DWTS: I Wanted to Be Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Goddess, When I Was Young, and Now I Want to Be Her Again…

So, first two women were admitted tomboys. Which is fun. But doesn’t make for the most graceful ballroom dancing. First on was Shannon Elizabeth, whose tomboyishness I completely didn’t expect, the way she looks, and since she’s a supposed bombshell and all. But she was way too manly on the floor; she stomped straight through that Cha Cha. All the judges were completely right about her legs: she needs to straighten those knees, point those toes. I say she’s a definite candidate for the ballet lessons Marie Osmond took last season. Oh but I loved how she said she never wears high-heeled shoes, and those were the biggest challenge for her upfront. How much can I relate to that!! I love that she wore them 24/7 to get used to them. Sadly, I admit trying that too. Don’t know how well it worked with me though…

It was cute how they introduced Monica Seles by showing her on a tennis court swinging that racket but in ballroom attire. I hate to say, but that’s kinda how her Foxtrot looked too. But I really appreciated Jonathan Roberts’ routine for her. It had a sweet story: boy trying to win girl over, girl a bit sad, boy presents her with a flower, girl brightens a bit. She did a sweet acting job. But she definitely needs to get that sweeping ballroom action down. She was jumping a bit to compensate, and that doesn’t work; it needs to be a fluid, feathery sweep. And her pelvis lost contact with Jonathan’s at noticeable points, losing that oh so important martini-glass shape. But I think she can learn and I agree with whoever it was — Carrie Ann I think — who said that moving across the tennis court is not all that different than moving across the ballroom floor. Movement is movement, and she needs to not stress out so much over being a sports girl trying to ballroom dance.

I loved Marissa Jaret Winokur — so much fun that one! And I love Tony’s hip hoppish, ‘look at me, I rock and screw you if you think my body’s not perfect,’ attitude music for her. What I don’t love is that Tony is about ten feet taller than she though. Couldn’t they have found someone a bit more matched height-wise? But I do think Tony’s going to have fun with her. Maybe that’s why they paired them: their personalities mesh. I liked their little Cha Cha / hip hop, and she nailed all those lightening-fast bump ‘n grinding body shake things — things I could never do. But I agree with the judges that there wasn’t enough Latin ballroom. And so odd that she missed a step because she seemed the one with the greatest confidence and ease going into it. Sometimes that can backfire though.

I love so much that Louis Van Amstel is back. He such a fantastic dancer, he just makes me smile. Now, after Barbara told me Priscilla Presley can’t smile because of the cosmetic surgery — her mouth is all I can focus on! She did grin a little bit though. And, wow, I thought they did really rather well. She really acted the dance well; it was an ideal foxtrot, very basic, very classy, charmingly sexy with a few nice, non-fancy tricks thrown in. (I hate it when the routine’s all about the tricks). Speaking of which, congrats to her on that perfectly-done death spiral! She has a really sweet personality. I didn’t know what to expect from her, but I like her. She’s sincere and I believe this is challenging and difficult for her in a way unlike other things in her life.

Okay, Kristi Yamaguchi was gorgeous. Hands down, no competition. She is simply the best of the men and women. I think the best ever on this show. I can’t believe she hasn’t been dancing ballroom her whole life. Wow. That was Foxtrot; we’ll see how she does next week with Latin, but something tells me she’s going to nail it as well. She just knows movement. It surprised me though, because on the rehearsal tapes she was struggling a bit. But not on the dance floor. For once I agree with Bruno: this is the best first-show performance in the history of this series. Oh, I so wanted to be Kristi when I was little and she was a figure skating champ, and I so wanna be her now…

And finally, Marlee. Wow! She did so well! I don’t mean to focus on a “disability” (I don’t think I ever did with Heather Mills), but I just think it would be the hardest thing in the world to dance without music. I mean, have you ever tried to dance a rhythmic dance — like Cha Cha — with silence? It would be impossible. And there was almost nothing wrong here. She missed no beats. She was a bit pigeon-toed in cross-overs, but other than that, she was perfect. She said she’s “profoundly deaf” and relies entirely on Fabian, follows him completely. Which is what you should do, if you’re the “follower” anyway. Well, Fabian, goofy as he seemed during practice, must be an excellent lead.

