Stars: Chelsea Kane, Kirstie Alley, Wendy Williams, Hines Ward, Petra Nemcova, Romeo, Sugar Ray Leonard, Kendra Wilkinson, Ralph Macchio, Chris Jericho, Mike Catherwood
Network: ABC, airs Mondays, Tuesdays
Original Telecast: March 21, 2011
And so it begins … Season 12 of DANCING WITH THE STARS. Those who were expected to wow us – Sugar Ray Leonard – only mildly amused us and those who were expected to flail and flop on the dance floor – Kirstie Alley – came out fighting! Who would have thought the “original” Karate Kid Ralph Macchio had such showmanship and grace? Macchio leads the pack of eleven stars and their now more famous pros. As the line between pro dancer and celebrity blurs, DWTS is back with some old favorites and some new B-listers! Let the dancing begin!
Chelsea Kane (Disney Channel Star) and her partner Mark Ballas
It was a modest, yet charming beginning for the DC actress who danced the Foxtrot with two-time DWTS champion Ballas. Kane has great chemistry with Ballas which will get her by for awhile but she also shows charisma and talent on the floor. Judges Len Goodman thought she did a very good job as did Bruno Tonioli who said she had a pure afterglow. Carrie Ann Inaba said Kane had a lot of potential.
Scores: Inaba – 7, Goodman – 7, Tonioli –7 Harland – 8
Wendy Williams (Syndicated Talk Show Host) and her partner Tony Dovolani
Williams seemed nervous and timid, surprisingly if you know anything about her. She is big in all ways. Something held her back tonight. She was slow with her Cha Cha Cha and barely kept up with Dovolani. Goodman was also surprised asking her to bring her personality to the dance floor next time. Tonioli thinks she looked like a virgin out there. And Inaba wants her to unleash the beast within.
Scores: Inaba – 5, Goodman – 4, Tonioli – 5 Harland – 5
Hines Ward (Football Star) and his partner Kym Johnson
He can moooove! He has great rhythm, great hip action and a great smile. And best of all he has oodles of sex appeal and that oozes out onto the dance floor. Inaba liked his smile, Goodman liked his Cha Cha Cha-ing bum and Tonioli thought he was a natural performer.
Scores: Inaba – 7, Goodman – 7, Tonioli – 7 Harland – 8
Petra Nemcova (Supermodel) and her partner Dmitry Chaplin
She has the gams. She has the limbs. Now Nemcova needs to learn how to use them. She needs to push herself a little bit more. Extend… extend… extend! Goodman was charmed by her Foxtrot. Tonioli wanted her to link together better and Inaba thought she looked stunning.
Scores: Inaba – 6, Goodman –6, Tonioli – 6 Harland – 7
Romeo (rapper/actor) and his partner Chelsie Hightower
Well, considering his father Master P was the worst contestant on DWTS EVER! all Romeo has to do is not suck and he will gain back some dignity for his family. Good news! He doesn’t suck! He is actually pretty good. Inaba thought his Cha Cha Cha was sexy for days. Tonioli thought there was something there but it was a bit messy. Goodman countered telling Romeo there are rules to obey in this competition.
Scores: Inaba – 7, Goodman – 6, Tonioli – 6, Harland –6
Sugar Ray Leonard (Boxing Great) and his partner Anna Trebunskaya
C’mon man! You are the most charismatic boxer since Muhammad Ali. Let’s see some of that on the dance floor! When he loosened up he was fun to watch. The rest of the time he was too busy looking like…well, like he wasn’t having any fun. Inaba did think he looked a little like Ben Vereen in his Foxtrot and Tonioli said there was some sugar and spice there but Goodman thought his elegant Foxtrot was more like a beer and a pizza than a nice Merlot and a filet mignon.
Scores: Inaba – 6, Goodman – 5, Tonioli – 6, Harland – 6
Kendra Wilkinson (Reality TV Star) and her partner Louis van Amstel
She can shake it. Everyone knows that, but her posture is in need of some serious help. Her Cha Cha Cha needed a bit more content and when it comes to more contained dances like the Waltz the question is is she going to be able to pull off refinement? Time will tell. Goodman told her to straighten her legs and Inaba told her to work on her spots – whatever that means – while Tonioli was concerned with her not strutting her stuff enough.
Scores: Inaba – 6, Goodman – 6, Tonioli – 6, Harland – 6
Ralph Macchio (Actor) and his partner Karina Smirnoff
He is and will always be “The Original Karate Kid”. Sorry Hilary Swank. Sorry Jaden Smith. Ralph Macchio is still the king of karate and evidently he is also the king of the dance floor. He can still kick and glide effortlessly. And he still looks like, well, Ralph Macchio. It’s hard to believe he is 49! Ouch, I feel old. He is cute, long legged and shows good extensions. And most importantly he is an audience pleaser. The judges ranked him number one for week one. Tonioli thought he had great showmanship and Inaba thought he showed tremendous elegance. Goodman was impressed although he did think he was a bit rough around the edges.
Scores: Inaba – 8, Goodman – 8, Tonioli – 8, Harland – 8
Chris Jericho (Wrestler) and his partner Cheryl Burke
He is big and he is bulky. He needs to relax and show a smoother side to his dancing. His Cha Cha Cha needed some spunk and some movement. He was walking through most of it. Still, he looked good. Inaba thought so too saying he looked like a Chippendale Cha Cha Cha’er. Goodman thought maybe his hips were allergic to the music. Tonioli said he was a beast.
Scores: Inaba – 7, Goodman – 6, Tonioli – 6 Harland – 6
Mike Catherwood (Radio Talk Show Host) and his partner Lacey Schwimmer
He’s not bad – he’s just not very good either. He is trying, it seems, but an A for effort gets you nowhere on DWTS. But he does have some personality and charisma to offer, unfortunately it’s not combined with any technique, at least not in his Foxtrot. Goodman said he had little dance ability. Inaba thought he had a hard time keeping up and Tonioli said he was uncoordinated.
Scores: Inaba – 5, Goodman – 4, Tonioli – 4, Harland – 5
Kirstie Alley (Actress) and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy
For pure entertainment purposes alone she is worth watching but there is MORE to her than that! She can dance! She is agile and she is pliable and she can shake her booty! Tonioli couldn’t wait to pun her with Look Who’s Dancing! Inaba thought she was working it. And Goodman said watching her made him feel good.
Scores: Inaba – 8, Goodman – 7, Tonioli – 8 Harland – 8