DwtS In-Season Update: 10-16-06

After Sara Evans’s withdrawal from Dancing with the Stars,
there’s a good chance that no one will be eliminated this week. But
that doesn’t mean these performances won’t count. Some couples could get a boost from
a strong performance, while for others, a bad routine could signal the
beginning of the end. Here’s where I’d guess the remaining teams stand,

5. Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska
first place finish during week two may have been a fluke. Since then,
they’ve finished in the middle of the pack. Last week, four couples
tied for first place — and Joey & Edyta weren’t among them.

judges aren’t going to give Joey high marks until he stops thinking so
much when he’s on the dance floor. And his competitors all have
enthusiastic fanbases, leaving Joey as vulnerable as anyone. He needs a
string of great performances in order to stick around.

With so
few teams left, one more sub-par performance could mean trouble for
Joey & Edyta. On the other hand, they could still win the whole
thing. That’s how wide open this season is, which is one of the things
to love about it.

4. Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson
after week, Jerry just keeps hanging around. What people (myself
included) have overlooked is that there is actual dancing happening
when he’s on the floor. His routines with Kym aren’t all gimmickry.

may finally abandon Jerry if it looks like he might sneak into the
final three ahead of the more talented performers. But after last
week’s Bottom Two scare, his fans might be motivated enough to keep him
around through one more elimination, assuming he survives the Disco.

3. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
a large degree, the judges’ scores for this couple are as much a
reflection of their opinion of Cheryl’s choreography as for Emmitt’s
dancing ability. So long as he’s good enough to pull off a fun, solid
routine, that’s all that really matters to the judges.

current fanbase is solid, so he and Cheryl need to keep crafting
winning routines to add to that fanbase. All it might take is one
routine as well-timed and compelling as Cheryl’s “Thriller” Paso Doble
from last season, and Emmitt could run away with the title.

2. Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel
the last woman standing, Monique’s should gain a lot of votes from
people who don’t want to see the girl power disappear from the show

Carrie Ann spelled out exactly what Monique’s
problem has been so far. Though she’s as talented as anyone in the
competition (except maybe Mario) she’s not connecting with her audience

I’m expecting this week to be Monique’s defining
moment. In her post-show comments last week, Monique was upbeat and
said she understood what she has to do to reach out to people. If she’s
finally able to start doing that this week, she’s on her way to the
finals. If not, I’ve got her ranked three spots too high.

1. Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff
more than his remarkable dancing skills, Mario’s loyal fans seem most
impressed with his looks. Or maybe his dancing is what’s made him so
attractive. In any case, he’s the clear frontrunner at this point. The
bad thing about being the frontrunner is that there’s nowhere else to
go but backward.

Mario’s attitude toward the judges, disregard
for the rules in some instances, and even his past history have turned
off potential voters. As other competitors are eliminated, there’s a
chance that fans of the eliminated couple will offer their allegiance
to somebody perceived as more likable — like Emmitt or Monique.

Mario is so good, he seems the one lock to make it to the final show,
and that’s why I have him ranked at the top. However, at this point
last season, Stacy Keibler looked unbeatable, too.

Other DwtS News:
Big news from Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s website. There will be a Dancing with the Stars tour,
tentatively slated for December through February, and Max and Willa
will be participating. We’re still waiting for confirmation from ABC…
and looking forward to hearing which cities will be tour stops.

In Carrie Ann news, she’s got a hunky young boyfriend: Artem from So You Think You Can Dance. And Carrie Ann also had some things to say about Willa’s departure from the show.