Yay, tonight is here! I’m ridiculously excited, even though I wasn’t in love with last season. So, have decided to live blog. Upstairs Godzilla unfortunately just came home and is whacking her tail all about, crashing into walls, thundering down on my ceiling / her floor. She must be excited about the show too.
Oh well; I’ve turned on the closed-captioning.
Shawn Johnson trips on her way down the stairs during introductions. Doesn’t fall or anything. Kind of funny.
Got Julianne Hough confused with Chelsie Hightower.
Lil Kim and Derek Hough: Says she first watched DWTS while she was in prison. Became addicted. V. funny. Calls herself Black Barbie and Derek her Ken. Dedicating her first dance to “all my girls in the federal detention center.” Okay, I really kind of love her. She cracks me up. They do a samba to “Nasty Boys” by Janet Jackson. She was pretty good! She kind of did a hip hop version of samba, but she can really move. Very loose in the pelvis and hips and I totally agree with Len saying it needs some refining and she needs to work on posture for next week’s foxtrot. Off to a great start. Very charismatic. Did she slip a tiny bit at the end, before going into that split dip? Not sure? (Funny, but after watching the whole show, I guess this was actually a cha cha; bounciness made it look like samba, but instead of looking wrong, on her it just looked like a properly bouncy dance!)
Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts: She has dizziness troubles with her spins during practice. Uh-oh, as Jonathan notes.
They did a Waltz to “What the World Needs Now.” Well, I love her personality, and she seemed to get over her troubles about 3/4 of the way through, but she looked very tense in the shoulders and you could tell she was worried about getting dizzy on the turns. That develope was correctly done, but she sickled her foot in the air and it looked very awkward. But then when she did those stylized walks toward him holding the edges of her dress out to the sides, she looked beautiful, and the ending was lovely. I think she needs to work on her nerves more than anything.
Excuse my language but Bruno is a fucking asshole. Telling her she was like Julie Andrews to begin, then turned into Cloris Leachman — clumsy, heavy, fumbling, etc. whatever the f– he said. I don’t often get so mad, but what a big huge fucking PRICK. Not funny, prick, you’re a fucking asshole.
Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska: They did a slow, funky cha cha. It’s a little like Maurice Green all over again. He has an innate sense of rhythm and he did really pretty well on his own, but while partnering her, in close hand-hold, he seemed really to fumble the steps. I agree with Len that the cha cha is all about crispness and he didn’t do that. But I have hope for him. At one point he really shot his arm out with excellent speed and Latin styling. I was like, “whoa, where did that come from?”
I’m sorry, who is Johnny Knoxville?
Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer: He says “even though I’m sober, I haven’t lost my mojo,” and crowd goes wild. Says he’s very caucasian and can’t keep a beat. Kind of funny, but excuse isn’t going to work for Standard. They do a slow, soft,smooth Waltz. Whoa, that opening trick! That girl has guts to let him go somersaulting over her head like that! They get a standing ovation. He was really good. Far better than I was expecting — and Len felt the same! The rise and fall was right on, he had some really nice, flowing arm movements. He didn’t spot during the turns, but he didn’t seem to lose his balance either. His feet were a bit turned in and there was something a bit awkward about the whole thing — expectedly, but I think he’s going to improve and do maybe pretty decently — at least in Standard. Surprise of the night?!
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke: During practice, she calls him feminine, tells him he needs to “look like a man.” Another Cristian. Wow, another standing o after their cha cha. And deserved! He rocked! That ronde over her head at the end — that was perfect for someone with no dance training. I mean, the hip was turned out, the foot pointed — it looked like really good, dancerly form. Anyway, I can see what she means about the hips being a little feminine, but I loved him. Anything feminine seemed like it had more to do with his body, not his movement. He was sexy like a Latin male dancer — which is the standard here of course. There are some very good male Latin dancers who have kind of feminine rounded hips. There’s nothing wrong with it. He throws his arms out of line at times and I was worried he was going to fall over at one point during a turn done a little to over-the-top, but he really had the style down and I think he’s going to go far here. One of the favorites, if I can make that prediction up front…
Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough: Calls himself one of the new faces of country music. Illegal lift at the end. Will Carrie Ann say anything? Quite lovely waltz. Very spin-ny routine — and he did quite well with it, for someone with no dance training. Those continuous pivots spins up front were very clean. Those are not easy, either to get the footwork right or to keep proper close frame with your partner. He is very graceful, as Carrie Ann noted. Yes, she mention the lift, but didn’t really knock him for it. Very good dancer, he is, I think. I’m still annoyed that they’re letting this real-life couple dance together.
