Dancing with the Stars 4, March 19: Footlooseby Jill Jones -- 03/20/2007
Welcome to another season of Dancing with the Stars! As always, it is my pleasure to watch this little gem and then recap all of the action for you. Just remember that I don’t do windows and I don’t like undeserving goobers. My faithful and furry companion Yoko is by my side, so we’re set. On with the show…
Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris welcome us to the program. Right away, the professionals do a group dance to “Ballroom Blitz.”
Next, Tom introduces the stars. I’ll hold my comments for now. He then informs us that the scores from tonight’s show and next Monday’s program will be combined; therefore, the first couple won’t be eliminated from the competition until next Tuesday. You can do something else with your Tuesday evening this week.
Dancing first are Cheryl Burke and Ian Ziering. Ian says that he’s doing this for his parents. During his practices with Cheryl, Ian comes across as a perfectionist. Cheryl points out that he does know how to have fun though.
They are performing the cha cha cha to “Mony Mony.” As always, Cheryl’s choreography is fantastic. And for the first dance of the season, Ian does a great job. He seems to enjoy himself despite starting off a little on the stiff side.
Len Goodman explains that the cha cha cha should be fun, contain interplay, and demonstrate hip action. He feels that Cheryl and Ian did a great job. Bruno Tonioli notes Cheryl’s choreography and then suggests that Ian see a Chippendales show; he wants more bump and grind from Ian. Hey, now! Carrie Ann Inaba explains that she was worried about Ian at first; however, she feels that he didn’t over think things and as a result did a terrific job.
Samantha asks Ian one of her pointless questions. He mentions that this is the first time since he was a baby that he had to step out of his shirt. (For anyone who missed it last season, we learned that the men’s shirts are sewn into their underwear.)
The judges are ready with their scores. Everyone gives the couple a 7. Cheryl and Ian have 21 points.
Up next are Paulina Porizkova and Alec Mazo. This is one hot couple! Paulina says that she is klutzy. Alec says that he’s excited to be back on the show. He tells Paulina not to question the system. She explains that that is what is said in communist countries. Not only is this a hot couple, but it’s as funny as pudding on a roof, too.
They are doing the foxtrot to “Too Darn Hot.” Ha! I’m not blown away by the dance, but I think that it’s because I’m not a fan of the foxtrot. In any case, Paulina’s lines are good. I’m sure that with some practice, she will begin to really show her lines. She’s almost six feet tall, so she has a lot to offer.
Len says that he looks for gliding, and steps together and apart during the foxtrot. He says that Paulina has beautiful arms, but that she must work on her posture. The audience boos him. Carrie Ann also notes Paulina’s beautiful lines, but says that she has to figure out how to fit together with Alec. Bruno feels that Len and Carrie Ann are grumpy, and claims that the routine was simple and effective.
Carrie Ann and Len give the dance a 6, while Bruno gives it a 7. The couple has 19 points.
Karina Smirnoff and Billy Ray Cyrus are ready with their performance. Billy Ray refers to himself as a lead-footed hillbilly. I love it! Karina states that Billy Ray lacks confidence. He looks quite uncomfortable during practice. If my mom is watching, I’m sure she’s telling him to pull his hair out of his eyes.
They are dancing the cha cha cha to “I Want My Money Back.” Billy Ray makes a few missteps and still looks uncomfortable. He seems to have fun, though. I’m not sure about the routine; I don’t think the judges will like it. I also don’t feel that it includes the elements that Len mentioned earlier in the show. At the end of the routine, Billy Ray pulls off Karina’s mullet. Unfortunately, it gets stuck and doesn’t come off as easily as it should have.
Carrie Ann says she doesn’t know where to begin. Basically, she states that the dance wasn’t a cha cha cha. Bruno can’t critique the dance because he too says that it wasn’t a cha cha cha. Len comes out and calls it a hoedown. The crowd boos.
Carrie Ann gives the dance a 5. Bruno and Len give it a 4. Karina and Billy Ray have 13 points.
