Dancing with the Stars -- DWTS -- Spring 2011

Ah, phooey, forgot to do the email confirmation in advance, doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to vote tonight.

What a delightful premiere this was. Thank you, producers, for not having a single ancient person on this season. A couple of delightful surprises – Ralph Macchio was really good! as was the football player, and thank god Romeo is not as dreadful as his father – and some bad dancers to jettison over the first few weeks, like the radio comedian guy, and the wrestler, both of whom were fairly dreadful.

Question of the night: “I can see you’re already upset, but how do you feel?” Brooke, you’re a moron.

Several of the ladies had some good moves. Chelsa, Kendra, and surprisingly Kirstie. I wasn’t very impressed with the guys except for Ralph. Sugar Ray and Jericho had their shoulders all bunched up like they were muscle bound.

Hines, Romeo and Petra I’m not sure about yet. Have to wait and see how they do next week. They did show potential.

The most disappointing were Wendy, and Mike Catherwood.

Kirstie was a jewel tonight. Such a pleasant surprise. I hope she can stay healthy and continue shocking everyone. At least until they go to the “two a week” dances. I can’t see her carrying that extra fifty pounds throughout the competition. That’s too hard on anyone’s body, and especially a sixty year old.

So far, it looks like a fun season.

Anna Trebunsakaya brought out the jazz hands tonight. :smiley:

She must have been channeling Bob Fosse.

Well, we can confidently say that there are no ringers this season when a seriously overweight 60 year old with no particular dance experience is the second best dancer of the field.

Actually, the season looks pretty mediocre, which means there’s real room for improvement and the possibility of a real contest.

Chelsea and Mark - she’s young, flexible, and used to performing. Mark is a champion teacher, although his wins have been to some extent permitted by the initial excellence of his partners. I think they have a shot.

Wendy and Tony - The judges were right; she was far too tentative, especially given her brassy (not to say abrasive) personality. I think she probably won’t hold on for long. As a side note, my heavens! she’s rather over-endowed! It’s a miracle her back holds up.

Hines and Kym - He has excellent potential. Good performance, good hips, lots of personality, and the football players on this show have generally had a really good work ethic. I think he’s a contender. (I spent half the time the camera spent on his face thinking “is he black 3-4 generations back? But wait - his eyes look kinda Asian. What is this guy’s background?” only to find out this morning that he is the product of an African American dad and a Korean Mom.)

Petra and Dmitri - meh. She was seriously a supermodel? Because while she’s certainly quite attractive, I’m not seeing spectacular beauty here. Anyway, she was a little lacking in fluidity and flexibility (some of which may be due to the broken pelvis), and this show usually chews up models and spits them out.

Romeo and Chelsea - he was supposed to be on the show ten seasons ago, and still doesn’t get that Latin dancing involves moving his hips? I suspect he’s too bound up in a Super-Macho Black Man[sub]TM[/sub] attitude to relax enough to dance well. A pity, because he’s got the looks and the apparent innate ability to move. I hope I’m wrong.

Sugar Ray and Anna - my biggest disappointment of the night. He was so quick and graceful and smart in the ring (from what I remember from press about him at the time - I don’t watch boxing personally) that I really hoped it would transfer over the the dance floor. But he was hunched up like a turtle for most of the dance. If he could get over that, he’d be pretty good - he’s athletic enough and has plenty of charm. But as he is now, not a shot.

Kendra and Louis - Louis, you’ve never won because while you may well be the best dancer of the bunch, you over-choreograph your dancers and from time to time drastically misjudge what the audience is willing to accept. Kendra sounds like she was a successful stripper, which suggests some dance background, and she moved well. Einstein she isn’t, but she’s personable enough. A possibity.

Ralph and Karina - who knew? He looked almost as good as Donny Osmond. The big question is, how will he do in Latin? Definitely a contender.

Chris and Cheryl - the musclebound wrestlers and total-fighting champs don’t usually do very well here. He’s a showman, but if he can’t develop some technique, he’s out. Right now, he’s all sizzle, no steak.

Mike and Lacey - I didn’t think he was as bad as the judges did, but he wasn’t good. A good candidate for the first to go home.

