Kirstie Alley shows ‘em how it’s done
Last night wasn’t just any Monday night, it was the return of Dancing With the Stars Monday night. Trumpets sounded, doves were released, people misguidedly dubbed ’stars’ danced. All on ABC, I swear! And it could have been worse–but isn’t that usually true with reality shows?
First to dance were Mark Ballas and Chelsea Kane (the Disney tween star). Together they performed a decent foxtrot–give Chelsea some credit, I mean, female Disney child stars do try to become triple threats, so she has to be at least a passable dancer. They did all right, with the judges giving them 7s across the board.
Next up is talk show (and former radio) host Wendy Williams, who most people know from The Soup. She’s ridiculous, but she knows it and it works for her. “How you doin’?!” Things are not looking so good in her rehearsal footage, as she cries all over partner Tony Dovolani. It’s the first rehearsal, Wendy! Pull yourself together! Their cha cha does not inspire confidence, nor does it shout Wendy Williams. She’s stiff and timid, not brash and exuberant like one might expect. Oh, Wendy! Her scores (a 5, a 4, a 5), are not particularly great. Hang in there, sister!
Hines Ward, token professional athlete, is (compared to past pro athletes) a tiny little man. And that’s a good thing, because these dancing ladies tend to be tiny little women. Hines is a terrible dancer–you’d think a football player, regardless of size, would have a bit more grace. He even drops his partner, Kym Johnson, during rehearsal (smooth move, man). But, for all that, he’s not terrible at the cha cha (two cha chas in a row!). The man oozes charm and charisma, and that makes up for the lack of skillz. He comes up with straight 7s, just like Disney princess Chelsea (performance vs. technique).
Supermodel and tsunami survivor Petra Nemcova was next on the scene, with partner (and So You Think You Can Dance alum) Dmitry Chaplin. Her pelvis was broken during the tsunami, which might limit some of her movement. Less concerned she seems to be (a little Yoda for you) about her height; I’ll tell you now, model does not automatically equal graceful (much like athletes). And they do a foxtrot, and it’s fine. Straight 6s from the judges.
(Formerly Lil’) Romeo (Miller) is not only a rapper (I feel like that should be ‘former rapper’), but an actor, too! After this show, will he be a dancer? Time will tell. He is partnered with another SYTYCD alum, Chelsie Hightower, and thinks she’s smokin’ hot. Well, she is. I thought he’d be better, being a performer and all, but he’s stiff and messy. Terrible as he is at the cha cha, his father (Master P) was worse, so I guess that’s something. A 7 and two 6s for (Lil’) Romeo!
Boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard does his best! But he was okay, overall. Good energy and performance with partner Anna Trebunskaya, poor skillz. There is room for improvement, but you know, not terrible for a foxtrot. I did pick him as the winner, and I might be rethinking that now. Two 6s and one 5 for Mr. Leonard.
Kendra Wilkinson. Oh, girl. What you lack in musicality you sort of make up for with enthusiasm. Louis van Amstel probably agrees with me, although you looked like a deer in the headlights last night, doing your ‘classy’ cha cha. I think it’s admirable that you’re considered a star enough for this show (perhaps it’s all those Us Weeklies and People covers you’ve done), so you earned your sixes.
The Karate Kid! Ralph Macchio! He looks the same as he did back then (just like Mark Hamill). He won’t stop over-analyzing everything and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, has to rein him in a bit. Deep breaths, Daniel-san! They foxtrot to Frank Sinatra, and he’s pretty good! Smooth moves! Surprisingly excellent, I think–everyone is surprised! They get the highest scores of the night: eights all around!
I used to watch WWE (and Best Week Ever), so I am familiar with Chris Jericho. Unfortunately, Chris Jericho is not so familiar with dancing. Cheryl Burke does what she can, and he doesn’t look bad, just inconsistent. With small movements. The judges think it was pretty good, entertaining, and give him slightly higher marks than I would (a 7 and two 6s).
I have never heard of “Psycho” Mike Catherwood, who must have the patience of a saint to put up with the horrible Dr. Drew Pinsky on Loveline. And he’s not very good; SYTYCD alum Lacey Schwimmer does what she can (aww her hair looks gross), but wow. They pulled the foxtrot, and… well, not very good. They receive the lowest scores of the night: two 4s and a 5. Suck it up and dance!
Last, but not least, is 60 (!) year old Kirstie Alley, who is many things to many people. She has trouble keeping up with Maks Chmerkovskiy in rehearsal, but who wouldn’t? And lemme tell ya, Kirstie is GOOD. She is a GREAT dancer! She works it left, right, and center! She cha chas the heck out of this cha cha. Talk about a dark horse! The judges are totally into it, and reward her with two 8s and a 7. You go, girl!
Man–I thought this season would be sad and boring. So far, I’m glad to be proven wrong!