Up now are Leeza Gibbons and Tony Dovolani. Leeza says that she’s the oldest woman on the show. She screams when she first meets Tony. She says that Tony has already become her therapist. Tony believes in tough love and won’t take it easy on Leeza.
They’re ready to do the foxtrot to “Strangers in the Night.” Leeza can really lift her leg well for an older woman. Nice! The couple is elegant and has great chemistry. Even though the routine isn’t complicated, it is well choreographed and executed.
Bruno says that Leeza danced like she was at the rim of the Grand Canyon. He tells the audience to stop booing. Len states that technically, the routine was excellent; however, he does point out Leeza’s nervousness. Carrie Ann tells Leeza to let loose. Perhaps they should have this competition in Cancun.
Leeza tells Samantha that she talked to Tony’s wife, so she knows how to handle him. Thank goodness the judges are quick with their scores. Samantha’s backstage interviews are already up my last nerve.
All three judges give the performance a 5. Leeza and Tony have 15 points. I can’t believe their score is that low. In my opinion, it was a much better routine than the score indicates.
Dancing next are Kym Johnson and Joey Fatone. Joey acts all wild and crazy. Kym reminds us that she danced with Jerry Springer last season, so she can deal with Joey. At Joey’s home, his daughter wakes him up when Kym arrives for practice. Cute. Kym claims that Joey’s nickname will no longer be “Fat One.” Tee hee.
They’re performing the cha cha cha to “You Should be Dancing.” Immediately, the routine takes off, and is fun and energetic. Joey’s microphone pack is hanging off of his back, but he doesn’t let it stop him. Also, his experience as a performer shows; he isn’t nervous and does a great job for week one.
Carrie Ann says that the competition just started with Joey. She also loves his sense of humor. Len says that the routine was really good. Bruno talks and talks; basically, he says that the couple did a great job.
Each judge gives the couple an 8. Kym and Joey have 24 points going into next week’s show.
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are up next. Hot couple alert! Maksim says that he doesn’t sugarcoat things. I sense that he and Laila will beat each other down eventually, but in a way that shows their respect and admiration for one another. She asks him if he can handle her and he informs us that he has met his match.
They are dancing the foxtrot to “How Sweet It Is.” For having the body of a boxer, Laila moves gracefully. The routine is stylish, smooth, and a pleasure to watch. Again, Laila looks great and this is only the first show of the season.
Bruno explains that the routine oozed sex appeal. Carrie Ann agrees with Bruno and says that Laila is strong and has great fluidity. Len tells Laila that her footwork and holds were great.
Carrie Ann gives the dance a 7, while Len and Bruno give it an 8. Laila and Maksim have 23 points.
Are you ready for some more dancing? I hope so because Edyta Sliwinska and John Ratzenberger are set to dance. John learns some Polish from Edyta. She’s stressed because they don’t have much time to practice together. John claims to not be worried by the situation.
They’re doing the cha cha cha to “Chain of Fools.” Their routine begins with John playing the guitar on Edyta’s stomach. I know a lot of people who would pay money to do that. John does a great job with the footwork and keeps up with Edyta. He also gets into the routine and has fun. For stepping in at the last minute and being older, he dances beautifully.
Carrie Ann says that the performance was surprisingly good. Len thought that the dance was going to be a disaster, but it was great. Bruno says something about a heel-lead problem. I roll my eyes because it is only the first night of the competition. Overall, though, Bruno enjoyed the routine.
Carrie Ann and Bruno give Edyta and John a 6. Len gives them a 5. They’ve earned 17 points this evening.
Next, Shandi Finnessey and Brian Fortuna are ready with their performance. Shandi says that winning the Miss USA pageant was the highlight of her life. Doesn’t she know that there is a disco ball trophy at stake here? Brian has Shandi squeeze his butt during practice. Is it just me or does he look a bit like Matthew Lawrence (Cheryl’s boyfriend)?
