Dancing with the Stars Recap: March 21, 2011

Is it too early to predict a season finale between The Karate Kid and The Fat Actress?

As is generally the case with the first Dancing with the Stars episode of the season, the producers refused to blow their wad until the last forty minutes of the two-hour show, leaving all the gay male thirty-somethings an extra hour or so to hit the tanning salons, do some extra crunches or continue their Master Cleanses as the show scrolled through its predictable parade of athletes, supermodels, Disney faces and R&B singers who are either on the way up… or on the way down.

Thankfully, after sitting through the parade of who-cares in sequins, rivaled only by the number of commercials for that new Dana Delany show premiering next week, we came upon the 1-2-3-4 punch that we’d been waiting for all night: Ralph Macchio, Chris Jericho’s arms, the hot guy from the radio and Kirstie Alley. Am I wrong?  Come on… who out there was actually tuning in for Romeo?  There seems to be a tidal wave of goodwill and support around my office for Mister Macchio, and if i wasn’t such a Kirstie Alley fan, I’d join in with them.  But sadly, as I admitted last season during Jennifer Grey’s reign of terror that I had never seen Dirty Dancing, I have to admit this season… I have never seen The Karate Kid.  I did see a little of the one with Hilary Swank, and I saw a lot of Happy Days episodes where Pat Morita owned Arnold’s before the porky guy with the big nose took it over.  But I guess that doesn’t really count, does it?  I did have a major crush on the Ralphster when he was a last-minute addition to Eight is Enough, and it’s nice to see he’s aged all of approximately three weeks since then.   But aside from having a cute chipmunk cheek face and a general Jimmy Stewart “aw shucks” attitude, I can’t say I know much more about him.  Let’s wait and see how he dances.

Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas – Who is Chelsea Kane, you ask?  Well, she’s this year’s Disney Channel star that ABC is hoping members of the American public over the age of thirteen might learn to like.  See, if this were the 1970s, Miss Kane would be ending up on The Love Boat, Charlie’s Angles or Aloha Paradise in an agreement with the network where they would pepper her all over their shows and see if she stuck anywhere (you may also refer to this as the “Ted McGinely clause”).

Chelsea leads off by revealing to us that she once kissed Joe Jonas.  I used to practice making out with my pillow.  Which of those statements garners more interest from you? The real point of interest here is the sexy Mark Ballas, who is no doubt grateful, for once at least, to not have to share the SuperTwink title with fembot Derek Hough, who mercifully is taking this season off.

Mark, who worked miracles with Waffle-Footed Bristol Palin last season choreographed a rather safe and under-ambitious foxtrot that was harmless enough to elicit middling comments from all three judges.  So, Chelsea is thus far a coin toss. She’s got a cute smile and looks good shaking what she’s got.  But if she wants my vote, she better persuade Mr. Ballas to remove some clothing very very soon.

SCORE: 21/30

Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani – I have to reserve my judgment on Wendy since I know nothing about her…

…although I tend to find the people who are self-described multi-hyphenates (“mother-wife-talk show host-author”) come up short in all areas and try to compensate for it by what they call a “larger than life” personality but which really translates into “I won’t let anyone else ever finish a sentence” (see Nene Leakes on Celebrity Apprentice).   And sure enough, girlfriend shows sass and simmer off the top, until she discovers she’s about as graceful as a three-legged bulldog who got into the cabinet under the sink and ate half a can of Comet.  Plus, she cried!  Over what?  I have no freakin’ idea, but there’s probably some sort of monetary bonus for being the first cast member to do it each season.

The cha cha was a bit of a nightmare, and by “bit of,” I mean “enormous.”  Wendy seemed desperate to keep her eyes pinned on Tony for hints as to what the next step might be. She just nearly executed placing hands on her hips and spinning in a single circle, but fell short. Also, she didn’t so much dance as she wobbled around like someone who’s just recovering from a bad stomach flu and hasn’t been on her feet or eaten solid foods for two weeks.

The judges were not kind, calling her “introverted… quiet… timid” and demanding that next week Wendy “unleash the beast!”  But based on tonight’s performance, next week may be all there is for Miss Williams.