So three women blew me away: Kristi, Marlee, and Priscilla. I guess this is good: I usually have a strong preference early on and get all upset when that person is booted…

10 Comments

  1. fabian’s hips are mesmerizing!

  2. Well now I feel like a “mean girl” after what I said about Priscilla’s immobile face. She seems to lower her face when she smiles like people do that have bad teeth. I have a feeling that she isn’t happy with the results of her surgeries. It makes me think of the comments Gelsey Kirkland has made, which is that now she regrets all her facial surgeries but there’s nothing she can do now but live with them. They’re not reversible. So, enough of that. I was very pleasantly surprised by Priscilla’s dancing. I thought she was very graceful and should be in the competition for many weeks. I also agree Tonya, that Kristi blew everyone out of the water. An early prediction – first one out will be Monica and Adam; finalists will be Mario and Kristi. I love this show!

  3. I don’t know why they didn’t switch Priscilla and Marissa. Marissa is small enough to fit Louis well since she’s not even 5 feet and he’s 5’8″. Her personality is going to get on my nerves again (I did not like her at the Tonys). Poor Tony. I was giggling at the fact that Louis was kind of Star struck.

    I’m very excited about Kristi but I’m really surprised when she said she didn’t understand working with a partner. It’s like she forgot all about her pairs days (she did really well in Pairs until she had to make a choice on which one to compete at senior nationals with).

  4. After the first week of viewing, I agree with Barbara that Kristi and Mario are the ones to beat and that Monica and Adam (or possibly Penn) will be the first ones voted off. But having watched this show for several seasons, and being very aware of how capricious the audience can be in its voting, I am wary of making any long-range predictions. However, since I agree with Tonya that Kristi is far and away the class of the field (both women and men), I fear that I am once again setting myself up for bitter disappointment if and when she doesn’t win in the end.

  5. If Kristi cannot win this, then I fear that Maks was right in his assessment that a woman can’t win again. Y’all know how much I adored Maks and Mel last year, and early on, anyway, Kristi is superior to Mel. That is really hard for me to say, because Mel blew me away last year. Latin next week is going to be telling for her, as well as Jason Taylor. By the way, I say he’s the other one making it all the way through the freestyle, and battling it out with Kristi and Mario, and I’ve been saying it before I ever saw so much as practice footage.

  6. I agree with Sharon that Jason will go far. Anyone know why Maks isn’t participating this season? I know he’s cheeky, but I like him.

  7. I couldn’t believe how much weight Fabian has lost. The last time I saw him, at the national championships in Florida in 2006, winning the world mambo title, he was so overweight he couldn’t tuck his shirt in. Tony Dovolani is also in roaring good shape – looks like retirement suits him.

    And Karina…. my god…. there are no words for that woman’s body. I know she works out like a demon – it shows. She’s going to be giving us a lot to look at this season, with such a good partner, so I am stooooooked. The less of the dreadful Kym I have to watch, the better.

  8. Oh, and one more thing: Louie should be given a medal for what he did for Priscilla. That is what world-class teaching looks like, folks. Louie has a total mind-and-body approach to teaching dance and Priscilla is overwhelming proof that it works.

    She won’t look as great in the Latin dances, for sure, but based on the rehearsal footage we saw, the fact that she danced that foxtrot as she did is proof of Louie’s genius.

  9. I totally agree about Louis and Priscilla, Mig. Oh, and hahaha, THAT was Fabian who won the Mambo championships last year!!! I totally didn’t recognize him! You’re right, he has lost shitloads of weight! I told Sharon I didn’t know who he was — I guess I was wrong, Sharon, sorry :)

  10. Meh, it happens. And Maks isn’t on because he was suffering from burnout. That reminds me, Tonya, did you get that e-mail I sent you with his take on the contestants? Feel free to pass as you’d like via e-mail, I just don’t want to piss him off by it being out there too much, or make him feel like he can’t tell his girls what he thinks. He’s really just a darling man, you guys. So is Tony, and I’m told Fabian is a doll too, apparently the three of them are quite close. 😉

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