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Friday
Mar152013

Vegas Oddsmaker: Gymnast Is Celeb to Beat on "Dancing with the Stars"

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) -- Twelve stars have been tapped to compete in the new season of Dancing with the Stars, which begins this Monday night on ABC.  Which of them is the favorite to win the Mirror Ball trophy?

Try Olympic gold medal winner Aly Raisman, one of the members of the USA's "Fierce Five" gymnastics team at last summer's London Games.  Las Vegas oddsmaker Johnny Avello pegs Raisman to be the early front-runner, giving her odds of 5 to 1 to win the Mirror Ball trophy.

Avello explains, "She's just 115 pounds of energy.  And if she follows someone like Shawn Johnson, who knows, maybe she can win it all.  Now it is early, but I think she'll be a contender."

It's a flattering comparison for Raisman: Johnson, a gymnast herself, is a former Dancing with the Stars champion.

On the other hand, Avello believes comedian Andy Dick and reality star Lisa Vanderpump are the most likely celebrities to be bounced early from the competition.  Fortunately for them, the first results show doesn't take place until Tuesday, March 26.

Annie Barrett, a longtime Dancing with the Stars recapper for Entertainment Weekly, agrees that Raisman is the contestant to beat, and that Dick will be on a short leash with viewers.

She declares, "I really don't think many Dancing with the Stars fans will want to see Andy Dick week after week.  I really don't.  I think he's pretty offensive, he's been through a lot of recent troubles, and I just wouldn't want it to become a freak show starring Andy Dick."

Barrett adds that recent Super Bowl winner Jacoby Jones is a wild card in the competition and could use his charm to his advantage.

Here's a rundown of all of the pairings for the new season:

  • Zendaya Coleman, star of the Disney Channel series Shake It Up!, and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy
  • Andy Dick, actor and comedian, and his partner, DWTS newcomer Sharna Burgess
  • Dorothy Hamill, won figure skating gold at 1976 Winter Olympics, and her partner Tristan MacManus
  • D.L. Hughley, comedian and actor, and his partner Cheryl Burke
  • Jacoby Jones, Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens wide receiver, and his partner Karina Smirnoff
  • Wynonna Judd, country music star, and her partner Tony Dovolani
  • Sean Lowe, The Bachelor star, and his partner Peta Murgatroyd
  • Victor Ortiz, boxer, and his partner, DWTS newcomer Lindsay Arnold
  • Kellie Pickler, country music star and former American Idol contestant, and her partner Derek Hough
  • Ingo Rademacher, General Hospital actor, and his partner Kym Johnson
  • Aly Raisman, gold-medal-winning gymnast at 2012 Summer Olympics, and her partner Mark Ballas
  • Lisa Vanderpump, star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and her partner Gleb Savchenko

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