And what was with her being surprised that they showed her crying and getting upset in the tape package?  Tom Bergeron certainly put her in her place! “Imagine… reality television using an emotional moment… WOW!”  Doesn’t this woman host a daytime talk show? Please!

I guess I didn’t really reserve judgment, did I?

SCORE: 14/30

Hines Ward and Kym Johnson – yes, it’s another sports star I don’t recognize.  So this will be short.  Hines Ward is a leading all-time wide receiver, whatever that means.  He lost the Super Bowl this year.  MG and I were out having breakfast on Sunday this past January and I looked up at him and said, “Is today the Super Bowl?” to which he replied, “I’m not sure.”  Then we both went back to our laptops.

Kym Johson seemed to understand even less aboot sports than I do.  “What is it you do in the football?” she asked innocently.  Even I know you don’t refer to it as “the football,” although I did refer to my co-workers’ fantasy football league once as their “imaginary football club.”   Yeah, they didn’t like that too much.

As for the cha cha, you only have to watch a couple seasons of DWTS to know that the football player actually tends to always bring it, and Hines looked pretty good for week one, though it didn’t hurt that he was up immediately after wobbly Wendy Williams.  More than that, Hines looked like he actually was having himself a good old time on the floor. The standing ovations seemed to confirm it.  Hines is the early favorite for this season’s “crowd pleaser.”

SCORE: 21/30 Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin – Petra dedicated her fox trot to the people of Japan. I don’t know what to make of that.  She survived the 2004 Thailand tsunami herself.  She lost her boyfriend.  She broke her pelvis in four places.  This dedication is odd.  I’ve seen Petra on a number of talk shows and she’s nothing but sincere.  This dedication just seemed to be the wrong move.  Am I wrong or was anyone else uncomfortable?

The dance, like Chelsea and Mark’s, was admirable but unimpressive.  It was cool to see Petra genuinely enjoying herself though.  She was almost speechless during her post interview with Brooke.  That will probably carry some weight with voters.

SCORE: 18/30

Romeo and Chelsie Hightower – Wait a minute… Romeo is THE ROMEO?  The son of Mater P.?  I didn’t know that.  Did you?

Oh wait… I don’t know who either Romeo or Master P. is, so I guess I don’t give a crap. But don’t tell anyone. The kids at work think I’m super-dope.

Romeo looks like a younger sleeker Wayne Brady, doesn’t he?  I think they have matching hairlines.  And don’t say that’s racist.  I know that all black people don’t have the same hairline.  And I also know they don’t all know each other.  Once I asked Cris at work if he knew Leslie Uggums and he beat me up, so I’ve learned my lesson.  I’m just saying Romeo looks a little like Wayne Brady, that’s all.

As usual, Chelsie outshone her celebrity partner, both in moves and wardrobe. Check out that little glittery napkin she’s almost not wearing!  Bruno called the dance “energetic but messy… flat-footed.”  Carrie Ann went loopy for Romeo’s sex appeal (though she sort of undercut it by calling him “‘Lil Romeo,” which I’m guessing was a stage name from earlier in his career he’d rather people forget these days).  Len said a little work on technique and he’ll be around for a long long time.

SCORE: 19/30

Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya – I’d say “black don’t crack” if “black don’t crack” weren’t such a hackneyed old phrase people as white as Christine Lahti even know what it means.  But damn!  Sugar Ray is looking fine!  Mid fifties?  He’s got to be one of the few men in boxing who came out of it still looking as handsome as he was when he went in.

Sugar Ray delivered a lot of snap and attitude, but seemed a little hesitant to really make any moves that would be deemed memorable. Carrie Ann compared his pizzazz to that of Ben Vereen, but chastised him on his posture. Len equated it to “pizza and beer.”  It was meant as an insult, but it made me hungry.  Bruno inexplicably asked Sugar Ray to call him “Daphne,” and then compared him to a ninja turtle. He only muttered a few other words before Tom smartly interrupted and brought Bruno’s mis-guided analogies to a grinding halt.  After all, the stripper was up next.

SCORE: 17/30

Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel – Nervous Kendra seems to be quick to go to a giggle and a bootie joke when asked just about anything. She promises her first dance to be “hot… not club hot, but classy hot! (giggle giggle booty booty)”

Kendra definitely has the ability to move, and if she can manage to not look like a stripper on stage, Louis Van Amstel might finally have a shot at winning that stupid trophy that you can buy for yourself at any Spencer’s Gifts or Aahs.