They’re dancing the foxtrot to “The Power of Love.” Right away, I think of what Tyra Banks tells some of the girls on America’s Next Top Model… this isn’t a pageant! Shandi exudes pageant in the way she moves and carries herself. She does a nice job, but she needs to work on her lines and extend herself. She also seems to look at Brian a lot for direction. I’m sure she will stop doing that after a while.
Bruno calls the couple Barbie and Ken. He tells Shandi that she smiles a lot and that she should point her feet. Carrie Ann explains that Shandi’s footwork needs work. Len claims that the routine was too aggressive.
Carrie Ann and Len award the couple with a 6. Bruno gives it a 7. Shandi and Brian have 19 points.
Dancing next are Elena Grinenko and Clyde Drexler. She is so short compared to him. Clyde doesn’t want to lose his nickname (The Glide) on the dance floor. Elena calls him a gentle giant. He is beaming as he talks about practice.
They’re performing the cha cha cha, and already, I’ve missed the song! Write to me if you know what it is; I totally zoned. Clyde’s footwork is excellent, but he doesn’t seem to know what to do with his arms. He’s lanky, but cute as he dances with Elena. The routine isn’t powerful, but I think Elena and Clyde need more time to get used to one another on the dance floor.
Carrie Ann says that Clyde can keep his nickname; however, he is shy with his dancing and needs to come out of it. Len calls the performance “charming.” Bruno wants Clyde to do more next week and use the floor.
Carrie Ann gives the couple a 6, while Len and Bruno give it a 5. Elena and Clyde have 16 points. The audience boos.
Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts are set to dance. Heather says that her dance background consists of going to the disco. Jonathan wants Heather to look as great as possible. During practice, Jonathan packs up Heather’s artificial leg for her. She stumbles a bit as they rehearse, but is a good sport about it. She wants to show others with disabilities that if she can dance, they can do it, too.
They are doing the foxtrot to “Cheek to Cheek.” The routine is sophisticated and beautiful. Periodically, Heather falters, but she does a great job overall. Her moves are smooth and graceful.
The judges explain that they will judge Heather fairly. She says that she expects it. Len states that Jonathan did a great job with the choreography and that Heather is an inspiration. Bruno tells Heather that she has more guts than Rambo. He also gives her advice on watching her hands and frame. Carrie Ann tells Heather to have more faith in Jonathan.
All three judges give Heather and Jonathan 6 points. The couple has 18 points. Nobody boos or claps while the scores are being announced.
Our last performers of the evening are Julianne Hough and Apolo Anton Ohno. Apolo reminds us of his Olympic success. Julianne explains that she is only 18. Yikes! Julianne goes to Milan, Italy with Apolo as he competes so that they can practice. During rehearsals, she accidentally smacks him in the face.
They’re ending the show with the cha cha cha performed to “Let’s Hear it for the Boy.” Apolo almost looks too relaxed at the start of the routine, but later on, his moves become crisper. Also, he and Julianne are well matched and look great together. One thing that I notice, though, is that he tends to look down a lot while dancing.
Bruno tells Apolo that he has great potential despite the mistakes that he made. Carrie Ann calls his hip action amazing. Len wants Apolo to work on his posture.
Each judge gives the performance a 7. Julianne and Apolo have 21 points. Samantha points out that that equals blackjack. Hooray for Samantha!
Tom and Samantha explain who are in first and last places. I’ll give you all of the standings because I like you more than Tom and Samantha do, apparently:
Tom informs us that next week, the female celebrities will be doing the mambo while their male counterparts will be performing the quickstep.
With that, the first episode ends. What did you think? Who are your early favorites? Who should pack it up now? There’s only one way to find out: tune in next Monday for more dancing and on Tuesday for the results. As always, come back to RNO for my recaps, amusing banter, and rants against goobers.
Jill is an east coast mama who loves sharks, zombie movies, and reality television. She welcomes your comments about these and other subjects, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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