Kirstie and Maks - Amazing! No “comedy,” no shtick, just good solid dancing. My question is about her stamina. If she can maintain her level of performance, she’s a lock for the finals. As aceplace noted, the two dances a week may be her breaking point.

:eek: I couldn’t believe that Alley is 60, but you’re right. Amazing.

I used to do a lot of martial arts. Couldn’t dance worth a fig. It’s one thing to have a motor skills and a whole other can of worms to do something properly in time to music.

Just to echo a bit, but I’m really glad that all the contestants are under 65. Cloris Leachman and Buzz Aldrin were just painful to watch.

And no “ringers”: no Olympic skaters, no singers who dance a little on stage, nobody who danced in a movie 30 years ago.

I miss Edyta, and Julianne Hough…sigh.

Did I hear correctly, that this week was Ballroom, and next week is Latin? Does that mean that Cha Cha is a ballroom dance? :confused:

I guess it’s an indication of “57 Channels And Nothing On” syndrome, but even though I watch a ton of TV, I’d never heard of Wendy Williams, Kendra Wilkerson, or the “Disney Star” (note: not a pop star, not an actress…a Disney Star). But it doesn’t matter – we get to know them as the show progresses, and that’s always fun. And I thought it was a really good premiere: nobody getting by on shtick, nobody just painfully embarrassing, and some really good dancing.

I think they probably told an individual that he/she was up for ballroom next week. Typically the stars who do Latin the first week do ballroom the second and vice versa. Cha-cha is definitely not ballroom.

The pros seem to be turning the foxtrot into a sort of random non-Latin exhibition dance. Shouldn’t a couple be in hold most of the time?

In Ralph’s honor – “Never trust spiritual leader who cannot dance.” ~Mr. Miyagi, The Next Karate Kid

I didn’t realize that Kirstie Alley was 60. I think her song helped, but she definitely sold it. And I was completely pleasantly surprised by Ralph Macchio, who is apparently 49. (This season is designed to make me feel old, I guess). But that was just lovely for a first week dance.

I think he’s an early contender, but I’ll be surprised if he get’s much beyond middle-of-the-pack. Unless something changes radically, I think he will advance due to a combination of serious, focused, good old-fashioned hard work, and a good supply of people being worse than him. He seems likable, and my early impression is that he’ll work his butt off, but Kym’s going to have to pull off some kind of minor miracle to make him a dancer rather than just a guy who knows all the steps. I wish him well, and I hope he does find that dancer, but I think it’s going to be tough. He just looks too mechanical.

I agree. It seems like the models (for the most part) look good, have long legs, and are good at striking poses, but they don’t move well. Seems likable enough, though.

That’s exactly what I saw in him as well. It’s possible that some of that attitude was selective editing in the video, but yeah, he needs to get over himself quickly and trust his partner.

I thought the second “half” of his dance (from their separation on) was much better than the first half. Seemed like he loosened up some. I wonder if he wasn’t actually very nervous. Posture’s going to be an issue, but he’s got charm, and so far seems like he’s got a good work ethic and has kept himself pretty fit, so I’m hopeful there’ll be significant improvement.

No kidding!! I was expecting something like a Steve Guttenberg. Reasonably competent, charming in his own way, but not really exciting. But, man, he tore it up! I expect he’ll struggle more with Latin than Ballroom, at least in these early weeks, but he might really surprise us there as well.

I didn’t even see all that much sizzle. I don’t see him going very far at all.

Personally, I thought he was exactly as bad as the judges did, but even cutting him a little slack on maybe being underscored, he’s got essentially no name recognition, and didn’t seem to have the most winning personality. I agree; likely first one out.

Second biggest surprise of the night after Ralph Macchio! I was all prepared for a hot mess both in the rehearsal footage and on the dance floor, and was oh so pleasantly surprised to be wrong. I think she’s actually taking this seriously and trying to do a good job. Yeah, she’s going to be limited physically, but if she can keep her head in the game, we might see some really impressive stuff come from her (and I think we’ll need to give Maks a lot of credit, too; I think they’ll be a really fun engaging pair).

Couples spend very little time in hold in American foxtrot. I haven’t had a problem with the choreography (yet). I was a little WTF :confused: about Sugar Ray’s song, given that it’s a much better Cha-Cha than Foxtrot.