Kendra looked not quite up to the choreography challenge Louis was laying down for her, and by that I mean in the weeks to come she is probably going to blast off like a rocket ship, but tonight she was all about hiding her nerves from the judges, which she didn’t manage to completely do.

Len: “Well you held my interest from start to finish… not always for the right reasons, but you did. Very entertaining!”

Bruno: “Full fontal attack, but it’s got to be clean, and you bend your leg all the time.”

Carrie Ann: “I don’t think you missed a step, but…”  After that her mic died out, but I could tell from the tone of the “but” that the rest was not good.  The scores proved me to be correct.

SCORE: 18/30 – “Every vote counts this week!” proclaims Brooke. Oh, Brooke… when does every vote NOT count?

Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff – I just want to look at Ralph Macchio all season.

49 YEARS OLD this guy is. Unbelievable!

Based on the footage shown from rehearsal, it looked like Mister Macchio was heading for a train wreck, but that’s where the magic of producing comes in.  Or maybe he just came alive in front of the cameras.   Whatever it was, for the next three months, Ralph Macchio has a career.  Ralph Macchio will be on talk shows. Ralph Macchio will be a top story on Entertainment Tonight.  For the next three months at least… Ralph Macchio!

Bruno: “Plenty of content, very difficult, but pointed out his “creepy hand.”

Carrie Ann: “That was an amazing surprise! Truly gorgeous!”

Len: “It’s the best fox trot tonight. Well done!”

SCORE: 24/30 Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke – Chris used what I think were some wrestling slams in his pre-tape interview.  I didn’t get any of them.  But don’t go by me.  It wasn’t until late 2010 that I finally understood, “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?”

As for Cheryl Burke, I’ve seen plenty of her over the last few months thanks to her “My Publicity People Thought It Might Be Good to Keep Me in the Spotlight” Book Tour of early 2011.

If you’ve got a body like Chris Jericho, are paired with Cheryl Burke, and are clad in leather pants, leather arm bands and a leather vest, you’re probably not gonna look all that bad. You’re also gonna probably have a couple beers bought for you at the Mine Shaft in Hollywood.

The energy and the pyrotechnics sorta hid the fact that Chris and Cheryl looked like two back up dancers from the carnival scene in Grease.

Len called Chris a “great big boy,” which I found kinda hot, but Tom snickered at it.

SCORE: 19/30 Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer – entirely over-dressed for the first week’s show is this radio guy, who was once a bodybuilder. If you don’t believe me, Google it. You won’t be disappointed. Luckily, this guy pays off above the neck as well. Good hair, good smile, dark features. Unfortunately, like many radio show personalities that have gone before him, he seems to think that the over-the-top obnoxiousness pays off when people can actually see your face.

You ever see a really good looking guy and just assumed they had it all together… then you talk to them and unless you’re discussing the super-bangable girl on Chuck or ready to stand there for a non-stop barrage of barely understandable jokes, there’s just nothing worth your time? That’s the vibe I’m getting off this monkey wrench. If there was anything nice to say about the dance, it was that ultimately… it concluded.

I still like the hair though. There’s got to be a more suitable reality show for this guy. How about America’s Next Great Coat Hanger?

If he doesn’t shape up by next week, he may hit “tool” status.

SCORE: 13/30 – “Ewww!” shrieked Brooke Burke. Classic! Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Finally, it’s time for the Money Shot. I plan on staying with Camp Kirstie as long as she does not do any of the following…. 1.) say something repugnant and then give an “oops!” look. 2.) make more than one fat joke a week. 3.) refer to Maksim’s junk in any way, shape or form.

“I got the broken one!” exclaimed Maks in rehearsal and then proceeded to browbeat dear Kirstie like he does with all his partners. “If someone told me to haul ass, it would take two trips!” Remember Kirstie… you get ONE A WEEK! ONE!!!!

But when it came to live… yes, we should have all guessed a firecracker like Kirstie Alley was gonna be able to light it up on the floor. And she fucking ran away with it. I wasn’t even looking at Maks, and I think that’s a first for me. She grabbed her titty a few too many times, but maybe it was bouncing too much and throwing off her balance. Solidly fun, entertaining and leaving me wanting more.

Has Kirstie finally found a respectable outlet for her personality? I hope so.  As my friend messaged me immediately following the dance, “Kirstie just stole the show!”

SCORE: 23/30 – and I guess Kirstie screaming “I want to eat! I want to eat so badly!” doesn’t actually count as a fat joke, but she is sorta using her fat to get a laugh. She needs to stop this. Maybe a few weeks of high scores will give her the confidence she needs to save that schtick for her next crash-and-burn A&E reality show.

HIGHEST SCORE: Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff

LOWEST SCORE: Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer

WHO’S LEAVING?: Unfortunately, no one this week.  Everyone gets a pass until Week Two.

Do you think front-runners Kirstie and Ralph will falter when they have to start showing what they can do with other dances?

Is it just possible the producers gave Ms. Alley the dance she was best at to grab viewers from the first show of the season onward?

Is this a record number of gay references I’ve made in a single post?

Should I run out right now and rent The Karate Kid?  What about The Karate Kid, Part Two? What about The Karate Kid, Part Three?

What about The Next Karate Kid with Hilary Swank?  Oh wait, I saw a piece of that one. Shit, that girl’s not gonna go anywhere.

See you next week!

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7 thoughts on “Dancing with the Stars Recap: March 21, 2011

  • March 21, 2011 at 11:41 pm
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    I didn’t watch tonight’s show, but as I learned last season, your recaps are so much better anyway. Karate Kid I was great … Karate Kid 2 was shaky unless you’re a rice queen (so yeah, I loved it). After that, it’s all a waste of time. It’s so bizarre to me that a pop culture junky like yourself who grew up in the 80’s hasn’t seen two of the most iconic young-people movies of the era.

  • March 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm
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    I don’t know if I’m happier to have Dancing with the Stars back or your recaps of Dancing with the Stars back. Welcome home, Mister Green!

  • March 22, 2011 at 9:28 am
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    This is definitely a record number of gay references for you in a single post….

  • March 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm
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    DUDE… Last year I was amused at your inadequate pop culture historical perspective. Now it is bordering on appalling. Trust me, at some point in the season, there will be a reference from either the wrestler or the radio Jock to “sweep the Leg” of Ralph. I’ll smile, the programmed audience will laugh and you will wonder why.

    Makes me wonder…

    American Graffiti???
    the original Bad News Bears???
    Annie Hall???
    The Jerk???
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail???
    Grease???
    Network???
    Billie Jack???
    Young Frankenstein???

    Dare I ask (but I am sensing a pattern)-

    Saturday Night Fever???

    You need to spend a rainy Sunday at the video rental store if you scored less than 8 out of those 10.

    Oh, BTW… as always, love the recap. Not going to watch for at least a month, but when i do, will be able to jump right in.

  • March 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm
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    For Dave:
    American Graffiti??? – YES BUT ONLY ONCE
    the original Bad News Bears??? – COUNTLESS TIMES
    Annie Hall??? – YES
    The Jerk??? – NOPE
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail??? – YES
    Grease??? – OH HELL YES
    Network??? – ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES IN THE HISTORY OF MOVIES
    Billie Jack??? – WHO?
    Young Frankenstein??? – YES
    Saturday Night Fever??? – DIDN’T SEE IT UNTIL A FEW YEARS AGO – THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE A SOME VAPID DISCO MOVIE, BUT I WAS TOTALLY WRONG.

    Karate Kid? Never had much interest in karate
    Dirty Dancing? Always equalled a chick flick to me

    Thanks for the comment, too! 🙂

  • March 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm
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    OK… next time you do a pizza and a movie night…

    Billy Jack… grossed 40 million in 1971.

    Hippies, Vietnam Vet trying to live in peace, half breed Indian trying to outrace the white man’s world. Redneck townspeople who hate the hippies and the Indian way. It’s the movie that made me hate my father.

    It has it all.

    a guilty pleasure, so bad it’s beyond great movie (ask anyone over 50).

    HMMM… maybe Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin) could be talked into next season’s dancing with the stars

  • June 7, 2012 at 4:46 am
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    I’ve enjoyed your recaps all season. Your take is great. You are a true #DWTS fan!

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