Samantha Harris Hypes Dancing with the Stars Favorite

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Nary an ass has been shaken on season eight of Dancing with the Stars, but host Samantha Harris has her eye on the early favorite.

Look for Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shawn Johnson to emerge as an early contender when the new season premieres on March 9, Harris says.

Scorching Samantha

After all, just look at the track records of past Olympians on the show, as figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno each were crowned champion.

"As we saw with Kristi, that Olympian mentality translates very well to the competitive sport of ballroom dance.... I'm sure Shawn will be a front-runner, but I'm sure the judges will also be very hard on her right out of the gate," Harris said Friday during New York Fashion Week.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.