Dancing with the Stars

Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 by Travis Cody in

It's back!

Pam and I have had our dinner...some wonderful take out from our favorite Chinese place.

We've got our CAKE...Boston Creme CAKE.

We've got a nice Merlot.

We are ready for some Dancing! So cue that theme music bay-bee!

We're such geeks! We can't stop smiling.

It's a full night...13 pairs and 13 dances. On Tuesday, one pair will be eliminated and then the remaining 12 will dance. Then one more pair will be eliminated on Wednesday.

Tonight we're dancing Foxtrot and Cha Cha Cha.

Foxtrot is characterized by smooth and elegant movements with continuous forward and backward patterns in a slow, quick, quick, slow tempo. Most of the pairs will do American Smooth. I was looking for a clip in that style, but I came across this slow foxtrot that is simply beautiful. Please enjoy Jonathan Wilkins & Katusha Demidova, 9-time United States Professional Standard Ballroom Champions.

Now Cha Cha Cha is characterized by cheeky and flirtatious movements with quick compact steps in a 5 step to 4 beat tempo. This is Maks' little brother Valentin with Valeria Kozharinova.

So let's see how our celebs do.

Cody Linley and Julianne Hough dance Cha Cha Cha. This is a great dance for the youngest pair ever to compete on the show. Ha! Julianne is actually older than her partner for a change. They need to make sure to keep it young and fresh. He's definitely a performer, but he'll need to work on his hip action. He's also just a bit clumsy with his footwork. But they do have chemistry together and it's always tough to go first. They had plenty of energy and they can play to the crowd. He has potential and I suspect they'll stick around for awhile. Judges say 6's across for a total of 18. That could have gotten at least one 7, just for the performance value. It was fun to watch.

Rocco Dispirito and Karina Smirnoff dance Foxtrot. Karina severely sprained her ankle in rehearsals and was rushed to the hospital. Rocco came a long way from what we saw in the rehearsal footage. He still needs to work on his posture and he's got very little musicality. He had energy and he was charming, but he was awkward and clunky. Foxtrot should be smooth and elegant, and that wasn't. He's relying on his personality, which might not be enough. Karina did great on a bum ankle, but then we expect that from the pros. But her choreography couldn't hid a lot of flaws. Judges say 5,4,5 for a total of 14. Ouch, but we can't really disagree.

Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo dance Cha Cha Cha. We're expecting a lot from this pair. Toni is coming back from a serious issue with her heart and is working through her fear of exerting herself. She's got the moves and the potential, and she certainly understands what it takes to perform. She needs to extend her arms and watch her hand positions...they were a little flat and her legs were soft. But everything else is there. They just need to refine it and she really needs to let go and dance. She's comfortable on the stage, so she really shouldn't be nervous. Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22. We'll agree with that.

Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke dance Foxtrot. Oddly enough, after that little funky beginning, we expected him to really let go but he got kind of stiff. They have good energy together, but this was not a smooth and elegant Foxtrot at all. Cheryl choreographed a dance to take advantage of his personality. We enjoyed it, but the footwork wasn't very good. The dance was entertaining, and he definitely shows that he's enjoying himself. But the posture suffered in hold and he looked awkward and uncomfortable. There's plenty of potential though. Juges say 6's across for a total of 18. Hmmm...like with Cody & Julianne, maybe there could have been a 7 in there.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough dance Cha Cha Cha. Oh. Oh. Oh. Now why did they cover up those beautiful LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS? They have great chemistry together. She's got the hips going, although in spots she was a bit awkward with her footwork. Derek choreographed very well for her and led her through it expertly. She's gorgeous and she really knows how to perform. All she needs to do is get over being nervous and she's going to do well in the Latin dances. That was HAWT. Judges say 7,8,8 for a total of 23. Yup...she gets the 8's for being HAWT, but we need to see LEGS LEGS LEGS next time.

