Tuesday, March 22, 2011
DWTS: Week 1
The premiere of Dancing With The Stars finally arrived. As usual, the cast was announced and people widely proclaimed that this season would be the downfall of the show. The show premiered and now everyone loves it again. There are dancers with talent and complete hot messes. This season, there aren't any skatenastics-related Olympians or former pop stars (or actresses from dance movies) that have jumped out and clearly won the competition from day one. It is important to remember that the competitive aspect of DWTS is minimal; this show is about entertainment. Donny Osmond was able to win the show due to his personality and charm. Donny's feet never improved enough to deserve any of the scores he received in the finals.
Week one is one of the few times the dancers will be scored with a degree of sanity. By midseason, the scores will be in the 8s and 9s for shitty efforts and Brooke Burke will be talking all about their transformation and 'the ballroom bug.' For the record, the only person who could possibly make me long for the days of Samantha Harris is Brooke Burke---the dumb hooch who currently fills that position.
Derek Hough is not with the cast this season, as he is a Hough and filming a movie. He'll probably be working on an album before long, but people don't tend to enjoy it that much whenever the Houghs or Mark Ballas pretend to be musicians. Derek started out on the show as awkward and uncomfortable, but grew to be such a fan favorite that the producers rigged the show by giving him the best partners over the last two seasons. The opposite could be said for how the producers feel about Lacey Schwimmer given her current partner.
Mark Ballas and Chelsea Kane opened Season 12 with a Foxtrot that showed off Chelsea's potential and her charming personality. She is cute and I suspect that America will root for her much more than they will get behind a "former" stripper. If Chelsea can improve her finesse and hold movements and connect them with more fluidity, she will possibly make the finals and certainly be in the final five. Mark's choreography was a bit bizarre at some points, but the producers always try to be a bit too creative with the music selections.
Then it was time for Wendy Williams. It seems that everyone has an opinion on Wendy the talk show host. I know several individuals who cannot stand her and I know those who think she is utterly fun and fabulous. Wendy has always had my support after her interview with Wendy Williams, but that doesn't mean I actually watch her show. From the beginning of her package, I could tell that Wendy Williams the DWTS contestant was going to be insufferable. Her only potential may be being one of the show's hottest messes. Poor Tony has another Kate Gosselin on his hands. Cue my mother complaining that they never seem to give her a top contender for a partner.
Wendy has repeatedly exclaimed how excited she is to be on the show. Color me curious than when she asked Tony Dovolani WHAT HIS NAME IS. Wendy absolutely discussed Kate Gosselin on her show. It is inexcusable for her to act so clueless. Most cast members would know Tony's permawhite smile from anywhere.
As a dancer, she has no potential. As Father Knows Best puts it, "she looks like a drag queen." After seeing Wendy's dancing, there was a reason for all of those tears we saw in rehearsal. Wendy will be traveling back and forth from NYC to LA to film her talk show and compete on the show. I suspect she won't be racking up many frequent flyer miles.
There was some speculation that Kendra Wilkinson would have loads of potential given her body's pliability and all the sex she's had. Mastering choreography appears to require a bit more brain power than she may be able to muster. Her partner, Louis van Amstel, is always doing dances about same sex marriage and tends to be forgettable at best. The popularity of the partner plays a big part in the voter support. Mommy Dearest sometimes forgets who the contestants are and will say, "Derek was so good tonight. Check out his tango! Mark was good, but I hate those faces he makes and what's with those things in his ears?!
Ralph Macchio earned the top score of the night and deservedly so, but I must say that Karina has always come across like a questionably trashy girl. She is certainly a step up from Lacey Schwimmer, but I didn't exactly miss her when she was off the show for a season after pissing off producers with her complaining.
It is amazing how Ralph hasn't aged since his days as a verifiable actor. How long until we hear Karina go on and on about how Ralph's career as a shitty actor helps him capture the character of the Tango and Paso Doble?! Ralph is certainly an unlikely front runner. We can only hope that Marissa Tomei will make a cameo in the audience.
Cheryl Burke looked fierce last night, but her partner is an utter dud. Note how good Cheryl has become with her faux encouragement after others perform. She is always standing and applauding even the shittiest of contestants. It is sad that there is unlikely to be any insinuation that Cheryl is sleeping with yet another one of her partners.
Sugar Ray Leonard adds charm and novelty factor to the cast, but he certainly isn't going to add a Mirror Ball Trophy to Anna's mantel.
Could Brooke's questions be even more transparently scripted? I doubt she even writes them herself, as it would probably take her far too long to think them up.
I don't think any of us will be missing Lacey Schwimmer when she is voted off the show in the next few weeks. There was hope that Mike Catherwood would be good, as he is young and attractive. Unfortunately, he actually had to dance. Not many people know who Mike Catherwood is and his brief stint on DWTS is unlikely to change that.
Lacey's Outfit: Discuss.
Chelsie Hightower is improving tremendously as one of the professionals on the show. Romeo is fine for someone dancing at a wedding, but he isn't the most natural of ballroom dancers. Chelsie was fabulous last night and allowed him to present her well. Romeo didn't do much content on his own, but he seems like someone who will improve once he gets used to the glitter and tight spandex pants.
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin have the potential to be a top six team. They are a bit of a forgotten couple, but they could surprise is. Petra will likely be too tall and awkward for a few dances, but the weakness of the rest of the field should give them ample time to improve. Dmitry remains completely adorable. It is a shame that he doesn't rip off his shirt more on this show.
Kym Johnson and Hines Ward have staying power. Hines has rhythm and good footwork and Kym is just oh so likable. The judges are always way more forgiving of the male contestants, thus, he looks more than capable of being a top contender.
If there was one couple I was excited to see, it was the sure-to-be entertaining pairing of Kirstie Alley and Maks. She had me at 'I'm a dancing with the starts ho.' Kirstie is a delightfully fun boiling pot of crazy and she is batshit enough to go anywhere and do anything on this show. Her support of Maks' hotness is also greatly appreciated and I'm glad we don't see him in a showmance this year. Kirstie seems to bring out a fun and actually nice side of Maks. His arguing with annoying no-nothing divas like Brandy and Erin Andrews grew tired.
Kirstie is an unlikely frontrunner, but the girl can move! It looks like the dancing is causing her to drop the pounds already. She is going to credit whatever flaky organic Scientologist weight-loss product she is on, but all of that cardio is doing wonders for her. I'm excited to see how good she'll be by the end of this show. Kirstie gets that the show is all about entertainment and I can't wait to see her packages from week to week. Kirstie has gone 'all in' for this show and really embraced it. Win or lose, the girl is going to make us laugh.
Note: Kristi Yamaguchi must have a throne in that ballroom. ABC always makes sure to show her being the HBIC of the ballroom (and of life.)