First up was Disney star Chelsea Kane and her partner, two-time champion Mark Ballas. Saddled last year with arguably the most controversial “star” (if you could call her that) last season, Bristol Palin, Ballas can breathe a bit easier this season. This was a refreshing, young, breezy Foxtrot. The judges were pretty much complimentary, but also said to learn control as she has a lot of potential. They scored 21 out of 30 points.
Next up was Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani, doing the Cha Cha Cha. Williams has stated that she is there to win, but honestly you couldn’t tell from this performance. I don’t want to be harsh, because it is the first dance and all, and please know I applaud the courage it takes to get out there in front of a live studio and worldwide audience….but my grandmother could have danced better than that. Thing is, my grandmother is dead, so there ya go. The judges didn’t like it much either and they gave her and Tony 14 out of 30 points.
Hines Ward was next, with partner Kym Johnston, doing the Cha Cha Cha. Hines impressed me. He was fun, flirty, and really seemed to enjoy himself out there. It was clear he’d worked hard in these past three weeks and the judges praised him for the most part; but I feel like they underscored him with the total of 21.
Petra Nemcova and Dimtry Chaplin danced the foxtrot next and you could tell she’s still not sure in her movements in the pelvic region, but keep in mind this is someone who clung to a tree for eight hours as debris from a tsunami broke said pelvis in four places. That being said, I personally thought she did really well. She was graceful and elegant, and light on her feet. She scored an 18 out of 30 points.
Romeo was up next. Remember the guy who bowed out ten seasons ago, and his dad came on for him? Remember how that dad scored the lowest score ever in the history of the show? Yeah, he can dance better than his dad but he needs to get over this complex about looking girly and worried he won’t look “cool”. He danced really well with Chelsea for the most part, but needs work on his posture. Judges thought so too and gave him a total of 19 out of 30.
Sugar Ray Leonard and partner Anna danced the Foxtrot, and I was very impressed by him. His movements were stiff in parts, but Len overdid it when he said it was like pizza and beer rather than caviar and wine. He knows how to play it up to the audience, that should garner him votes to go along with the score of 17 out of 30 they got from the judges.
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel danced the Cha Cha Cha next. Clearly showing her, um, former “exotic dancing” skills within her hip movements, she had fun with this dance. You could tell that while she and Louis work hard, they don’t take themselves too seriously and get caught up in the pretentiousness of it all. The judges were adequate in their praise, commenting that she needed to work on her “spots”. Cue the obligatory Hugh Hefner in the audience shot. Cue the judges score of 18 out of 30.
What was, in my opinion, THE dance of the night happened next. Karate Kid Ralph Macchio danced the foxtrot with his partner Karina and he BLEW IT AWAY. This guy was, as the judges said; charismatic, showmanship was fantastic, elegant and had great potential. The only thing they said that was strange were his hands, they were a bit scary. Either way, he had the top spot of the night and scored a total of 24.
Chris Jericho went next and yeah, while he has charisma and can play to the audience, his Cha Cha Cha with Cheryl Burke was more stiff than (insert tasteless joke here). As the judges said, he had potential (seems like a stock judge phrase when they don’t want to say someone kinda sucked), and did okay in parts, but overall it lacked content. He scored a total of 19, which was higher than I thought he deserved.
Mike Catherwood (who?) danced with Lacey and I felt so bad for her, considering the great partner she had in Kyle last season. Obviously she wouldn’t say the same, but Mike sucked tonight in his Foxtrot. As the judges said, it’s supposed to be a smooth, continual movement and he was all over the place. Bad, bad, bad. Scored just as bad too, 13 out of 30. Wendy Williams breathes a sigh of relief for the moment.
Finally, tonight, Kirstie Alley came out with partner Maks and stunned the audience with her Cha Cha Cha. Let’s be clear, I’m not knocking her, but she’s a bigger girl. However, as with everything else in life for her, she said “I don’t care, I’m going to go out and do what I can.” She did. It was fantastic. Fast paced, played to the audience and great chemistry with her dance partner. The judges really liked it too and gave her the second highest total of the night, 23.
So, there you have it. Here’s our leaderboard so far:
Ralph/Karina – 24
Kirstie/Maks – 23
Hines/Kym – 21
Chelsea/Mark – 21
Romeo/Chelsea – 19
Chris/Cheryl – 19
Kendra/Louis – 18
Petra/Dmitry – 18
Sugar Ray/Anna – 17
Wendy/Tony – 14
What did you think? Any surprises for you? Tell us about it in our forums! No show tomorrow night, all the stars come back next Monday to dance and the first elimination is next Tuesday!