I actually voted for the hot mess that was the radio guy, because he was so funny that I’d like him to stick around for a couple of weeks. They can lose Wendy first.

My current pick is Ralph Macchio to win.

You underestimate the fanatical devotion of Steeler nation to anything even tangentially related to the Pittsburgh Steelers. My wife got me to vote for Hines 11 times, and I’ve never voted for anything on TV in my entire life. I imagine much of the tri-state area did likewise.

Hawaii didn’t get the original premiere for some weird reason, so I had to watch the repeat.

Anyway, as has already been mentioned, there isn’t any obvious favorite this time (woo hoo!). It seems that the producers have learned their lesson about letting geezers and right wingers* compete, too (the lesson = DON’T). This is new territory, so I don’t want to get too committed just yet, so for now, just early impressions.

Chelsea Kane - Energetic, absolutely beautiful, no problem performing in front of a crowd, and looks like she’s having the time of her life out there. An early favorite.
Wendy Williams - Note to all big and heavy female contestants: Performing a complex dance is tough enough without having to balance on teensy little spike heels. Pumps. Wear pumps. Or flats. Something that you won’t risk breaking your ankles in. Don’t think she’ll last long; she looks like the token cannon fodder punk a la Margaret Cho.
Hines Ward - Showed some finesse, reasonably energetic, seems to be making a real effort. The problem with these big, muscular guys is that they just don’t have the flexibility or range of motion required to get the big scores. And yeah, he’s famous, but not Jerry Rice famous. Should be happy to finish 4th or 5th.
Petra Nemkova - Ooooh. Fractured pelvis? Limited movement? DOOM. I think the judges were a bit generous to her, and that never lasts for long.
Romeo - Two troubling signs. One, he looked tight as hell out there, like he was fighting his natural hip-hop instinct every second. Two, he’s determined to last longer than Master P**. This indicates to me that he doesn’t have a damn clue how this contest works. Unless he catches lightning in a bottle, and fast, we could be looking at an early-round upset.
Sugar Ray Leonard - He’s trying, you can see it, you can feel it, but he looks all the world like one of those contestants who just can’t do what ballroom demands. Resorting to funny theatrics on day one is always a troubling sign. And let’s face it, nobody gives a damn about boxing anymore. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was The First Contestant To Be Eliminated.
Kendra Wilkinson - She has sex appeal, she can really work those legs, and she’s utterly shameless. In a field like this, that actually makes her a strong contender. I’m a lot more interested in her than I ever thought I’d be.
Ralph Macchio - And you wondered how he could still pass for a high schooler in Karate Kid 3. Man, I hope to look a quarter as good when I’m pushing 50. Looked a little awkward, but he’s aware of his limitations and seems to be treating this as the fluffy spectacle it is. A clear fan favorite.
Chris Jericho - He’s facing the same uphill battle as Leonard in that all the skills he’s learned count for nothing here. As soon as he gets something requiring fluidity, grace, or coordination, he’s toast.
Mike Catherwood - Lacey Schwimmer said “It’s first or nothing,” and it looks like that matter is going to be settled very quickly this season. To Catherwood’s credit, he wasn’t horrible (certainly not as bad as he was billed up to be); it was just an ordinary, passable, pedestrian routine. Still, as has already been pointed out, lack of fanbase is going to destroy him.
Kirstie Alley - All right, give Bergeron & Co. credit for realizing that some mileage but can still work it = good, one foot in the grave = bad. The problem is…she’s fat. Sorry, but there’s no getting around it. The big problem is that she’s slow. She’s going to struggle horribly with a quickstep or jive, and I’d rather not speculate on how a tango would turn out.

  • Just for the record, I would’ve been okay with Bristol Palin being knocked out just before the final. But that she actually had a puncher’s chance of winning…brr. Never again, DWTS. Never, ever, ever, ever again.

** Let’s say that instead of having playoffs to determine the NFC champion, the fans got to just freaking vote in whatever goddam team they wanted, and they chose the Detroit Lions. And then of course the Pittsburgh Steelers proceeded to pound them into the Earth’s mantle in the Super Bowl. Would you blame the Lions for that travesty? I certainly wouldn’t.

