Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dancing With the Stars is Back!!!!

The set looks great, Tom and Samantha look great, the band sounds good, and our three wonderful judges are there and......

LIVE! FROM HOLLYWOOD! IT'S DANCING WITH THE STARS!

The sixteen couples come down the stairs, looking happy & excited. Another season has begun!

Tonight, the men will do all the dancing with their professional female partners. They will have to dance two dances, a ballroom and a Latin. The professional men open the show, dancing to "The Boys are Back in Town: and I LOVE IT! They're so hot and I really missed seeing the great dancing.

First up will be Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff, dancing the Cha Cha. Being young, Aaron is this year's Cody, goofing off instead of learning. He says "It's tough to concentrate with such a hottie as a teacher!" Their dance is pretty good for a first night - Aaron is fluid and can move, and forget the little bobble at the end. Len calls it a great start, "even though it was a little stiff." Bruno said that while he was "all over the place" it was sharp and edgy. Carrie Ann laughed that "little Aaron Carter is all grown up!" She added that it was great even though his feet got "a little funky." Their scores are pretty darn good for a first night: 7-8-7=22.

Next up are UFC Fighter Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya. They will dance the Fox Trot and I'd like to see Anna get this hulk to look smooth. Chuck wants to prove that fighters are not neanderthals and scary - but then he starts dancing and yes, that's scary. His facial expression makes him look like he's in major pain, very stiff. Anna will have her work cut out for her with this one! Bruno says the audience liked the "gentle neanderthal and Russian Princess" but it was very rough with poor footwork. Carrie Ann said it was not graceful but yet "smooth and charming." Len told Chuck not to get his hopes up, but it was much better than he thought it would be. Len advised Chuck to get in touch with his feminine side (that I gotta see!!) Backstage with Samantha, Sam suggested that maybe the judges were scared of Chuck, and Anna piped up that "they should be, he can really hurt people." Their scores: 6-5-5=16.


Iron Chef host Mark Dascascos and Lacey Schwimmer will dance next. Mark says "I was ecstatic that I could dance with Lacey." Lacey says that Mark is super flexible and should do well in the Cha Cha. Mark says he can apply his martial arts discipline to his dancing. Cute, they dance to "Kung Fu Fighting." He actually is pretty fluid and looks good! Lacey has choreographed some martial arts moves into the dance, and Len won't be pleased, I bet. Lacey the rabble rouser starts already! Carrie Ann loves the Asian theme and sees a lot of potential but sees the arms going strange. (She makes some weird sound effect to go with her description, and I can't even begin to spell it!) Len "isn't a great fan of gimmicks and doesn't want to see Kung Fu in every dance." He says Mark had good hip action, though. Bruno says the tricks made him lose timing, but the talent is there "so be careful." Backstage Mark says he's used to protecting himself with martial arts, and Lacey "wants me to show my man boobs" which cracks everybody up. (Mark, "man boobs" are only on those guys that are chubby....you have a very nice chest!) Good scores: 7-7-7=21.

George Hamilton is in the audience to watch his son Ashley dance with Edyta Slawinska. Edyta danced with George back when George was on the show. Edyta says that he looks like great ballroom material but it didn't take long to figure out otherwise. Ashley explains that he had brain surgery and his left side is not as cooperative as his right. He's not bad, but he's pretty stiff (I guess that's the theme for the night) and he's dropping his shoulders a bit. (I sound like I know what I'm talking about! Am I turning into a Dancing elitist?) Len says the basic steps and his footwork was correct, but with a roughness about it. Bruno says he has good looks, charm, but total lack of showmanship. He calls the dance "dead." (My my, Bruno's really not pulling any punches this season!) Carrie Ann says that they look great together, but Ashley needs to define himself - "knock 'em dead" during his Salsa later. Edyta says that Ashley was in a wheelchair for a year and a half and is now dancing the Foxtrot, so she's very proud. Lousy scores: 5-6-4=15. Tom quips that "based on the look on Alana's face (Ashley's mom) Bruno will be in a wheelchair before long."

Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson will dance a Fox Trot. Donny has been dared by his sister Marie to come in higher than her third-place finish. He wants to prove that Marie isn't the only dancer in the family. They dance to "All That Jazz" and Donny actually looks pretty good! He looks like he's having fun, and his footwork isn't bad. After the dance he runs over and kisses a blonde in the audience, which I assume is his wife. Bruno says he can "play an audience like a fiddle," but his shoulders dropped and his holds were not great. Carrie Ann says he'll be a fan favorite but he has to watch his holds. Len said too theatrical and "too much razzmatazz - you need more ballroom." Tom reminds everyone that there should be "no Kung Fu and not much razzmatazz." Scores: 7-6-7=20.

Snowboarder Louie Vito will dance with Chelsie Hightower. He's never danced and never even watched the show - so he has no idea what he's getting into. He's dancing the Fox Trot and really looks geeky in his long baggy shorts. Chelsie is being a tough teacher and hopefully it will work! Louie looks like he's really trying with his posture - he has a really great smile, too! Carrie Ann called it a "little surprise" (Louie is a short guy, like 5'7") and says that it looks like he's never danced before - but that he really respected the dance and gave an honest effort. She liked the "joy" but said he has to wear his heels all the time to get used to them. Len tells Louie that "your hair may be all right for messing about in the snow but it's not what you expect for ballroom dancing." (He is a bit shaggy). But, apart from the little bobble on the "feather step" his technique was good, the hold and posture was good also. Bruno said it was like "watching a little dancing Hobbitt." (Is he getting snippy or what?) He thought it lacked fluidity, but Louie has the potential to be really, really good. Their scores: 6-7-6=19.


