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Dancing With the Stars Week 1 9/22-9/24

1165 Views 15 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Henry
Well, friends, it's that time again...

I come into this season with some concern. It seems that the last several seasons have all been worse overall than the preceding. The formula seems stale.

One more wag of the finger before I start... ABC has decided to take five hours, and a little bit more, for this week's outing. That's just too much. I understand that ABC doesn't have a lot of strong material on tap in their scripted stable. I understand that this is their only reality powerhouse. Still, 2 two-hour shows and a one-hour wrapup is asking a lot, especially when one of those outings is from 9:00-11:00. Folks, I probably won't do tomorrow's recap until late Wednesday, I'm too old to stay up that late and that's what a DVR is for.
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With thirteen stars on tap, I'm not going to attempt a detailed analysis of each one. (Unlike ABC, I won't hold you hostage for hours waiting for the end.) Tonight's program featured the foxtrot and cha-cha, traditionally easier dances and a greate way to get to know the contestants.

This season, I was pleased to see a few performers come out strongly in week one. Ms. Braxton and Mr. Mazo were a predictable choice, putting forth a very respectable first week outing. I was utterly surprised by Ms. (Brooke) Burke and Mr. Hough; I'd written Ms. Burke off early as this year's cheesecake. I make my public apology here... her lines were excellent and she seemed comfortable and professional.

I see some possibilities for Mr. Greene and Ms. (Cheryl) Burke. She is a strong teacher and he seems like good raw material. The night finished with a crowd-pleaser from Mr. Sapp and Ms. Johnson, who put out a remarkably smooth and athletic number.

Ms. Leachman, in my opinion, is critic-proof. Aside from being one of the funniest people alive today, you try competing with 20-year-olds when you're 82. Seriously. Mr. (Corky) Ballas seems like a good match for her as well.

The middle of the pack featured uninspiring and largely unmemorable performances from Mr. Linley and Ms. Hough, Mr. Dispirito and Ms. Smirnoff, Ms. Kardashian and Mr. (Mark) Ballas, and Ms. May-Treanor and Mr. Chmerkovsky.

Before I pile the criticisms on the lowest performers in the group, I'd like to remind all of us that these people work hard for what they do and deserve credit and praise for simply showing up, which is more than I could do in a dance competition.

I was far less impressed by Mr. McGinley and Ms. Brayer than the judges were. He's good-looking, but seemed wooden and detached. Mr. Ross and Ms. Sliwinska tried hard, but he's no dancer, simply put. I was surprised that Ms. Lucci seemed so insubstantial and mechanical. Mr. Dovolani is a hard worker but he seems to be a little out of the league of other pros when it comes to getting a top performance from his partner.

Sadly, I must reserve the raspberry of the night for Mr. Bass and Ms. Schwimmer. They lacked chemistry and charm. Their dance was all over the map, which would have done well in Ms. Schwimmer's alma mater (So You Think You Can Dance) but I'm with Mr. Goodman; when a cha-cha is requested, please do a cha-cha. Don't break the rules on week one. I disliked every bit of the performance, which owes much to Ms. Schwimmer's failure to subordinate her personality to the task at hand.

Likely to go home tonight: Mr. Ross or Ms. May-Treanor
My choice to go home: Mr. Bass

As I said, I may review tomorrow night's program late, as it is a work night :)
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Mr Ross will be going home plain and simple. He cant dance and no one really has ever heard of him so even if you dont think of his dancing nothing else is going to make you vote for him. Ms Traynor will be in the bottom two with him but should escape.

As far as Lacey and Lance, yes it wasnt a traditional cha-cha in your and Len's opinion. But why is that such a bad thing? The producers are obviously looking to bring a younger crowd on board and what better way to do that? So she spiced it made it a little more modern and had fun with it. They are going to go far.

My early season pick for final two, Toni Braxton and Maurice Green.
In my mind, you prove that you can play by the rules before you break them, that's all.

Mr. Ross is known as a comic's comic, which often means a person who is too weird to get a sitcom. He hosted last year's impression-based reality show The Next Best Thing and is referred to as "the roastmaster" from his attendance at celebrity roasts (which admittedly are few and far between.). Personally I like his bitter, angry comedy but you're right, Mr. Guercio, he's not well known and is expected to leave early.
What's up with Cheryl's obvious weight gain? Man, has she put on a bunch of lbs!