Ted McGinley and Inna Brayer dance Foxtrot. I see. The first odd music choice...God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. LOL! But, I must say that we finally had an elegant Foxtrot. He was tall and reasonably graceful without looking too silly. It was smooth in parts and the two of them looked good dancing together. The best parts of the dance were in hold, where Ted was surprisingly strong and bold. His footwork was good and he mostly kept his balance when they were in hold. Where he ran into trouble was when he let his nerves get the best of him, and that was when they were out of hold. Props to Inna...she made a very nice dance to capitalize on his strengths. Judges say 6's across for a total of 18. We'll agree with that.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer dance Cha Cha Cha. This is going to be a fun pair. We expect a lot here. And we're doing Cha Cha Cha to Jumpin' Jack Flash. Lacey managed to put all kinds of Cha Cha Cha content in that dance and make it fresh and modern without losing the basics of the style. And Lance may claim to be the worst dancer in N'Sync, but he can Latin just fine. Mr Cranky Pants reared his ugly head...he didn't care for the modern content. But the thing to notice in that dance was that it had lots of competition Cha Cha Cha to it. It was edgy and smokin' and outstanding. Judges say 8,6,8 for a total of 22. Ppppppppfffffftttttttt! Come on Len...that's just silly to be such a grump. That should have been 8's across.

Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas dance Foxtrot. I'm so glad we get to see her in ballroom style. She'll have too much trouble with the Latin dances. We love Cloris...she's just delightful. She's not the best dancer, she's not going to win, and she may not advance past this first dance, but you know she's going to get some votes. We enjoyed her. The woman is 82 years old! The dance was elegant and smooth, for all the content it lacked. And she's such a wonderful comedic talent. Absolutely hilarious! It was the Cloris Leachman show! Bleucher! **insert insane horse whinnies here** Judges say 6,5,5 for a total of 16. That score is too high. The thing that disappoints us a bit is that we probably won't get to see much of Corky Ballas, but he was certainly the right pro to pair with Ms Leachman.

Jeffrey Ross and Edyta Sliwinska dance Cha Cha Cha. Jeff was poked in the eye during rehearsal and has a scratched cornea and an eye patch. Dang. I guess the best you can say is that he tried. He has no rhythm and no musicality. No technique, awkward and clunky, no chemistry with Edyta. How do you not have chemistry with Edyta???? I'm afraid we're not going to have Edyta's LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS for too long. But you know what? He took it seriously and didn't make fun of it. He wasn't obnoxious. He did the steps with a scratched eye. Judges say 4's across for a total of 12. That was generous.

Kim Kardashian and Mark Ballas dance Foxtrot. She is gorgeous. Oh more LEGS LEGS LEGS. Yikes! It's Foxtrot to the theme from the Pink Panther. She's not terribly engaging on stage. The dance was a bit boring. They didn't connect very well with each other or with the audience. She had fairly good footwork, but she was a bit stiff and not very musical. It was more precise than it was smooth or elegant. There is potential there, but we were actually expecting a bit more. This is the first time Mark has had a partner who wasn't a natural, so it'll be interesting to see how he approaches the Latin style. Judges say 6,7,6 for a total of 19. Now this one we think should have been 6's across.

Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani dance Cha Cha Cha. She's just a little tiny beautiful woman, and we were really rooting for her to do well. She was just a bit too nervous and tentative. This was a tough dance for her to begin with because you really need to let go and just have fun and be cheeky with Cha Cha Cha. She struggled with that. Tony made a good dance for her, slowing it down and controlling it, but her musicality wasn't good and she lost her steps several times. She wasn't able to relax and she just let her nerves get the better of her. We could tell that she was just trying to remember the dance. We think she'll be much better suited to the ballroom styles, if she makes it through. Judges say 5's across for a total of 15. That's a shame, but we have to agree with the score. We really did want her to do well.

Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy dance Foxtrot. Maks is such an amazing teacher and choreographer. Misty is so clearly a jock, but he's already working magic so that she looks much more graceful than we expected. But dang! She's got some guns on her! They were smooth, elegant, and graceful together, which is a huge challenge for her. She is so focused and she seems to have an innate musicality. There were a few rough spots where she lost her footwork, but Maks will square away any issues with her technique. She's going to get a lot better very quickly. Judges say 6,8,7 for a total of 21. Yeah...we can see how the judges would be all over the board for her.

