Primrose Everdeen may have gotten a lucky break when her badass older sister Katniss volunteered to take her place in the 74th Hunger Games, but those days are over. Now it's up to Prim to win eternal glory and take home the Mirror Ball... on "Dancing With the Stars."
ABC announced today (February 24) the celebrity lineup for season 20 of "DWTS," and Willow Shields is one of 12 stars selected to go head to head in the ballroom. Similar to "The Hunger Games," only one will survive to the very end, and we think 14-year-old Shields has a pretty good shot at going all the way.
With pro Mark Ballas by her side -- think of him as her Haymitch Abernathy -- Shields has what it takes to win the games. In fact, she may even have the upper hand having an onscreen sister who's gone through Hunger Games training. Here are seven things Shields can learn from "The Hunger Games" to win that coveted Mirror Ball:
Get the people to rally behind you.Lionsgate
When competing in The Hunger Games, you need sponsors to support you by sending you gifts. These gifts can be the difference between life and death in the Games. Similarly, on "DWTS" you need people's votes to stay alive in the competition. So if you want to make it to the very end, you have to play your part correctly. Don't be too smug, always remember to smile, and most importantly, dance your butt off -- and if you can't dance, be as funny and charismatic as possible to mask your total effing lack of ability.
Engage with the hosts.Lionsgate
Tom Bergeron is your Caesar Flickerman, so no matter how crappy you feel about that routine don't lash out at him on live TV. You can only go as far as your votes, so if you disrespect Bergeron, you're goose is pretty much cooked.
Listen to your pro, even if you really don't want to.Lionsgate
Since you're going to spend at least 20 hours a week with your pro rehearsing your dance, it's important you listen to what he has to say. Mark Ballas does well with young ingenues -- and Shields certainly fits the bill -- because he's genuinely a goofy guy who likes to have fun. But don't be fooled by his childish humor; Ballas can dance. He's been doing this for 15 seasons, so he's going to hold Shields to a very high standard. And like Haymitch, he has Shields' best interest at heart, even if he may not show it at times.
Don't be afraid to get emotional.YouTube
The contestants that usually go the furthest on "DWTS" are the ones who aren't afraid to open up in front of the cameras. Sometimes, those tears can carry you through a terrible score. Sympathy votes are still votes!
Embrace the inevitable showmance.Lionsgate
It's no secret that fans love showmances on "DWTS." People still think Maks Chmerkovskiy and his season 18 champion Meryl Davis are dating IRL. (They're not.) If you have chemistry with your partner, then you might as well use it to your advantage. Katniss and Peeta had a similar strategy heading into the Huger Games, and it ultimately saved both of their lives. Shields is a little too young for a showmance, so we suggest she takes the Val Chmerkovskiy/Zendaya approach. Val and Zendaya (aka Valdaya) were so close by the end of filming, they were practically brother and sister -- and the audience ate it up.
Hone your skills.
Thanks to some serious practice, Katniss is pretty much indestructible with a bow and arrow. It took Katniss years to learn how to shoot like that, and most importantly, she never stopped learning. Heading into the ballroom, Shields' weapons are her feet, and she'll have to spend hours a day practicing her footwork, handholds, and showmanship in order for her to be ready to face the judges. Similar to the judges in "The Hunger Games" -- which included the Gamemakers -- she'll be scored on a scale of 1-10 according to her performance and skill. These scores are then made public to show who has the best chances of surviving until the very end, which can heavily influence the voting. Plus, early ringers are then seen as threats by the other competitors. So sometimes, it's better not to show off in the very beginning. Voters are more inspired by the journey, so if you start in the middle of the pack and gradually get better week after week, it makes for a better story, which often leads to more voter support.
Find your Cinna.Lionsgate
Never underestimate the value of a good costume. We're 99.9 percent sure Ballas will plan a Girl on Fire routine for Shields, so the likelihood of her making a grand entrance -- partially on fire, of course -- on the dance floor is very high. That being said, we've also seen some very pretty people wear some very ugly costumes on "Dancing With the Stars," so Shields better hope she has a Cinna in her corner.