Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Travis Cody in

It's finally live from Hollywood!

This is a great week gang.  Spring officially begins on Wednesday.  The NCAA Tournament begins tonight with two of the four games that are known as the First Four.  The Hobbit DVD is available tomorrow.

And dancing premiered last night!!

We had our cheese, our bread, our nice merlot, and our CAKE.  And then, they danced!

Kellie Picker and Derek Hough dance Cha Cha Cha.  Oh what a sexy Lady!  Amazing leggsses!  Full of personality and confidence.  No inhibitions at all about getting out there and just doing her thing.  I see some good technique and I see some mistakes.  About those sexy leggsses...sometimes they were a little stiff, which caused her to hunch her shoulders forward.  But all of the potential is right there for Kellie.  Derek is going to mold her into an outstanding dancer.  I'm really excited for this pair.  It helps that I remember how charming Kellie could be from watching her on Idol.  I really like that she was just ready to go and do without worrying about anything at all.  She trusted Derek and Derek trusted her.  Well done!  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21. 

Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold dance Foxtrot.  I like that he has control and precision with his hands, but he'll have to learn to keep that control but loosen his fingers a little bit.  He's also a little heavy with his feet.  However, he did have some moments of graceful gliding, particularly in the turns.  I could see how much he enjoyed what he was doing.  He was able to keep his head up and his shoulders back through most of the dance.  He also provided a nice frame for Lindsay.  I think Lindsay did a fine job in her first piece of choreography.  She let Victor show off his charm and kept things simple for him.  I think they can have some fun together.  Nicely done.  Judges say 6s across for a total of 18.

Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson dance Contemporary.  This is new for the season and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I guess we'll see how well each pair dances, and how well the pros can choreograph.  I like the way Kym has interpreted the music.  Since Ingo is an athlete as well as an actor, he's doing a fine job with the lifts and conveying the emotion of the piece.  I thought that was pretty well done.  They told a romantic story with the dance and brought the music to life.  There were some very strong lines in the piece.  For me, I'm just looking to connect with a Contemporary performance and be moved to some emotion by it.  I do worry that scoring these particular routines is going to be more subjective than normal.  I enjoyed this piece.  Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.

Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko dance Foxtrot.  The little dog thing is a bit annoying.  For a young pro, Gleb has done a great job of providing a strong presence without dancing beyond Lisa.  He showed her off very well and injected enough personality to overcome her awkward stumbling.  She has to get her feet under her and get control of her center.  Gleb slowed her down and helped her recover during some balance issues.  But she needs to get her shoulders back and pull in her core, and the way to do that is to connect opposite hips.  So get over the silly sexual BS and learn how to relax in the frame Gleb makes.  On a positive note, she had some elegant moments with her arms.  Judges say 6s across for a total of 18.

DL Hughley and Cheryl Burke dance Cha Cha Cha.  Uh oh.  No rhythm.  Very little hip action.  Very heavy feet.  There was more walking than dancing.  He didn't have much musicality.  He's such a funny guy and I like his comedy, but about the only thing positive I can say about the dancing is that he didn't really miss any steps.  But I'm stretching it because there's putting one foot down and then the next foot down in the right series of steps, and then there's feeling the music and connecting with your partner.  I can forgive bad dancing as long as there's some effort to have a good time.  I didn't see any of his personality.  He's a funny guy, and there was none of that in the performance.  Too bad.  Judges say 4s across for a total of 12.  Ouch.

Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy dance Contemporary.  She's got some hip hop training and she's only 16.  Now we get to see Val be age appropriate.  This was probably the best style for her to get in the first week.  It allows her just to be herself.  She understands how to move her body in dance.  She's so expressive and comes across as incredibly mature as a dancer.  I'm sure she'll have some teenager moments on the show, but I like what I see so far.  Val put together a wonderful piece that emphasized youth and joy.  She has grace and elegance, combined with style and confidence.  Outstanding work.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.

Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd dance Foxtrot.  He sure came a long way from the awkwardness from the rehearsal footage.  I don't know how he's going to handle Latin, but he did a credible job with this Foxtrot.  He managed to look strong and confident.  I saw some moments where his posture was strong and he provided a good frame for Peta.  He definitely needs to work on control and subtlety.  For a guy without a lot of natural rhythm or musicality, he's going to have to take his cue from Peta and learn how to feel the music rather than focus on the steps.  That's not easy to do when you've never danced much before.  Judges say 7,6,6 for a total of 19.

Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas dance Cha Cha Cha.  The toughest thing for gymnasts to do is to let go of the precise control of their movement.  You can see that fight in her legs and hips.  Her upper body is all about having a great time and you can see that in her face at times.  Then her legs lock up and short circuit her hips, and you can see that in her face too.  She has some natural rhythm and high energy.  I suspect she'll rise to the challenge.  She's got some sass and playfulness, which came through in that Cha Cha Cha.  Once she realizes that she can do this, I think she'll be OK.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.

Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus dance Contemporary.  Ahhh.  Believe it or not, she's one of my heroes from when I was a kid.  I saw her skate in the Ice Capades.  I can't put into words what it means to see her on this show.  She's just a little tentative in some of her movements.  Tristan took advantage of the style to put together a piece that she would be comfortable with, because so much of it looked like what she might do on the ice.  I can't criticize anything about her.  I'll leave that to others.  I loved the choreography and the interpretation of the music.  To me, she will always be grace and elegance and joy and love.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.

Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovolani dance Cha Cha Cha.  I worry a little bit about her stamina.  She's got sass and attitude though.  She's going to have fan base too.  I love her confidence.  There may not be much hip shaking in this Cha Cha Cha, but there was definitely aplomb and style.  I thought her dancing was restrained and controlled.  Maybe she was a little self-conscious, but I also thought she put her feet in all the right places.  I expected musicality, which she had, but I was surprised at her rhythm.  I thought her timing was excellent.  I actually think she's going to do very well.  Judges say 6s across for a total of 18.

Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess dance Foxtrot.  He got sober and I respect that.  He's not awful.  In fact, I think there's a charm and an odd elegance to his movement.  That was actually pretty good.  Sharna made a terrific routine and he worked hard to get it right.  There are certainly areas to improve.  He needs to smooth out his movement, improve his footwork, and relax his hands.  There was a bit of jerkiness in places.  But it wasn't as bad as some first efforts I've seen, and it was better than a lot of others I've seen.  If you're trying to stay sober and rehab your public image, that was a credible step in the journey.  Judges say 6,5,6 for a total of 17.

Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff dance Cha Cha Cha.  OK.  Emmitt Smith played for the Cowboys, but I let that slide because he was such a charming dancer.  Same with Hines Ward, who played for the Steelers and I'm a Raider fan.  But Jones...he beat my 49ers just a couple of months ago.  Lots of work to be done by this guy to make me do anything but snarl.  Especially since the first clip they show is the kick off return to start the second half of the dang Super Bowl.  I will allow that he's got rhythm and musicality.  He's coming off knee surgery, so he had less time to train and learn the dance than anyone else.  I will allow that he had great energy in his performance.  But I'm still snarling.  He has to work on dancing to his height so that the size difference between him and Karina isn't so pronounced.  Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.

Here's our very first leader board of Season 16:

24 Zendaya and Val
21 Kellie and Derek
21 Aly and Mark
21 Dorothy and Tristan
20 Jacoby and Karina
20 Ingo and Kym
19 Sean and Peta
18 Wynonna and Tony
18 Victor and Lindsay
18 Lisa and Gleb
17 Andy and Sharna
12 DL and Cheryl

YAY!  Life is good.  Dancing is back. 

Pam and I agree on Dorothy, Kellie, and Wynonna.  Our votes went to those three.  We also think that Zendaya is terrific and we'll probably throw some votes her way at some point.  And maybe Aly too.  In fact, we're leaning toward most of the ladies after the first night. 

Tune in tonight for highlights of the first performance show.  All of our couples will dance again next Monday before first results next Tuesday.  And don't forget to check back here tomorrow for encores!

Later gang!


  1. I truly enjoyed last night. I am thrilled for Kellie. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
    I didn't see anything from DL that would lead me to believe he will be here past next Tuesday. Originally I had concerns for Wynonna, but I think she will outlast DL and Lisa. Yes, Lisa needs to LOSE the dog and the drama queen silliness and learn to dance. Jacoby's problem is size. He can't just turn loose and dance or he will be 30 feet further down the dance floor than his partner. It will look like that kick-off return that you're still upset about. Still, I think it going to be a great season. I'd watch it if Kellie were the only contestant.

  1. Cherie says:

    I thought it was a very respectable first show of the season. But, DL Hughley? Yikes. Unless he improves greatly next week, I think he's going to be the sacrificial lamb. They always seem to have one for the first elimination week. I'll need to have a few more weeks to settle on who I'll be pulling for this go around. :)

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  1. Jean(ie) says:

    Everyone was talking about it today at the craft store. The consensus was that DL will get the boot.

    I love it that you two have a date night with DWTS....

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think I got to see all of the dances the first night. Last night, not so much. My souvenir sinus infection/ear infection, etc. from my recent trip kicked into high gear and I didn't see the highlights. I was impressed with more of the ladies than the men for right now anyway, GGG

  1. Glad you got dancing back and I know the NCAA is what you wait for each year...

    Not sure how much dancing I will see this year, so I will be here to read read read