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October 10, 2015

Dancing with the Stars: Week 1 (season premiere)

by Erin Martell, posted Mar 19th 2007 11:57PM

Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson(S04E01) Another season of Dancing With The Stars is upon us, and I could not be more excited. Some important changes have been made this time around. Contestants were given four weeks to practice for the premiere instead of six, and there will be two weeks of dancing before the first elimination. The premiere was entertaining and surprising, as always. Let's get right to it!

Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke (Cha Cha Cha) - It's tough to be the first dancers of the night, but Ian and Cheryl did a tremendous job. Their energetic performance included some decent footwork; those two definitely know how to have fun and work the crowd. Cheryl's hair was gorgeous, as usual, but I wasn't a fan of the Ziering facial hair. The judges gave Ian some technical criticism, but the pair walked away with a fair score of 21 (Carrie: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7).

Paulina Porizkova and Alec Mazo (Foxtrot) - Paulina immediately won my sympathy after her partner, Alec, said that his father had a lot of her pinup photos. Harsh. The former supermodel was worried about looking like Bullwinkle on the dance floor, but she was completely graceful and lovely. Her choice of dress and hair only emphasized the sophistication of the performance. The judges' opinions differed a bit, unfortunately, and the couple received a 19 (6, 6, 7).

Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff (Cha Cha Cha) - I expected a lot from Billy Ray, and his mullet-themed performance was a big disappointment. I was hoping that Karina's wigs would not show up for a few weeks, and her hair malfunction caused one of the biggest snafus of the night. Billy Ray is very charming, but I had no idea what he was going for out there. The couple's mess of a performance deserved their score of 13 (5, 4, 4).

Leeza Gibbons and Tony Dovolani (Foxtrot) - After making such a big deal of her age, I was surprised that Leeza picked a costume that exposed so much of her back. Her behind-the-scenes power struggle with Tony was amusing, however. Their performance seemed stiff, and Leeza is not as limber as her younger competitors. She does have great presence, though, and hopefully she can use her work ethic to her advantage. Score: 15 (5, 5, 5).

Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Cha Cha Cha) - I really did not want to like Joey Fatone, particularly after all the goofy "Fat One" shtick. I don't care how overweight he is--there's no way that this guy is an underdog. He has more dance experience than any other contestant, and it showed. Joey and Kym's performance was crowd-pleasing and the most technically proficient of the evening. They won everyone over (including me), and earned an impressive 24 points (8, 8, 8).

Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Foxtrot) - With her boxer's physique, Laila manages to be gorgeous and intimidating at the same time. I expected her strong figure to be her downfall, but it ended up being an advantage. I would not have guessed that any couple could generate more heat than Maksim and Willa Ford from last season, but these two are seriously sexy together. Their intense, competitive personalities came through on the dance floor, and the judges rewarded them with a 23 (7, 8, 8).

John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska (Cha Cha Cha) - John deserves some major points for coming in as a last-minute replacement and doing a presentable job with his dance. The actor was dignified and enthusiastic, and his performance was better than the judges had expected. As usual, Edyta opted for as little clothing as possible, dancing in what can only be called a bikini dress. Luckily, John avoided looking like a dirty old man and received a respectable 17 for his efforts (6, 5, 6).

Shandi Finnessey and Brian Fortuna (Foxtrot) - Bruno compared this couple to Ken and Barbie, and that is a very fitting description. Both dancers were impressed with one another's cuteness, and their performance was about as passionate as two dolls moving across the dance floor. Shandi has height on her side, however, and could go far if she shows more emotion in her performances. The couple earned a bland 19 (6, 6, 7).

Clyde Drexler and Elena Grinenko (Cha Cha Cha) - I waited all night for someone to incorporate Clyde Drexler's nickname into the show, and it finally happened in Hour Two. The former athlete did do some gliding, and he is certainly a crowd favorite. He seems a bit uncomfortable with his height on the dance floor, though, and his performance was too safe. I hope that he takes the judges' advice and utilizes more space next week. Score: 18 (6, 6, 6).

Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts (Foxtrot) - All of the build-up surrounding Mills' disability was pretty distracting. I found it difficult to watch her performance without anticipating some sort of major stumble. It turned out that the only tragic mishap during Heather and Jonathan's dance involved Heather's yellow-and-pink monstrosity of a dress. Yikes. Was she sponsored by a banana company? Her foxtrot was pretty tame, but she seemed to enjoy herself. Heather got no special treatment from the judges, who gave her performance an 18 (6, 6, 6).

Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Cha Cha Cha) - Shandi and Brian may not be the cutest couple after all. Apolo's energy and athleticism were infectious during his cha cha, and his partner Julianne is totally adorable. The pair gave an entertaining, playful performance, but the crowd seemed a little quiet at first. The judges gave them some technical advice, and seemed to love their energy. Score: 21 (7, 7, 7).

