We’ve reached the halfway point of Dancing with the Stars season 24 and even though there are eight couples still in the competition, only three have a chance to win it the Mirror Ball. It should come as no surprise that frontrunners Simone Biles, Normani Kordei and Rashad Jennings are the only three stars with a chance at victory.
It’s easy to point to the facts that they are the only three stars who have received 10s from the judges or that they are the three with the highest cumulative total scores after five weeks. But more importantly, they’re the only ones who have been on the top of the leaderboard.
Simone had the best score in week 1, Normani had the best scores in weeks 3 and 5, Rashad had the best score in week 4 and Normani and Rashad tied for the best score in week 2. None of the other couples have ever ended a night on top of the leaderboard.
This is important because, in 23 seasons of Dancing with the Stars, every single winner was on top of the leaderboard at least once in the first five weeks of the competition. The vast majority, 16 out of 23, did it within the first two weeks, which is exactly what Simone, Normani and Rashad all did for season 24.
Rules are often made to be broken, but this is one DWTS rule that has held firm for the entirety of the series, and it’s only grown stronger in recent years. Since Melissa Rycroft won the All-Stars season (four and a half years ago), the rule is even more strict, with every winner being on top of the leaderboard within the first two weeks.
Heather Morris and Nancy Kerrigan may be good dancers, Nick Viall may be getting better, David Ross may have a great personality and Bonner Bolton may be hot, but the fact that none of them have managed to outscore the rest of the field in any single week means their hopes of taking home the Mirror Ball are essentially done.
But the question remains: which of the three will win? It’s definitely a close race and all of them have a claim to the title. Simone was on top of the leaderboard in week 1, which results in winning the Mirror Ball more than half the time. She also has the highest total score from the judges so far.
However, Rashad scored the first 10s of the season in week 4, and in recent years that certainly gives him the advantage to win. But then there’s Normani, who has been on top of the leaderboard three out of five weeks, more than anyone else. She’s also the only one of these three with a partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, who has already won a Mirror Ball, while Sasha Farber and Emma Slater have never made it to the Top 3.
The second half of DWTS season 24 is going to be a tight race with all three of these stars in the hunt to win the Mirror Ball. As for the other five couples, they should just enjoy however many weeks they have left.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)