6. John Ratzenberger & Edyta Sliwinska
They’ve survived two trips to the Bottom Two already. I don’t think they’ll survive a third.
5. Billy Ray Cyrus & Karina Smirnoff
Billy Ray has said that he feels he can leave, once he gets an 8 from the judges. Since both of each couple’s routines are going to be scored by the judges this week, look for Carrie Ann to give one of his performances an 8, on account of "the joy he brings to the dance," or something like that.
Once Billy Ray can tell the voters that he’s accomplished all he came to accomplish, maybe we in the audience will get the hint and set him free.
4. Ian Ziering & Cheryl Burke
I wouldn’t be surprised if Ian & Cheryl drop into the Bottom Two next week, but they’re not in any danger of going home. Even if they’re not quite as good at the top three teams, they’re still head and shoulders above the two couples behind them.
3. Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson
As Apolo and Laila have started to shine, Joey’s star may have started to fade a little. Rather than worry about winning, right now Joey & Kym have to be careful that they’re not taken for granted and eclipsed by a groundswell of support for one of the couples at the bottom. They can think about how to win the trophy when they’ve secured a spot in the final three.
2. Laila Ali & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Having reestablished themselves over the past few weeks, I think it’s a virtual certainty that this couple will compete in the finale. So now is a good time for Laila & Maks to consider taking chances. Rather than just adding a few of Laila’s favorite club moves into a routine, they should collaborate on the stories they tell in their dances. (And I think Maks can do it without being gimmicky or breaking the rules.)
Some of Joey & Kym’s routines have bordered on corny, but they’ve also provided insight into Joey’s personality. From his routines, I know that Joey’s interested in disco, Star Wars, and medieval pseudo-history. I don’t feel like I know much about Laila at all. She’s got the chops, but Laila forging a connection between herself and the audience will be the key to her success.
1. Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough
They may have scored the same as Laila & Maks this week, but Apolo & Julianne’s 28 felt like a 28+. They’ve got a real edge on all of the other couples, and as long as Apolo can keep his complaints about his busy schedule in check, they’ve got a clear path to victory.
Agree? Disagree? How would you rank the couples?