Tyra Banks predicted that two of the celebrities who signed on for Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars will go far on the show for very different reasons. On Tuesday, the new host and executive producer of the ABC reality competition chatted with E! News about what she thinks of the latest star-studded roster of mirrorball hopefuls.
Tyra was asked to predict who she believes will be the strongest competitor, and the first celeb she mentioned was figure skater Johnny Weir. She noted that contestants who have experience learning choreography tend to do well on the show, and the former Olympian certainly fits that bill. So far, two figure skaters have won their DWTS seasons: Adam Rippon and Kristi Yamaguchi. Ice dancer Meryl Davis also went home with a mirrorball trophy.
Tyra remarked that Johnny “just has that natural thing,” and she commented on how “graceful” he is. During his skating career, the athlete became a fan favorite due to his flashy style, so his costume choices could also help him stand out from the competition.
It’s also not uncommon for stars with no choreography experience to win Dancing with the Stars. When it comes to this group, Tyra predicted that viewers may have a positive response to Chrishell Stause, who is known for her roles on All My Children, Days of Our Lives, and the Netflix reality series Selling Sunset. Tyra remarked on how the actress and real estate agent just has that “it” factor when it comes to her looks.
“She’s just going to be smiling, and people are going to be voting because the smile is like Julia Roberts, next level crazy,” Tyra said.
The America’s Next Top Model creator also revealed which competitor has the best “smize,” the term she coined to describe the act of smiling solely with the eyes. She theorized that former NBA player Charles Oakley has mastered the look because he had to make eye contact with his teammates on the basketball court whenever he wanted the ball.
“I think he might be a good smizer and not even know it,” she said.
As far as who will be a big audience draw is concerned, Tyra suggested that Tiger King star Carole Baskin will attract many of the same viewers who got hooked on the hit Netflix docuseries that made her famous. Tyra confessed that she was “obsessed” with Tiger King herself.
“When I heard her name, I was like, ‘Yep. Everybody’s going to be obsessed with watching her,'” she said.
Carole has revealed that she’s already been teaching herself dances at home, so she might also surprise viewers with her moves.