Michael Ervin, the former Dallas Cowboy, will be dancing with Anna Demidova, our new pro. He's dancing this year because of Jerry Rice - saying that he's been in competition with Rice forever (they were both wide receivers in the NFL). He pins a picture of Jerry Rice (from Jerry's Freestyle dance in the Afro wig) in the practice room for inspiration. Michael says Rice got a 21 on his Cha Cha, and all he has to do is get a 22. He talks to himself in the mirror a lot - saying "Michael, what were you thinking?" When Anna tells him that "Jerry did it" it's good motivation. He looks like he's having fun, but he's not doing a lot of Cha Cha steps. (Oooh! Gilles is in the audience!) Len said it wasn't a great first dance. Anna needs to put more content in, and Michael has to be slicker. Bruno said Michael has a great presence, but the Cha Cha was poor - no footwork, no content. Tom asks Bruno if any cash changed hands between him and Jerry Rice. Carrie Ann tells Michael he beats Jerry Rice's charisma but tells Anna there was a lack of content, that she has to push Michael a little harder. Does he beat Jerry Rice's 21? 5-4-4=13 - no way!!!! (I really didn't think it was THAT bad!)

Tom DeLay, former House Majority Leader and butthead (and I'm conservative but he really was an idiot), will dance with Cheryl Burke. Poor Cheryl, I really love her and she'll be outta there quick.....she's trying to teach Tom the Cha Cha, and he's looking like a total dork. He's a conservative, and Cheryl is telling him to shake his hips left - but quips that "going to the left for me is totally impossible." Cheryl actually does a really good job with him - she is a great teacher and choreographer, even if her partner is an old fat politician! He looks like he's lost weight from the initial meeting and actually looks like he's having fun. Bruno yells that Tom is Acrazier than Sarah Palin" and tells him that the little Cha Cha he did wasn't bad, but he isn't sure about the rest. Carrie Ann calls it surreal, saying that Tom has a natural grace and he's "rocking it for the older crowd." Len says that "parts were magic, and parts were tragic." He says the Cha Cha parts were very good - but "all that other stuff wasn't up my alley." DeLay shakes his booty again and everyone laughs (I got a little queasy). Their scores: 6-5-5=16. Maybe he won't be the first to go after all!

A new thing now - the Relay Dance. They are splitting up the couples into groups of four, and the judges will rank them, giving them 10 for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, and last place gets 4 points. Chuck, Donny, Ashley and Louie will dance the Salsa Relay. Ashley and Edyta are first and Ashley has no shake whatsoever. Chuck looks pretty good compared to the first dance. Donny kicks butt, looking good! Louie comes out doing flips but I'm not sure about the Salsa moves. Ask me, I think Donny's got this one, then Louie, then Chuck, then Ashley. Carrie Ann says Donny "smoked them." As I paused the TiVo to type this, I see Chuck glaring at Donny like he's going to eat him or something! She tells Chuck he knows how to "work a woman." Len offers that Ashley's dance was "a dance only a father could love," saying that they key to the Salsa is rhythm, and that's what Donny had. Bruno said Donny was shaking like something - his accent got in the way of understanding. Looks like I'm right, Donny won this round. The judges say that 4th place is Ashley, Chuck is in 3rd, Louie in third, and Donny gets first. (I wish I was this good at lottery numbers!)


The rest of the guys - Aaron, Mark, Tom and Michael - will be dancing the Viennese Waltz Relay. Aaron complains about getting dizzy. Mark says that the Viennese Waltz is so stiff, it should suit Tom DeLay better. (Hee hee! I really like this guy. Very affable). Aaron looks good going first, but his face is pretty dumb. Mark messes up at the beginning - actually through the whole thing. Missteps, not food. Tom looks pretty good but he's just not fluid. Michael does okay, I guess. Hmmm. Aaron first, then maybe Michael, and it's a tossup between Tom and Mark, but just because Mark messed up. Len says that Tom's Waltz was a little bit "skippy" and that Mark attempted a "fleckle - which I commend you for." (I checked it out and found out it's Fleckerl, and it's when the partners come out to the middle of the floor and spin in place. There we go, kiddies, our lesson for the day!) Bruno loved Aaron's rotation and the way he worked the floor. He said Mark's lines were great but Tom was skippy. Michael was "better." Carrie Ann said that Michael and Anna were much better, and Aaron had very nice lines. She told Mark he has potential but needs to breathe. She told Tom he was elegant. The judges rank them: 4th place are Tom and Cheryl, 3rd are Michael and Anna, 2nd Mark and Lacey, giving Aaron and Karina first place.

So, an interesting evening to begin the season. One would have expected Ashley Hamilton to dance much better, but he's not all that - and Donny Osmond sure surprised me. I don't think Michael Ervin will beat Jerry Rice, and I'm not sure that Tom DeLay will be the first to go either.

What do you think? Did you vote? The girls go on Tuesday, we'll see what they can do!

The rankings after the judges' scores:

Aaron & Karina - 22=10=32
Donny & Kym - 20+10=30
Mark & Lacey - 21+8=29
Louie & Chelsie - 19+8=27
Chuck & Anna T. - 16+6=22
Tom & Cheryl - 16+4=20
Ashley & Edyta - 15+4=19
Michael & Anna D. - 13+6=19

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