Pros and Cons: At best, Dovolani has finished in the middle of the pack when paired with ladies of a certain age (i.e. Betsey Johnson, Leah Remini). His partnership with Somers seems destined to end in much the same way, especially given the younger fan favorites that the former Three’s Company actress will compete against.
Robert Herjavec (with pro Kym Johnson)
Pros and Cons: Sure, Johnson has been crowned DWTS‘ champion twice before… when she was paired with a fellow dancer (Donny Osmond) and a former athlete (Hines Ward). She’ll have to put in quite a few extra rehearsal hours with Shark Tank vet Herjavec, whose time on TV is mostly spent sitting.
Charlotte McKinney (with pro Keo Motsepe)
Pros and Cons: McKinney’s career as a model means she’s already got the fitness (and long legs) that are required for the show’s most difficult routines. On the other hand, her partner is still relatively unknown to longtime Dancing fans — and her claim to fame is biting into a Carl’s Jr. burger, which may not be the most surefire way to get viewers voting.
Noah Galloway (with pro Sharna Burgess)
Pros and Cons: With the exception of ice dancer Charlie White, Burgess’ Dancing partners thus far — including Andy Dick and Tavis Smiey — haven’t gotten her anywhere near the finish line. She’ll face an entirely new set of challenges in Iraq war veteran/double amputee Galloway, who will have to modify his choreography in a way his competitors won’t.
Michael Sam (with pro Peta Murgatroyd)
Pros and Cons: Murgatroyd’s only DWTS win to date came while matched with football player Donald Driver, which sets an excellent precedent for her partnership with Sam. Not to mention, athletes have historically been pleasant surprises on the dance floor. Unfortunately, if Sam’s official portrait with Murgatroyd is any indication, the NFL defensive end will look deeply uncomfortable doing any serious choreography.
Patti LaBelle (with pro Artem Chigvintsev)
Pros and Cons: R&B icon LaBelle knows a thing or two about dance — well, dance music, anyway. She’ll have to depend on her partner for the rest. But even though Chigvintsev is still a DWTS newbie, he did manage a sixth-place finish with Lea Thompson in Season 19 — a major plus for LaBelle, especially if her legendary candor (and fabulous side eye) are in full effect.
Redfoo (with pro Emma Slater)
Pros and Cons: As part of LMFAO, Redfoo constantly brings high energy and — judging by his jacket in this photo — doesn’t seem to mind looking goofy every now and then. But unless Slater plans on shufflin’ with her partner every week, the pro — who has yet to crack the Final Three — has her work cut out for her.
Willow Shields (with pro Mark Ballas)
Pros and Cons: Ballas is on a hot streak right now, with two consecutive partners cracking the Final Three (not to mention, he’s won the whole shebang twice). Shields, meanwhile, has every adolescent fan of The Hunger Games on her side, putting the odds ever in her favor. (I’m sorry, I had to say it.) But the actress is also the youngest DWTS competitor in history and, at just 14 years old, may be limited by routines that require emotional depth or — dare I say it? — a dash of sexiness.
Chris Soules (with pro Witney Carson)
Pros and Cons: Carson is DWTS‘ defending champion, an indication that her new partner should at least be able to do a box step. But with Soules coming off his engagement to a different Whitney on The Bachelor, it’s possible that Prince Farming’s appearance on the dancing competition will be nothing more than ratings fodder.
Rumer Willis (with pro Val Chmerkovskiy)
Pros and Cons: A picture is worth a thousand words, and Willis’ official Dancing portrait with Chmerkovskiy tells us a lot about their partnership, including the actress’ rather surprising flexibility and commitment to form. (Plus, she won’t have a problem bringing the drama to an emotionally intense routine. She is Demi Moore’s daughter, after all.) Although DWTS vet Chmerkovskiy has yet to win the mirror ball trophy, his newest partner may prove to be a dark horse.
Riker Lynch (with pro Allison Holker)
Pros and Cons: Even though one particular pairing on the next slide seems like shoe-ins for this season’s title, Holker and Lynch are strong contenders in their own right. Holker is still new to the DWTS circuit (and only managed ninth place with Jonathan Bennett in Season 19), but fans of Lynch’s band, R5, will bring an enormous tween vote. Plus, his previous gig as one of Glee‘s Warblers may give him a leg up — quite literally — on the dance floor.
Nastia Liukin (with pro Derek Hough)
Pros and Cons: Look no further for the power couple of Season 20. Hough has already got five DWTS wins under his belt, and Liukin’s days as a gymnast will bring a natural grace and agility to the dance floor. So far, this duo’s biggest challenge is a logistical one: With Hough constantly flying back to the East Coast for rehearsals of his New York Spring Spectacular, he and Liukin may have to contend with less rehearsal time — and serious jetlag.