode.
What's working against them: That we are uniquely different! It isn't the norm. I hope we've done our job showing people that [two women dancing together] can be normal, it can be accepted and it can be just as beautiful and entertaining to watch.
What past partner JoJo reminds her of: JoJo has the same zest for life as Adam Rippon (her winning partner from season 26).
Proudest moment this season: Our Grease night performance when we got to play Sandy and Frenchie. We did the foxtrot to 'Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee.' I just feel like it was so powerful to see how we were playing two female characters, but it was a tribute in itself to us and our friendship.
Alan Bersten (with Amanda Kloots)
Number of mirror ball trophy wins: 1 (season 28)
What they've got going for them: Our partnership and our relationship. We aren't just dance partners. We've become best friends.
What's working against them: Everyone in the finale is unstoppable! This whole season has been incredible. Kudos to Deena Katz for casting this season. Iman brings such a different style to the show. He's the only basketball player to make it this far. He comes with his own swag. JoJo is obviously a powerhouse, and Cody is a fan favorite. Honestly, Amanda and I are so grateful to be in the finals.
What past partner Amanda reminds him of: Hannah Brown (his winning partner from season 28) is very similar in the sense that I feel like she also trusted me in a way that a lot of other partners don't.
Proudest moment this season: Amanda is someone who every week tries to go out there and do something special. Last week's contemporary to Live Your Life was probably the highlight of my entire experience on DWTS. It was more than a dance. It was the first time my choreography and my performance were able to actually help my partner. It was something that is more meaningful than a dance show. It was a true moment of growth and moving forward I just feel really honored that I was able to help Amanda with her grief. I received so many messages for creating that dance and people telling me that they lost somebody and this is exactly what they felt. It was literally something I will remember for the rest of my life.
The season 30 finale of Dancing With the Stars airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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