Dancing With the Stars 6, March 18: Oh Yes, It’s Ladies Nightby Kari Kennedy -- 03/19/2008
Whee! Dancing With the Stars is back and I’m so excited! Your top-notch re-capper, Jill Jones, is a little under the weather so she asked to have someone fill in for her tonight. Girl, I hope you’re curled up with a good book and a snuggly blanket tonight. We’ll see her back next week, I’m sure.
I wasn’t able to watch last night’s show, but the handy recap at the beginning of the episode makes me drool over the boys I missed. It looks as if they did a pretty good job for their first night. Let’s hope the ladies do just as well or better tonight.
First up is Shannon Elizabeth, who says she’s best known for her character in American Pie. She’s paired up with the cutie-patootie who danced with Jennie Garth last season, Derek Hough. We find out that she’s a tomboy and she’s worried about not doing everything perfectly.
They get the show started with a decent cha-cha. She looks like a hot tamale in her little red dress. It’s a little stiff and counted, but overall, for the first time out, it’s not all that bad. Len and Bruno tell her to work on her leg action and extension, especially if she is wearing such short skirts. Carrie Ann agrees about the legs, but also adds that Shannon has so much energy and confidence.
The judges give her sevens all the way across, so Shannon Elizabeth and Derek are off to a good start with 21.
Oh my! There’s a commercial for one of my favorite musicals, Mamma Mia! with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan and even Colin Firth! Oh my! The last time I sang “Dancing Queen” was at the annual Halloween Bash we have at Southwest Airlines headquarters every year. Let me tell you, that was a party and my group wound up taking first in the talent competition that year. You should’ve been there.
But let’s get back to the show, shall we?
Tom introduces Monica Seles with her partner Jonathan Roberts. Monica tell us that she also grew up quite a tomboy, which I can understand as she’s been on the tennis courts since she was very young. The first time they met, you can see the look of fear in Jonathan’s eyes as he tries to teach her how to glide with for the foxtrot. Oh my, this poor girl may be graceful on the court, but she has the dance technique, so far, of an elephant. Let’s hope that the man who transformed Marie Osmond into a doll can do even better this year in transforming Monica into a graceful princess.
Monica looks very much a delicate flower in her pink flowy dress and hair pulled back just right. The choreography in the beginning kills some time, but amazingly enough it looks as if she’s gained some confidence and grace with all that practice. Their foxtrot seems to flow well, especially for a beginner, and she does it with nary a grunt.
Bruno liked the dance at first, but then it went downhill for him. He says that she should work on her core more to help move the dance better. Len tells her to lift it and shift it (talking about her core as well). Carrie Ann recognizes that ballroom dancing is way out of Monica’s comfort zone. She tells her to use her space, just like she did in tennis.
In her post-dance interview, we find out that Monica was playing in the French Open Tennis tournament for her prom, so this made her feel as if she didn’t miss a thing. To me, she’s much better off experiencing it this way instead of having to deal with all the teenage angst of the prom. Lucky!
The judges give her fives all the way across, for a grand total of 15 points her first time out. I’m a little surprised that they all scored her so low. The audience clearly doesn’t agree with the judges either.
Next up is the cutie who won a Tony for her starring role as Tracy Turnblad in the show Hairspray. Marissa Jaret Winokur and her huge smile are teamed up with Tony Dovolani, five-time competitor on the show. Marissa is a huge fan of DWTS and is excited to be competing. She is all giggles and her exuberance is infectious! Tony tells her that she may have to tone it down a little since she isn’t performing for such a large live audience like she was on Broadway.
Oh I love this girl already! She starts her cha-cha with a huge grin, huge hair, and a lot, and I mean A LOT of hip action. I can’t wait to see what the judges say about that. This isn’t the most technical dance and seems more appropriate for a nightclub, but her excitement should gain her a few points with the judges. The crowd seems to love her as much as I do, as they’re screaming loudly.
Carrie Ann starts out that she’s overwhelmed with Marissa’s energy, but underwhelmed with the cha-cha. Bruno also comments on her personality, to the point of mimicking the hip action (his version is scary). He knows she can do better. Len agrees with Carrie Ann, but then chastises Tony for not giving his partner enough to do. He thinks that she is capable of much more.
Well the judges, once again, are straight across the board with their votes at six each, for a total of 18 points.
Tom interviews a few of the guys competing in the show. Adam is hysterical as he goes off on this being the best dance show he’s ever seen!