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson dance Cha Cha Cha. We had no idea what to expect from Warren, other than that he might be light on his feet. But whoa! That man can move! He surprised us just like Emmitt Smith did. He's a big man, but he has tremendous control over his movement. And he has that charming personality. He's got the footwork, that great big smile, lots of chemistry with Kym, and he understands how to compete. The dance had energy and musicality. It was fun and entertaining, and very well danced. Yup...it was cheeky like a Cha Cha Cha should be. There were a few technique issues, and a mistake in the middle, but they covered well. YAY for Kym! Judges say 7's across for a total of 21. that should have had a couple of 8's.

Here's our first leader board:

23 Brooke and Derek
22 Lance and Lacey
22 Toni and Alec
21 Warren and Kym
21 Misty and Maks
19 Kim and Mark
18 Cody and Julianne
18 Ted and Inna
18 Maurice and Cheryl
16 Ms Cloris and Corky
15 Ms Susan and Tony
14 Rocco and Karina
12 Jeff and Edyta

We weren't sure what to expect from this group of celebrities. And although the pairs didn't set any scoring records like they did last season, there's some potential. There are some pretty clear early eliminations, we don't see a clear front runner after the first night. Pam and I think the competition is wide open. And that's great!

We have a special connection to Lacey Schwimmer because she comes from So You Think You Can Dance. I voted for Lacey...I mean Lance & Lacey...and also for Warren & Kym. Pam voted for Misty & Maks and for Lance & Lacey.

Tune in tonight at 9pm when one couple will be eliminated and the remaining 12 pairs will dance again for votes.

We are so happy to have our show back!


  1. So, Trav - I take it you're a leg man? My hubman doesn't even know they have legs...What can I say?
    You know, I'm so out of sync that I don't know the actors from the dancers! Thanks for spelling stuff out for me - I need all the help I can get!

  1. Anndi says:

    I KNEW you'd say something about the "hidden legs" LOLOLOL

    I didn't give away too much when I was watching with Chicklet, did I?

    I LOVED it! LOVED it! LOVED it!


    No... I'm not excited.... ;)

  1. DrillerAA says:

    Yep, Edyta pulled out the legs and the abs, but I fear to no avail. Like you, at least Jeffry wasn't a jerk, which is more than can be said for Master P, Adam Carolla and a couple of other past contestants with no ability. He's in deep trouble because he has no real fan base to get him past the first round.

  1. Sanni says:

    YAY! I love it, too! Although it was a bit hard for me to concentrate after I read the magic words...

    Boston Creme Cake and Merlot *g*

    The b*tch is still on a diet, ya know :-) - to get the LEGS LEGS LEGS back in shape *wink*

  1. Hah! We voted for the same two pairs Trav! I am Lance all the way as I said on my blog.

    Brooke Burke has beautiful lines and I think if she can inject a bit of personality in it she will be one to watch.

    Warren The Sack Dance Sapp was a total surprise! Seriously he made me wanna get up and shake it.

    Kim K and her booty were boring to me. Just yawn.

    Ms. Leachman needs a special award all her own.

  1. Kimmie says:

    Hi Trav And Pam!
    Beautiful re-cap! I *LOVED* last nights show. :-) I have to agree with every thing you said here. It was spot on.

    I personally loved Lance and Lacey the best, then Brooke and Warren. It was alot of fun to watch all of the performers though. Cloris Leachmen had me in stitches! She was a riot. I would love to see her stay around for a bit just so she can feel the love of everyone who is watching her. I applaud her to take on such a difficult task such as this. She is 82 and still wowwing us with her presence, the dancing, well she did the best that she had I am sure. But goodness she is still so very funny! :-)

    I Can't wait for tonight! :-)

    Oh, and you's had *CAKE*! I had yogurt, there is something wrong with this picture! Whaaaa! ;-)

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    After your wonderful review I felt like I was watching. I'm with Pam on her choices. I picked Lance and Misty even before the show :o)

  1. cake and merlot.... YUM!

    sounds like a perfect evening.

  1. Marsha says:

    What a great first show! There's thoses that SHOULD go this week and there's those that show us promise for good dancing down the line. Let the games (dancing) begin!!

  1. Mags says:

    I love that this show makes you and Pam smile so much! It's nice to have those things in our lives, isn't it?

  1. Akelamalu says:

    You're excited aren't you Trav? LOL

    Celebrity Strictly Come Dancing started here on Saturday too, so I'm excited too!

  1. See? I never feel as if I actually have to watch the show; you give such great recaps!

  1. Bond says:

    I was totally behind Warren and he was great. Jeff Ross made Penn look like Fred Astaire...LOL

    Why did they cover up Brooke's legs? Sacrilege!

    I was also surprised that Kim K danced so well, though she has the personality of a wall...

    Had a technical glitch, so missed Susan Lucci....

    Cloris was a scream after the dance and has a mouth like a truck driver...the censor's better be ready if she gets eliminated...LOL

  1. Jamie says:

    That Foxtrot was amazing. Autumn Leaves in the original French with that beautiful vibrant orange dress. It was incredible on so many different levels.

  1. Bond says:

    With the Radio Show tonight, I will be watching with one eye....and TiVo'ing to go back and look at it again

  1. Okay, okay...I admit it...I'm only here for the CAKE.

  1. I watched almost all of the three hours...knowing anything I had to miss would be here....laughing.

    I have no faves yet....but there are many great choices!

  1. she is 82??? man she looks grrrrreat!

    smiles, bee

  1. Travis says:

    Gracie: I love the legs all the way down to those lovely feet in those amazing shoes!

    Ann: Well it's obvious they don't want drool puddles that the dancers might slip in. And no you didn't give too much away. LOL!

    Drilleraa: Agreed, unless he picks up some sympathy votes for the eye. But I can't really see him going past tonight.

    Sanni: Mmmmmm...LEGS! But you know we always get the non-fat sugar-free CAKE!

    Starr: We'll see how Warren does tonight with ballroom style. That's going to seal the deal as to whether he's really got what it takes.

    Kimmie: This group of celebs may not have all the natural dancers that last year's group had, but I think that's going to make it much more fun to watch.

    Ivanhoe: Misty has so much potential and she has the perfect partner to bring it out.

    Lois: I was. And we're all set to repeat tonight!

    Marsha: You said it!

  1. Travis says:

    Mags: It's great! And we need it because we both work too damn hard not to have some fun when we come home.

    Akelamalu: What gave me away? Bwahahahahahahaaaa! I saw some clips from SCD while I was searching for the Foxtrot and Cha Cha Cha videos...there's some good pro talent on your show too.

    Songbird: One does one's best!

    V: We better see some LEGS from Brooke tonight...we're gonna loose Edyta and we need a replacement. "Personality of a wall"...bwahahahahahahaaa! That's a perfect description.

    Jamie: After watching that, I knew that was the clip I wanted. Just stunning.

    V: Now will that one eye be on the shoes? LOL!

    Lana: And there's nothing wrong with stopping by for some CAKE.

    Katherine: It's gonna be quite the season.

    Bee: Doesn't she? And she's so silly!

  1. Linda says:

    I turned the show on briefly, Travis, and then I thought that rather than watch it myself, I'd just come over and read your reviews instead! You always post the best videos, I don't have to listen to Tom Bergeron, and there are no commercial interruptions!

  1. jennifer says:

    You are in your element now!! Glad that you and Pam are having fun with your show again. And NO, we didn't watch!!!! The kids watched Chicken Little and I corrected stuff on my blog post :)

    C Leachman?!!

    The color for today is now BLACK. As in Georgia has chosen to do the "black out" against Alabama this weekend. Because we are FABULOUS.

  1. Brooke and Derek and Lacey and Lance are right on up there. Len needs to pull out the stick

  1. Leigh says:

    Good review. Agreed on some, and not so on others. I cant wait to see what ya thought of tonight.

  1. TopChamp says:

    cool - I love the way you describe the dances. It really gives me a good image and it's really interesting to hear your point of view. Over here ours has started too (Strictly come dancing). The boys performed and they weren't too bad. I am too lazy for the early rounds - I like it when the girls and boys are in the same programme so a good few more need to be knocked out before I'll be really interested.

  1. Julie says:

    Yeah..it's going to be a good season! God bless Youtube until I get caught up!

    *goes searching for fav clips*

    A little Maksim anyone?