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Dancing with the Stars 2, Episode 1: Waltzing into a New Seasonby Jill Jones -- 01/06/2006
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We’re so glad you could attend.
Come inside! Come inside!
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Welcome back, indeed! It’s time once again for Dancing with the Stars, ABC’s surprise hit from last summer. Before we jump into the action, though, let’s look at some of the changes that viewers of season one will notice.
First, it appears that the-powers-that-be at ABC are tempting the gods of reality TV. Instead of sticking to the original format of one show per week, the producers have expanded it to two; the performance portion of the show will air on Thursday nights, while a results show will be broadcast on Friday nights. If there is one thing that will drive viewers of any program away, it is overkill.
Next, instead of six couples, this season we will be treated to the performances of 10 dancing duos. We’re really tempting those gods now.
Also, according to the show’s web site (http://abc.go.com/primetime/dancing/index.html), viewers will see “top musical acts, professional dance demonstrations and exciting behind-the-scenes footage…” Translation: Use these moments to refill your drink glass or snack bowl.
Now for some good news… Lisa Canning is out as co-host. Unfortunately, Tom Bergeron is back. Sigh. One out of two isn’t bad. In any case, Samantha Harris, a correspondent on E! News and THS Investigates, is taking over co-host duties this season.
Faithful readers of RealityNewsOnline can be assured that my loyal canine companion Yoko is back this season as well. Her job is to keep me calm when the show irritates me. For this, she will be greatly rewarded with kibble.
Hopefully, these changes will not turn “the little show that could” into “the little show that shouldn’t have.” Only time will tell though.
OK, enough of the analysis; let’s get on with the show!
After the snazzy opening, introduction of the couples, and welcome from Tom and Samantha, we’re ready for the first couple of the evening – Edyta Sliwinska and George Hamilton. George tells us that he has a sense of humor, while Edyta explains that she gets her inspiration from watching living creatures. Despite George’s many bruises and aches, he seems more than willing to go for it all.
They are performing the cha cha cha to “Oye Como Va.” The dance is playful, yet sensual. George reminds me of John O’Hurley from last season; he’s having fun and it shows on his face. My only issue is that Edyta seems to be doing most of the dancing and that George doesn’t have a lot to do.
Tom introduces our judges. Returning from last season are Len Goodman, a professional ballroom dance judge; Carrie Ann Inaba, film, TV, and stage tour choreographer; and Bruno Tonioli, who is a film, music video, and TV choreographer.
Len is first with his critique. He explains that in the cha cha cha, he looks for fun, strong leg action, and a beautiful interpretation. He says that the couple carried this off well. Carrie Ann says that the dance was passionate and that George was smooth. Bruno states that George can handle women very well, but that his legs were uneven. The crowd boos.
Tom mentions the voting process while the couple joins Samantha backstage. Carrie Ann gives Edyta and George a seven, Len gives them a five, and Bruno gives them a six. Their total score is 18 out of 30. George then asks that the senior citizens call in and vote for him. I never realized he was this funny; I was always spellbound by his tan.
Dancing next are Lisa Rinna and Louis van Amstel. Lisa wants people to know that they can do whatever they want; she’s proof of it. Louis wants to win because he was part of the first eliminated couple in season one. According to Lisa, she and Louis are the same person. She also shows us how flexible she is; she looks great.
The couple is dancing the Waltz to “Natural Woman.” Their routine is very elegant and sexy at times. She also shows off her flexibility. There are a few stumbles, but otherwise, it is a nice performance.
Look… there’s her husband Harry Hamlin in the audience. Too bad Tatum O’Neal and John McEnroe are no longer together; he would add a new element to the show.
Len explains that in a waltz, he wants to see elegance and interpretation. Unfortunately, Lisa and Louis lost their posture from time to time. Carrie Ann says the couple looks great, but she could tell that Lisa was nervous. Bruno agrees that Lisa lost her posture, but says that she has potential. While Carrie Ann awards Lisa and Louis with a five, both Len and Bruno give them a seven. Their score is 19.
At this point, Tom and Samantha explain the cha cha cha and waltz while professional dancers demonstrate the moves. Wait, didn’t Len already clarify this to us. Sigh. Where’s the dog?
The next couple of the evening is Andrea Hale and Kenny Mayne. Kenny says that he wants to find the biggest dork in the group and then beat that person. He also says that he may be able to win us over by acting like a dork. Andrea tells him to take it seriously.
The couple performs the cha cha cha to “Hot Stuff.” Kenny throws in a few goofy moves and blows one off completely, but overall, I don’t love the routine. It seems sloppy and Kenny really doesn’t dance a lot. Andrea has some great lines though. Kenny asks to do the routine again.
Carrie Ann is laughing and unable to speak. When she composes herself, she says that Kenny was very committed to the dance. Bruno disagrees and calls the performance demented. He gets booed again. Finally, Len tells Bruno not to knock someone who tries. Carrie Ann and Bruno give the performance a four while Len gives it a five. Andrea and Kenny have a score of 13.
Up next are Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani. We see Stacy doing some of her wrestling moves. She certainly can extend her legs – though it’s usually to kick somebody in the head. Tony says he is one of the bad boys of dancing. She thinks that they click, but that he is expecting too much. She later admits that his demanding ways do produce results.
They are dancing the waltz to a song I know, but can’t think of at the moment. Ugh. If anyone can help, let me know. The routine is very elegant. Stacy even demonstrates her flexibility several times by extending her legs. It’s an enjoyable performance, but I don’t feel like it is a waltz.
Bruno tells Stacy that she was like a ballerina. Len feels that the dance was missing something – dancing like it was a waltz. Len and Bruno argue until Tom finally breaks it up to everyone’s relief. Carrie Ann says that Stacy and Tony have a good shot at the competition. Carrie Ann and Bruno give the performance an eight while Len awards it with a six. The couple’s score is 22 out of 30.1 2 Next-->
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