‘Dancing With The Stars’ Peta Murgatroyd Hopes This Contestant Wins the Mirrorball

This season of Dancing With The Stars has had its share of drama, including the controversial casting of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and a revamped voting system. Yet the remaining contestants and dance pros are still focused on winning the coveted Mirrorball Trophy.

With the number of contestants getting smaller each week, opinions are starting to surface on who will win the entire competition. DWTS pro Peta Murgatroyd recently weighed in on her pick for who will be the last one standing.

"DWTS" Peta Murgatroyd attends the UNICEF Masquerade Ball
“Dancing With The Stars” Peta Murgatroyd | Leon Bennett/WireImage

Recently eliminated

After a two-year hiatus, Murgatroyd returned to this season of DWTS and was paired with former NBA pro Lamar Odom. The two were recently eliminated in an emotional episode on October 7.  “I would [have] liked to move on, but since it didn’t happen, now I can just move on to other things in my life,” Odom told Entertainment Tonight after the show. “Public speaking, telling people my story and I figure I can change lives doing that.”

The dancing duo formed a close bond throughout the season, where Murgatroyd even wrote an article for People to share where they may have missed the mark. “For some reason on show day, he felt like he was about to hyperventilate with nerves,” the DWTS pro wrote. “He was pacing back and forth for hours while we were in dress rehearsal, and his hands were constantly clammy. I did my best to calm him down, but it didn’t seem to work.”

Murgatroyd shared that having loved ones in the audience may have made Odom feel added pressure. “I think Lamar was worked up with emotion with his children being in the audience and that, in turn, made him lose focus and second-guess himself,” she revealed. “Our dance was beautiful, and I was so proud of him for showing emotion and really getting into it. There were mistakes and timing issues, and I was so sad because he really did have it nailed the day before.”

Despite being booted off the show, the dancer praised Odom’s efforts. “I think Lamar is the most improved dancer on the show. This is what DWTS is all about, and I’m proud to say it. He did work hard and had to overcome many obstacles to just get out on the floor,” she said.

Torn between two dancers

Now with time winding down, Murgatroyd is starting to see who’s rising to the top. In her opinion, two contestants in particular are leading the pack. “I have my two front-runners, that I think are Hannah [Brown] and James [Van Der Beek], but there are a lot of other people that can sneak up,” Murgatroyd told Yahoo Entertainment.

The DWTS pro shared that there are several factors that go into finishing the season strong. “It really depends on the last three weeks of the competition: How you handle the stress? How is your partnership standing up and your friendship? Can you go the full ride together?” she said.

The reality star stresses focus and connection for the pairs in order to win the title. “It is all about how close you can connect and stay connected with your partner and not get distracted by all the craziness that is surrounding you,” Murgatroyd said.

Murgatroyd’s pick

Though she named two main contenders, Murgatroyd did reveal who she hopes takes home the Mirrorball Trophy. “I definitely have a special friendship with Hannah that started from the very beginning,” she said. “I think she’s a great girl. She’s such a hard worker.”

Murgatroyd praised Brown for going from one ABC show to another with very little break in between, and sees her resilience as what can win the title. “It’s insane the amount of hours that she is putting in and also coming from a reality show, The Bachelorette, and coming on to another one, I think she has handled that so well,” Murgatroyd said. “I’m rooting for her, because she’s got everything it takes to be the winner of Dancing with the Stars.”

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