The interesting thing about this show is that it can be so unpredictable. Many people you think will be fabulous end up as duds and others surprise us by being better or at least far more entertaining than we expect them to be.
The pro can also have a huge impact on how far a contestant goes. Not just by virtue of the pro's popularity, though that certainly can have an impact, but also some are better at getting the best out of a partner than others. Or seem more physically compatible. Even though I'm not crazy about Derek (to put it mildly,) he does a good job with his partners. What was interesting to me was last season when Joanna danced with Maks while Derek was ill, I found myself enjoying her for the first time-even with the stumble! (And it wasn't just the Maks eyecandy factor.)