The front runners are clearly Joey & Kym, Laila & Maksim, and Ian & Cheryl. Couples like Billy Ray & Karina and Leeza & Tony will have to make up for their low scores during next week's dances. My votes went to Ian, Paulina, Laila, Joey, and Apolo.

Check back next week for Brett's recap of the Week 2 performances and the first elimination!

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warren bell

I think Juliann is a living doll and a great dancer.Who are her parents?

April 17 2007 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think its crazy how they blasted the guys last season for not doing the dance steps right--then we have heather mills who has done the same thing but because she has a prostetic leg, it was great! don't get me wrong, she did an amaaaaazing job but like they said in the beginning-its not about her leg but the dancing. if she wants the peoples good graces again, which i think is the reason for her to be there--follow the rules like the rest and blast her for not following the dance rules!!!

April 02 2007 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the right decision was made last night - Paulina was not that good, nor improved. I don't think Fatone should be there because he has dance experience. Fatone shouldn't have been there in the first place. Heather Mills should not be allowed to push her chairties and say we are playing for.... nor should she be able to use her disability for sympathy, I think she has gotten a few points from the judges for it.

I think they are scoring Ian and Cheryl too low. And I think the judges are doing it on purpose because she has won 2 times in a row and that is not fair to Ian or Cheryl. She is an excellent dancer and instructor that is why her people do so well. She makes them work.

March 28 2007 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Claudia K.

Out of 225 comments...200 of them are about Heather.
How sad that all you people can cast stones at her.
Are you all so pure and without sins?
I for one think that what happened between her and Sir Paul is their business. Were you all in their house and witness any of their problems...no I think not. There's always two sides to the story and just maybe Paul's not that innocent either. Frankly who cares.
But to make fun of her leg is just absolutely sickening. I hope none of you loose a leg or anything else for that matter...oh but wait...you did..your dignity. Hmmmmm!!!
I assume that most comments come from the american people...well that dosen't surprise me at all..once a bully always a bully!!!! Glad I'm no an american.
Get over it and get a life. Looks like Heather did.

March 24 2007 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
J. Elaine

People--can't we all just get along? :)

They aren't sending any of the couples' home just yet-they are dancing two weeks in a row before we can vote.

Heather-the only "Fund Raising" she is concerned with-is her own.

Does she always travel with "Her bag of legs?" I think it is UNFAIR for her patner, Jonathan Roberts.
His days in the competition are numbered--he basicly is responsible for holding her up. I think he drew the "Short straw" err "Leg."

If she truly was out there to show other disabled persons they can do anything they want, she wouldn't be displaying her "Props" and drawing more attention than necessary to her situation, she has chosen the wrong format. Persons' with disabilities work on "Fitting in with the Normals" and not displaying their parts "Missing, sticking, or squeaking" for SHOCK VALUE. I am a person disabled, and I NEVER greet people with the announcement of what my deficits are. Focus on me, the person, not the parts of me that may be missing or broken.

If Heather came on the show to participate in a dance competition, good for her (won't win anyway) but leave the sensationalism out of it.


March 22 2007 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy Gibson

I was stunned by Billy Ray's dance. The hair fiasco was just the cherry on the sunday for a horrible performance.

March 21 2007 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with most of the posts. I was just waiting for Heather's leg to pop off!!! Why did they make such a big deal of it? Say it once and then let it go. I thought Joey was good and Laila. I was shocked at Heather's dress and making those stupid faces. Maybe she's trying to get people to like her, since she lied so much about Paul McCarthney abusing her. No way she should get 20K per day. What the world has she done to deserve that? I say get a real job Heather. She won't make it to the Final 4!!!

March 21 2007 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks # 134/ Upchuck's wife.....I was not aware that Joey Fatone
joked about his name. It appeared to me that Kym made it up on the
show last night and thought it was rude. But now that I have been
enlightened, I thank you. Your right, I was only stating my opinion,
not trying to get people to go along with me. So therefore, this is
why I will address the jerk who said I should be watching Rosie. You
need to get a life! This is a post where people make comments about
a reality TV show, not bash what others comments are! Perhaps you
should be watching Seseme Street!

March 20 2007 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sandi la chance

Heather really is begging for sympathy with that awful dress and hairdo, as well as her ugly self. What was Paul thinking when she snared him for her future MEAL TICKET---????

March 20 2007 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Claudia K.

HELP!!!! Don't know in what Heather is a STAR in? Hmmmm....weird!!
But enough about her. What I want to know is...does anybody know the song to what Clyde and Elena danced too? Anybody????

March 20 2007 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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