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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dancing With the Stars: move over macho, it’s ladies’ night

Last night, the ladies took the floor. And figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi showed her dance skills aren’t limited to the ice rink.

Yamaguchi earned the highest score of any contestant, male or female, with a whopping 27. Judge Bruno said it was one of the best first-round performances he’d ever seen and declared it “absolutely wicked.” I agree. Yamaguchi had beautiful lines and stunning moves, not a shock to anyone who has ever seen her skate. The question is will America vote for her, or will she suffer the Sabrina Bryan syndrome in that people think she’s so good she won’t need the votes or that her past experience gives her an unfair advantage? Time will tell.

Everyone was waiting to see deaf actress Marlee Matlin take the floor, and ABC took full advantage of that by making her the last female celebrity to dance. Way to force folks to watch the whole show, ABC! Matlin was great. Bruno said he counted throughout her number and she barely missed a beat. She received a standing ovation, as did Marissa Jaret Winokur and Priscilla Presley.

The biggest surprise of the night was that Presley, the oldest contestant, was one of the best dancers. The woman can move! Now, if they could only get her to smile and look like she’s having a good time. She so serious and tense I thought she was going to break out in tears at any moment. Dancing is fun, ‘Cilla, embrace it!

Someone who did embrace the dance was Marissa Jaret Winokur. What a fun, spunky gal. And she can dance! I never thought it was possible for anyone to smile more than former champ Helio Castroneves, but this girl did it. She is the definition of the word “inspiring.” I’m guessing she’s a double-digit size, not the typical size two we’re used to seeing on the show, yet she signed up for this competition that will force her to wear skimpy, body-baring costumes and compete against women who look like they stepped off a runway. You go girl! Her effort brought the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation. She could be a fan favorite. I know she’s one of mine already. That said, I have to chastise her partner Tony Dovolani for his choreography. They were doing the cha-cha, but he turned the number into a hip-hop piece, with hardly a cha-cha anywhere in sight. Sigh. Why, Tony, why? The girl can dance. Give her a shot. This isn’t the first time I’ve had issue with Tony’s choreography. When he was partnered with Stacy Keibler, I often thought he didn’t match the routine to her talent. What gives?

Shannon Elizabeth was the first contestant to dance, and she did a decent job. She was really stiff at times, though. But, her legs are incredible. Plus, she’s a lot of fun. Her tomboy gung-ho attitude made her quite charming to viewers.

Monica Seles looked beautiful in her “princess” gown, a nod to the fact that she never got to go to her prom due to her professional tennis commitments. However, her dancing left much to be desired. She’s such an awkward mover, I’m not sure she can turn her tennis skills into ballroom skills. She gets a 10 for effort, though.

My final comment isn’t about the dancers but co-host Samantha Harris. No offense to Harris, but as a viewer I sometimes have trouble understanding her. She seems to swallow her words, not to mention that she constantly awkwardly cuts off the contestants mid-sentence. I’m begging ABC. Please, please, please bring back Drew Lachey as a co-host. He has great comic rapport with host Tom Bergeron, and unlike Harris, he seems so at ease talking with the celebrities.

On Monday, the results of this week’s dance will be revealed and one female and one male will go home. I’m guessing it will be Seles and Penn Jillette, but I could be wrong.

So, who are you rooting for, now that we’ve seen all the contestants dance? Share your picks in the comments below.

4 comments:

Macy said...

Kristi was great. She's going to be hard to beat.

I agree with you TTG about Priscilla. Wow, she was fantastic. Just beautiful moves.

Monica should go, but she's probably more popular than that Shannon Elizabeth.

Macy said...

Kristi was great. She's going to be hard to beat.

I agree with you TTG about Priscilla. Wow, she was fantastic. Just beautiful moves.

Monica should go, but she's probably more popular than that Shannon Elizabeth.

Shayna said...

I loved Marissa. What a firecracker. Good for her for showing all those size twos that you don't have to have that model-looking anorexic body to dance well. Go Marissa.

Anonymous said...

I was in awe of what Marlee did. She danced better than Monica, who could actually hear the music.

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