Has Mark Ballas predicted the winner of Dancing with the Stars Season 23?

Sadly, Mark Ballas is not part of Dancing with the Stars Season 23. His back has been a problem for the 18-season veteran of the dance reality competition. Fans will recall he injured his back while rehearsing with his partner Paige VanZant. His determination to return to the dance floor worsened the injury.

However, he has another reason for skipping this coming season as he landed the lead in Broadway’s Jersey Boys. Yet his exit, which many hope is temporary, does not stop him from giving his fearless forecast on who could be this season’s winner. Ballas admits many changes have happened to the show throughout the years. Despite his initial hesitation to make a prediction, his choice seems to take into consideration how different the show is now.

“… now it is about so much more than just being a good dancer. I think on paper Laurie and Val are going to be great. I think Derek’s back, he’s a fan favorite, he’s incredible, very creative! … will do well with Marilu,” Mark told Hollywood Life in an exclusive interview.

Dancing with the Stars Season 23 marks the return of the brother and sister tandem of Derek and Julianne Hough. Derek is back as one of the pros and his partner this time around is Marilu Henner. Thus, will he add another win to his record on the show?

Winning Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez has Val Chmerkovskiy as her partner this season. Given her performance in Rio, can she count the coveted mirror ball trophy to her gold medal collection? Dancing with the Stars starts on September 12. Check out the premiere song and dance list for the two-hour premiere as revealed by Just Jared Jr.

  • Jake T. Austin & Jenna Johnson – Jive – Kiss You by One Direction
  • Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds & Allison Holker – Foxtrot – Deed I Do by Ray Charles
  • Marilu Henner & Derek Hough – Jive – Can’t Stop Dancing by Becky G
  • Laurie Hernandez & Val Chmerkovskiy – Cha Cha – American Girl by Bonnie McKee
  • James Hinchcliffe & Sharna Burgess – Foxtrot – Live Life by Zayde Wølf
  • Calvin Johnson Jr. & Lindsay Arnold – Cha Cha – That’s What I Like by Flo Rida feat. FitzLunchmoney
  • Terra Jolé & Sasha Farber – Jive – Stuff Like That There by Betty Hutton
  • Jana Kramer & Gleb Savchenko – Viennese Waltz – Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande
  • Ryan Lochte & Cheryl Burke – Foxtrot – Call Me Irresponsible by Michael Bublé
  • Maureen McCormick & Artem Chigvintsev – Viennese Waltz – You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman by Mary J. Blige
  • Rick Perry & Emma Slater – Cha Cha – God Blessed Texas by Little Texas
  • Amber Rose & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Foxtrot – Here by Alessia Cara
  • Vanilla Ice (Robert Van Winkle) & Witney Carson – Cha Cha – Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice