Dancing with the Stars S18E1 by BB
I’m going to skip all the guest appearances, extra dancing and most of the background info and get right to the competitive part. New hostess Erin Andrews’ voice is a little annoying, but she’s definitely more comfortable in front of a camera. than Brooke. Her sports casting experience definitely shows. They also have a new band, singers and musical director. I may be focusing more on NeNe since she’s regularly featured on the blog.
Up first are NeNe and Tony. NeNe is all about the fun and personality. She never took a dance class, but she has a lot of soul. She sees the ice dancers as the main competition. They dance the cha, cha, cha. Not bad at all. If she was nervous, she covered it well. A nice start s the way to get the party started. Bruno loves her energy and enthusiasm. Carrie Ann says she has a larger than life personality. They score 21 points.
James and Peta are second. They have a past (they dated or were friends, depending on who you talk to) and Peta is shocked when he walks through the door. He’s definitely the eye candy of the show. They dance the fox trot and do a good job. They also score 21.
The third pair are Danica and Val. She wants to grow from the little girl image on the show. They also dance the fox trot. They seem suited to each other and I really enjoyed watching them. Their score is 24.
Up fourth are Sean and Karina. He comes across as a jerk, but Karina finds him funny. They will be dancing a contemporary dance. To me contemporary dance is interpretive and I’m not sure what to interpret from this dance. It was fascinating to Carrie Ann. They score a 20. Sean is disappointed because he thought they deserved three 9’s.
Billie Dee and Emma are up fifth. He’s 77, has arthritis in his back and has had two hip operations. Good for him for just showing up. They are dancing the cha cha cha to the Star Wars theme of course. Emma pretty much does all the dancing and it was difficult for me to watch. They get a score of 15.
The sixth pair are Merrill and Maks. Maks shouldn’t be surprised that she’s practically a pro. They are dancing the cha cha cha. This really isn’t a fair competition with the ice dancers in it. NeNe is just standing there kind of nodding her head, probably thinking, OK, just what I predicted. Len said she’s nice on ice, but she’s good on wood (whoops!). Maks puts his hands over her ears at that point. They got a 24. I think the judges are purposely holding back on the scores so as not to make it obvious how much of an advantage the ice dancers have.
Candace and Mark are up seventh. Back in the day, Candace got dumped by Jeremy Miller for Danica. Candace tells Mark she’s not going to be the sexy girl, but she is going to be competitive. They will also be dancing contemporary. I liked their contemporary dance much better than Sean and Karina’s, but I’m no expert. Len tells Candace she can dance. Her kids in the audience are so cute. Carrie Ann tells her she’s an incredible dancer and she wants to work with her. Their score is 25.
Up eighth is Cody and Whitney. They talk about his girlfriend (GiGi Hadid) who is not named but he tells Whitney she lives in New York. They do a very modern and energetic rendition of the cha cha cha. I hope it has enough cha cha cha moves for Len. GiGi is in the audience. They get warned by the judges to work on the basics, techniques, and for Cody to watch his big feet. They score a 22 (which I think is a little generous).
Drew and Cheryl are the ninth couple dancing. I’ve liked Drew Carey since The Drew Carey show. They dance the fox trot. Drew looks like he had fun with it. Len said it was very watchable. Drew will probably get by on his entertaining style for a while. They score a 21.
The tenth couple are Amy and Derek. She is a double amputee after contracting bacterial meningitis at the age of 19. She has two prosthetic legs and just won a snowboarding bronze medal at the Paralympics. Derek was nervous at the beginning. Derek was in Sochi practicing with her while she competed. She just returned to the U.S. this past Friday. They dance the cha cha cha. You certainly cannot tell she has any type of disability. Len tells her she gets no special treatment, but she deserves a gold medal for
that dance. Bruno is gobsmacked. Carrie Ann is in shock and tells her it was an honor to watch her dance. They get a score of 24.
Up next, Diana and Henry. She says she is a number one fan of the show. She is having trouble wearing heels. Her swimming mantra has always been to find a way and she’s applying that to dancing. They dance the fox trot and you can tell she’s out of her comfort zone. They score an 18.
Charlie and Sharna are the last to dance. They dance a contemporary dance. I thought it was good as would be expected. Carrie thinks they are a perfect match and it was poetry in motion. Len will be interested to see if Charlie dances the other dances as well as he did contemporary. Their score is 27.
So here’s a breakdown of the scores: In the lead with 27 are Charlie and Sharna; second are Candace and Mark with 25; Danica and Val, Merrill and Maks, and Amy and Derek have 24 points per couple; Cody and Whitney have 22; NeNe and Tony, James and Peta, and Drew and Cheryl have 21 points per couple; Sean and Karina have 20 points; Diana and Henry have 18 points; and Billie Dee and Emma have 15 points.
See you next Monday. According to Erin, there will be a surprise announcement at the beginning of the show that is supposed to change the competition.