Bye the bye ... we really liked Lacey's & Lance's cha-cha ala west coast swing. It was fresh and different, and proves Lacey's ability to choreograph. No doubt one of the reasons she was asked to join the pro staff this season. Len's a stiff who needs to losen up a bit. Maybe listen to Carrie Ann and Bruno a bit more. If the formula feels a bit stale, it's not due to the producer's lack of trying ... for that you can look towards fuddy-duddies like Len.
Funny, I didn't see a real weight gain from Ms. Burke. She is one who looks very different depending on how her hair and makeup are done, though.
Odd. My wife commented that Ms. Burke hadn't gained back the weight she lost unlike some of the previous years.
Part of it is her dress looked really unflattering.
Here's hoping it was just bad camera angles. I wasn't the only one to notice it. My wife figured she was in early pregnancy. We'll see.
I am not a fan of this show but I understand its appeal... and I dislike all reality programming.. but I wanted to pass a warning on to all of you fans..

Ted McGinley has a well earned reputation... he appears on a show and it gets cancelled... I'm just saying :D
Well, no huge surprise last night as Edyta just could not be naked enough or dance well enough to make up for her partner. Plus he probably has the smallest fan base of anyone out there. He is pretty funny though.
I like to imagine you all with bated breath waiting desperately for my review of last night's performance. I'm delusional like that.

Overall, night two was much, much better. Every couple showed real commitment, and all should be commended. In truth, there wasn't a clunker in the bunch. Still, some rose above the others.

Mr. Sapp and Ms. Johnson are almost an optical illusion of dance. It seems impossible that someone his size can move like that. He's a crowd pleaser and a committed performer.

Ms. (Brooke) Burke and Mr. Hough... what a surprise! This is an athletic, entertaining and committed couple! I was very pleased by the quickstep right off the bat.

Ms. Leachman, of course, can do no wrong in my mind. 10's across the board from me. She's judge-proof, at least to me. I suspect she'll go home tonight, but I won't like it.

The middle of the pack held Messrs. Green, McGinley, Linley and Dispirito,as well as Madames Braxton and May-Treanor. All of them did a very good job for the first week and I can see some real possibilities for Mr. Green and Ms. Braxton to rise above the rest. They dance emotionally and need to build their technique.

I certainly wish I'd been introduced to Mr. Bass and Ms. Schwimmer on night two instead of night one... I praise them for a proper quickstep, even though it lacked elegance and precision. At least I recognized the dance. I'm glad when all is said and done that they stayed long enough for me to take a second look (Happy, jodyguercio?)

Tonight wasn't Ms. Kardashian's night. Here is a lady who, with the proper hair and makeup should be impossible to ignore, but she seemed uninteresting and clunky.

Who should go home tonight? Ms. Kardashian or Mr. McGinley
Who probably will? I would have said Ms. Leachman but I'm writing this while watching and she's already safe. So now I'll guess Mr. Dispirito.
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Well faithful readers, score one for yourselves, as you'll no longer be subjected to my rants about Mr. McGinley. Well done, America.
Stuart Sweet said:
I certainly wish I'd been introduce to Mr. Bass and Ms. Schwimmer on night two... I praise them for a proper quickstep, even though it lacked elegance and precision. At least I recognized the dance. I'm glad when all is said and done that they stayed long enough for me to take a second look (Happy, jodyguercio?)
Of course I am, I am just disappointed that Mr McGinley went home instead of Ms Kardashian. She like Mr Ross just doesn't have rhythm. You're right in the aspect that with the right hair and makeup and with her legs she would be hard to ignore. And then she starts dancing. I think that if for the first two or three weeks America didn't have all the power and just the judges a la SYTYCD voted someone off the results might have been different last night.
By voting off Ted McGinley... he has a history of shows being cancelled when he is involved.. :D
HDG said:
Here's hoping it was just bad camera angles. I wasn't the only one to notice it. My wife figured she was in early pregnancy. We'll see.
Nope ... the camera didn't lie.
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