Michael Slezak
March 19, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Get your predictions! Get your totally based-on-nothing predictions here! That’s right, PopWatchers. Since Dancing With the Stars‘ fourth season kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. EDT (our resident expert Annie Barrett is already experiencing a mild case of the vapors in nervous anticipation of her weekly TV Watch), and seeing that we have yet to witness any of the eleven C-listers hoofing, I thought it might be good fun to put our early picks down — right here, right now — then check back after the season finale and see who gets bragging rights. Now mind you, I might be biased in thinking a woman is going to prevail this year — after all, I’m in the camp that says Lisa Rinna got robbed of her rightful season-2 crown — but last year’s Mario-Joey-Emmitt was awfully boy-centric, no? That’s why my money’s on Laila Ali. Think about it: As a professional athlete, she ought to hold up to dance training better than. say, former beauty-pageant queens or 90210 stars, and as a boxer, she’s got to have some footwork skills in her corner. Plus, she’s paired with hypnotically handsome Maksim Chmerkovskiy — yes, I kind of heart him; yes, these feelings are a source of deep shame; and no, I am not issuing a retraction — which makes Ms. Ali the one to beat! Who’s your early prediction to win the tasteful DWTS trophy? Quick! Check the full lineup here, then post your pick before tonight’s premiere!

addCredit(“Laila Ali: James Sorensen”)

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