Now that the names and partners of Season 14's Dancing With the Stars cast have been revealed, it's time to have a look at the pairings and see who has the best chance of taking home that coveted Mirror Ball trophy. As many previous seasons have proved, a contestant can't rely on sheer skill alone to guarantee audience votes from week to week. Each performer's success is based on three primary factors: who their dance partner is, their career or profession, and their overall popularity in the public eye.
Taking all of that into consideration, we've come up with a grading system of how well each couple will fair throughout the competition. Feel free to tell us if you think we're nuts.
Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy Partner Factor
Sherri Sheperd and Val Chermkovskiy Partner Factor
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas Partner Factor Mark is another beloved dance pro, which means fans (especially the ladies) will want to keep him around as long as possible. So far, he's reached the Mirror Ball trophy twice: once with figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi in Season 6 and again with gymnast Shawn Johnson in Season 8. He's definitely due for another win. Career Factor Jenkins is a professional Opera singer, so it's hard to know how this could help or hinder her in the competition. Perhaps if she performed during one of the results shows her voice could win everyone over. Her success could go either way based on how personable she becomes. Popularity Factor She hasn't received an overwhelming amount of fame in her career thus far, but this show could be just what she needs to kick it up a notch and really make a name for herself among pop culture addicts. She's one to definitely keep an eye on. Grade: C
Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff Partner Factor Karina won her first ever Mirror Ball trophy during Season 13 with her dance partner J.R. Martinez. She's always been a constant presence on the show and certainly knows her dance moves. Any partner she is paired with is always in good hands. Career Factor Degraw is sure to be the favorite to win, at the least at the beginning. He's the biggest star on the show, which is sure to earn him some extra votes above the rest. Plus, everyone loves a good, current singer whose recent hit "Not Over You" has become a success on the Billboard Hot 100, much like his other hit song "I Don't Wanna Be," which was the popular theme song to One Tree Hill. Popularity Factor
Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani Partner Factor Poor Tony has had a lot of bad luck over the years between having to deal with the likes of Kate Gosselin and Wendy Williams. And though he's come close a few times, he's never won the Mirror Ball trophy. Luck never seems to be on his side. Career Factor Given that she's a major tennis legend, Navratilova certainly has an athletic background on her side. However, she's now 55 years old, which could serve as a hindrance in such a grueling dance competition. If she proves to be as agile as ever, then it shouldn't be a problem. Popularity Factor Tennis fans will definitely be pleased. Between Tony's luck and her lack of a significant fan base, this could prove to be a huge setback in her chances of winning. Grade: D
Roshon Fegan and Chelsea Hightower Partner Factor Though she's undeniably adorable, the closest Chelsea's gotten to winning the Mirror Ball trophy is fourth place, which is not exactly an impressive record to go on. However, that could have little to do with her actual dancing instruction and everything to do with the partners she's been placed with. Career Factor Roshon is a 20-year-old Disney Channel Star. He's best known for his role as Sander Loyer in the Disney Channel movie franchise Camp Rock and for his role as Ty Blue on the Disney Channel original series Shake It Up! Popularity Factor Unless you're an avid Disney Channel viewer, you probably have no idea who this guy is, though he -- like his dance partner -- has a certain cuteness about him, which could potentially work in his favor. Let's hope he knows how to charm the cameras, otherwise we may not be seeing much of this guy. Grade: D+
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough Partner Factor Derek Hough is by far the best professional dancer of the bunch. He's won the competition numerous times and always creates outstanding performances that are suitable to both him and whoever is lucky enough to be his partner. If you're partnered with this guy, then you're in it for the long haul. Career Factor When you're am engaging TV Host like Menounos, you're bound to receive a wide variety of votes. If your face is on TV all the time, people are going to notice, especially if you're likable. Menounos should have no trouble getting the votes she needs to stay in the competition, at least at the beginning. Popularity Factor Between her TV fan base and luck (for nabbing Derek as a partner), there's a huge possibility she could go on to win the Mirror Ball trophy. As long as she asks Derek to take his shirt off for a few dance numbers, she'll be golden. And it seems they make a great pair. Grade: A+
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson Partner Factor Like Derek, Kym has also won the Mirror Ball several times since the show's inception and has proved to be a talented and kind dance instructor to each partner she's given. Celebrity Factor It almost goes without saying, but White is best known for playing geeky yet lovable Steve Urkel on classic show, Family Matters. This will definitely prove helpful in regards to gaining massive amounts of votes. Popularity Factor
Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus Partner Factor Season 13 was Tristan's first year competing as a professional dancer, where he came in a respectable fifth place with former prosecutor Nancy Grace. Not too bad for his first time out, although his lack of experience among the other dance veterans could potentially hurt his chances of winning. Career Factor Knight is a well known music legend, which undoubtedly will be a huge advantage on this show where votes are the golden ticket to success. As far as careers go, this woman already has them all beat. Popularity Factor Knight's fan base will be massive; there's absolutely no doubt about that. However, her age (67) could prove to be a setback, though age isn't always necessarily a factor on this competition. She could certainly come out and wow us with incredible dance moves, proving she's just as great of a dancer as she is a singer. Grade: B