Just because you're the best dancer, doesn't mean you'll get that Mirrorball trophy.
As beloved and addicting as it is every season, let's face it, "Dancing With the Stars" can also be very frustrating to watch. With advancement in the competition based half on who America votes for, it is a rare season that the most talented dancers rise to the top and stay there. And we expect things to go largely the same this season.
Just last spring, the best dancer on the show (Normani Kordei) had to settle for third, while one of the worst (David Ross) came in second. That's the power of America's influence. Add in factors like built-in fan bases, the older and more female demographics of the show and there are a lot of reasons America's vote mucks up the works almost each and every season.
So rather than simply predict who will win the coveted Mirrorball trophy, we're going to break it down into two categories. We'll look at who should win the title based on the quality of their performances and their run through the season, and then we'll break down why they probably won't win and look at who probably will instead ... and be just a little bit mad about it.
Who Should Win
In many ways, this is a no-brainer. Of the four finalists, Jordan Fisher is the most polished and professional. Sure, he came in with the most prior experience, thanks to his Broadway background and stint in "Hamilton," but he still stretched himself artistically into different styles of dance, developed an amazing rapport with his professional partner Lindsay Arnold -- who's never won the show, either -- and actually managed to show growth throughout the season.
It'll be easy for America to dismiss him because he's gotten several perfect scores already and so the instinct is that he doesn't need the vote, but that's just not the case. Just look at his trios partner, Corbin Bleu. The "High School Musical" alum was technically the strongest dancer of his season, and he had to settle for second place. We're not going to knock Amber Riley's run that season because she was amazing and that was just a great battle, but the point remains.
Jordan doesn't have any real competition on the technical side, and that may just be the problem. He's too clean, too good, and just not exciting enough for a lot of viewers. Plus, America loves to support a growth arc throughout a season and Jordan came in pretty damned great!
Who Will Win
So if Jordan is the clear leader in skill, where do the other three finalists stand and who will steal the title from him? Lindsey Stirling has emerged as something of a powerhouse and surprise dark horse in the competition, turning in stunningly committed performances in recent weeks. She's also the lone female standing, and when you're talking about America's vote, that can make a huge difference.
Drew Scott and Frankie Muniz are fan favorites who have shown tremendous growth throughout the season, but neither of them are consistently brilliant. Frankie excels at creating characters and immersing himself into the fictional worlds of each dance, but his lack of confidence betrays him in posture and body movement. Drew, on the other hand, still has moments where he lumbers around like Frankenstein out there ... and this is the finals.
Really, had he not shown such improvement over the season, Drew would have been one of the first to go. But he's goofy and charming and he really did step up and start to become a decent dancer, and apparently the power of the "Property Brothers" fan-base is strong as he's outlasted several superior dancers.
In the end, though, it comes down to heart and who America fell in love with the most. It's actually a tough call this season, as Frankie's shyness has endeared him to millions, as has Lindsey's quirkiness, and Drew's efforts. These folks are here for a reason.
Jordan will probably earn a well-deserved second place finish, but we're going to go out on a limb and say Lindsey takes the crown, with Frankie in third and Drew rounding out the Top Four.
Find out if we're right or wrong on the two-night finale of "Dancing With the Stars," Monday at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.