Up next is Priscilla Presley, who is not only known as The King’s wife, but as the star of many Naked Gun movies. Please don’t shoot me, but she sort of looks like she’s been under the knife a few times. I wish Hollywood would let these ladies grow old gracefully. They’re beautiful and don’t need a scalpel to look better. Anyhoo, Priscilla is excited to be back out participating in the media again. She will be led by the chiseled, Latin American dancer, Louis van Amstel, this season. He’s excited and intimidated by her. She’s scared. She’s full of questions and is another perfectionist. She’s the first woman tonight to say that she wants to win this competition and with as well as she’s doing in rehearsal, I think she could do it!
Priscilla looks lovely in a bright green dress for her foxtrot. I’m impressed with how smoothly they dance and I think she’s the most advanced of the night so far, even with a death spiral. The only complaint I have is that they don’t’ seem to connect as a couple. This may come as they get to know each other.
Len is very impressed and is thrilled that this was a classic foxtrot. He’s a stickler for this particular dance, so he is giving out good praise. Bruno calls it smoking hot and tells her that she has star quality. Carrie Ann tells her that age is just a number. It was elegant.
During all of that there was a brief shot of her daughter, Lisa Marie, who is pregnant with her third baby.
Well the judges are consistent at being consistent. They all give her eights, popping her up to first place with a score of 24. Although it’s easy for adding, I hope the judges start varying in their scores, just to make it interesting.
Two ladies are left. Next up is Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her partner Mark Ballas. Much like Apolo Ono, I think Kristi could really do well in this competition because of her athleticism and her grace on ice. She is just so dang cute, too! As her rehearsals go on, she seems to progress well.
Kristi comes out looking stunning in a gold dress and hair pulled back exactly right for a foxtrot. Holy cow, not 15 seconds into their dance, I already like them the best tonight. She is a pure entertainer and her years on the ice transcend well to the dance floor. She is graceful and adds perfect touches with head bobs and arm movements. They are spectacular. I’ll bet money that they’ll get at least one nine from the judges tonight. I think we might be looking at our winner this season.
Bruno is beside himself. He says that the performance was beautifully executed and in synch. He thinks it’s the best first performance he’s ever seen. Carrie Ann says that she made it look effortless. Len says that the ice maiden has melted his heart. He is clearly impressed. I have to laugh as Kristi holds up her hand to show us how much she’s shaking with nerves.
The judges give her a slew of nines and she’s just bumped Priscilla out of first with a solid 27 out of 30 points. This is an amazing feat for the first time out this season.
Last up is Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin and her partner, Mambo champion Fabian Sanchez. Through a sign interpreter she tells us that just because you’re deaf, it doesn’t mean that you can’t dance. She quickly adds, “I hope,” with a sweet, sheepish grin. At their first meeting, she tells him that she has to communicate with her body every day, so she doesn’t think this will be much of a stretch to learn to dance with him.
Fabian seems patient and is aware that teaching a deaf person to dance will be a huge challenge. He tests her to see how much she can hear (ummm… that would be nothing, Fabian!), by putting on some music and tapping on her hand to the beat of the cha-cha song they’ll be using. She says that Fabian is her music, so she’ll rely entirely on his body and face to portray the music for her.
She seems like a real character, so this could be fun watching the two of them and “listening” to her interviews through the season.
Marlee is just stunning in her red dress and beautiful makeup. The two are synched well and I only notice one time where they are a touch out of step with each other. She does a fantastic job staying with Fabian and with the beat the rest of the time. You would really never know she was deaf by the way she dances. What an amazing job. At the end, you can see she’s clearly relieved it’s over.
Carrie Ann tells her that she was so inspiring, but that she will be judged as the others are. That being said, she says that Marlee moved fluidly and did a great job. Len says that they did an amazing job, but she needs to control her arms a bit. Bruno is equally impressed and tells her that even though she can’t hear the music, it’s flowing through her blood. I smell a triple seven coming her way.
Next week the Jonas Brothers will perform.
The judges come back with their scores. And as it starts to look like a triple seven is coming their way, Bruno throws us a curve ball and gives them an eight. Their total of 22 puts Marlee and Fabian solidly in third place for the night.
Kristi was by far the best of the night, but I can’t help but love the exuberance of Marissa. Next week the vote results will be announced and one male and one female dancer and their respective partners will be eliminated. Stay tuned and Jill will be back with her fabulous recaps!
Kari has dancing skills much like an elephant. Fortunately for you all, she enjoys writing and reality TV much more. You can send her comments at email@example.com.
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