Fun show tonight. I always get a smile on my face during the Quickstep and Jive.
Mark got overly ambitious with a weird artsy fartsy mess of a dance. Right up their with last seasons Gorilla dance IMHO except Chelsea knew all the steps. The judges were visibly angry at Mark for this stunt. Chelsea deserves better than this.

I’m not sure what Anna was thinking. Don’t understand why her choreography was so off the mark. She didn’t even try to teach Ray the proper dance.

Most of the other dancers did a lot better than last week. Hines and Jericho improved a lot. Romeo did pretty good too.

I may throw a few votes to Mike and Lacey. There’s some sparks starting between those two. He may even get laid if he sticks around for awhile. :smiley:

Nice article about Mark and Chelsea’s dance.


I’ll start off by saying this is a much more engaging bunch than any I can think of over the past few seasons: only Romeo seriously gets up my snout, but he’s at least got some potential, if he wises up and stops trying to act as though the dances are supposed to accommodate him rather than the other way around. Actually, most of them seem to have a decent amount of headrooom to improve as the season goes on. With that said, the two radio personalities seem likely to be among the first to go, but then I guess they would, as they are the furthest in background from the combined athletic/theatrical performances the genre seems to demand. Petra seems to have the model’s twin curse of little strength and no fanbase, so I expect an early exit from her as well.

In the middle, looks like Sugar Ray, Kirstie and Chris Jericho. After that, I’d be fairly happy with any of the rest getting to the finals, although my current personal faves are Chelsea (closest to a ringer for this season), Hines Ward and Ralph.

I spread my votes among 5 dance couples. Right now I can’t point to anyone and say they should win. I would even try to rank the five I voted for.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Wendy go. Unfortunately, she’s got that daily tv show. Her fans will be tough to overcome. Anyone know if Wendy is asking for dwts support on her show?

No sense wasting time guessing. I’ll wait & find out after the results show airs.

It’s really a luxury, after having a couple of seasons where I disliked one or two of the contestants so much that I felt impelled to vote either evenly for everyone else or entirely for the likeliest person to be booted (not counting whoever I wanted gone), to be able to simply vote for the ones I liked. I don’t hate anyone this season.

I really liked Mark and Chelsea’s toy jive, even though it was a little stupid/egotistical of Mark to offer that choreography (I suspect Mark’s trying to get out of Derek’s shadow, but the sad fact is, he can’t, even when Derek isn’t there). But it showed Chelsea’s skill quite well, and I was pretty impressed. So they got two votes. I LOVED Bruno’s description quoted by aceplace.

Chris and Cheryl’s quickstep, though not as good as Joey Lawrence’s one to the same song on Season Three, was surprisingly good. He really pulled up his socks between last week and this, and MAYBE has potential. So they got two votes.

Kirstie and Maks continued to shine. Two votes.

After seeing the rehearsal footage, I thought Ralph was going down on the jive. I was very pleasantly surprised. Two votes. (I also loved his kids, who seemed really bright and not at all precious.)

I personally wasn’t that taken with Hines and Anna’s quickstep, but since I like him (and her), I decided to take the judges’ word for it. Two votes.

Romeo got high scores, but, I’m sorry. He’s just WAY too invested in being a cool, macho man. I find him off-putting. And Lacey was just about the only woman I’ve ever seen whom I liked better as a blonde than as a brunette, so naturally, she’s growing her blond out.

What is with Wendy Williams? She looks African American, but she sounds like a dowager JAP. She grates on me.

I’ve given up on Sugar Ray, Petra, and Mike. Kendra has potential, but, as usual, Louis is over-choreographing her. He’s great with the bad and mediocre students, but the minute he gets a contestant with some real ability, his inner-choreographer takes over and he loads her up with difficult routines that are, basically, dancers’ dances. It’s a pity, because actually I like and respect him quite a bit. He’s extremely good as a dancer and choreographer, but at a pro level.

Romeo bugs the crap out of me, but apparently he can dance so he’ll be around a while.

I think it was good planning on the producers’ part to do quickstep and foxtrot so early on. In many of the Latin dances, the star can stand still while the pro dances around him/her…but you can’t hide in quickstep & foxtrot.

And I think the judges are being realistically, and purposely, cranky. You have to leave room for growth, so they’re giving out lots of 5’s this week – and if you give out a 5 you have to give criticism to back it up.