Here are the injured stars: Jewel and Nancy O’Dell. Jewel says only “my will to dance was stronger than my bones.” All she says about her injury.
Holly Madison and Dmitry Chaplin: He says he has no time to teach her technique, only steps – since she was a late replacement for Jewel. And it shows in their cha cha, which was way way way too bouncy. Not grounded at all. And she had no turn-out. And it looked like she was nervous and trying to remember steps, which it looked like she forgot at some points. But this is all to be expected given the small amount of time she’s had. It’s impossible really to judge her yet. Bruno tells her what she’s got going for her is that “she’s not hard on the eyes.” I almost can’t watch this show with him on it. Really.
Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower: Haha, in the stable, he extends his hand to her and she rejects it and hugs him; he’s all confused. hehehehe, he’s kind of a cute dancer. I hope he gets another chance. A lot of strutting and bouncing, not really cha cha, but he did get most of the steps right. His feet were at least in the right places. Most of the time anyway. Funny, he forgot part of the routine, and she, the pro, not he, made it obvious! Unless it was she who forgot… I think he can improve. I hope he gets another chance.
I’m silencing the TV every time Bruno opens his mouth.
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas: At 17, she’s the youngest. Aw, what a gorgeous perfect waltz. She’s a natural. Honestly it was perfect; I can’t think of any criticisms at all. She was perfectly fluid, had excellent lines, lovely shaping. You couldn’t really tell she wasn’t a pro. The athletes have it.
By the way, I’m liking the camera work a lot better now. I like how it panned down from above to show the shaping of her skirt during the spin. And, hahhahahah — I LOVE how when they separated and showoff Mark went torpeoing around the floor on his own leaving her to do her own thing, the camera homed in on HER! Yes!
Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff: Aw, he’s cute! He had all his cha cha steps down,and he was a good partner — always there for her, even when she wasn’t paying any attention to him. They’re not working well together. I think Karina is annoyed. She doesn’t like who she was assigned and it shows. But I think he’s trying. During rehearsals, he was talking about how dance is kind of mechanical and left-brained, like with computers, trying to make it his own, and she was paying no attention to him at all. She didn’t even try to get him. I still love her as a dancer, though. I couldn’t really watch him much because I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Oh, and she totally raided Anya Garnis’s wardrobe!
Well, okay, maybe she redeemed herself by saying he gives 100% in the studio.
David Allen Grier and Kym Johnson: He’s trying to be the funny guy and she’s not getting him. He keeps asking her in rehearsal if he’s losing weight, tells her he wants a swimmer’s body out of this, and she’s looking at him like he’s nuts. She admits she doesn’t know if he’s kidding or not. It was a pretty smooth waltz. He had the rise and fall, the posture, and was a good partner, really taking care of his partner out there. It needs major polish but it was really much better than I was expecting. Everyone’s complaining about his facial expressions, but funny, I didn’t notice he was sometimes smiling, sometimes frowning. As Len said, “there was a lot more good than bad about that,” and I think that about sums it up.
Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovksiy: Chmerk needs to stop using that opening line about being bad feeling so good, and variations (this time if was, “if being bad is so wrong, I don’t ever want to be right”). Ugh, he made her cry by yelling at her for apologizing too much? Bastard! Just kidding; it’s all fake. There’s nothing real at all about so-called reality TV. Her cha cha was cute. At first she looked scared and her arms were horrible — wasn’t making any extended lines at all — but then she seemed to get her confidence together and the second half was much better. Arm went all the way up for the ending pose! Way too much bouncing and skipping, but it was kind of a jive-y cha cha; the music (“Ain’t Nothing But a Good Time”) kind of lent itself to a little bounce. And her little swivel kicks up front were very good. Dress was gorgeous; cute fringe-y things always seem to add to the dance, tend to hide problems.
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: They’re showing The Bachelor episode where he dumps her and the audience is being directed to boo. Okay, can you say prior dance experience?! That waltz was perfect, and it wasn’t easy — he gave her some difficult developes, spins with arabesque in attitude — I mean, they were all perfect. The form was perfect, perfect shaping, fluidity, she was really relaxed and a true performer with that smile. Len is right on when he notices she’s had dance experience and it was likely ballet. I hadn’t noticed she was on her toes a bit too much and not using her heels enough, but I do the same thing, so… And now she admits she has ballet and Tony admits he basically gave her a ballet to do with some waltz thrown in. Well, I loved it!
So, my favorites thus far are Lil Kim, Gilles Marini, Chuck Wicks, and Melissa Rycroft.