Mr. Phillip Stephens of The Dance Place also said in his recent newsletter:
Dancing With The Stars Review As always, I have a few things to say about the costumes and other aparel that these folk wear. For the most part, the costumes were reasonably tasteful in the first show. Some of what these people wear to practice? Well, it’s just not my idea of what we should see on TV to represent Ballroom & Latin dancing and the elegance and style that goes with those forms of dance. Well, let’s cut to the chase: Lil’ Kim & Derek Hough – Cha-cha Not bad – She went on about being in prison how, the 1st time she saw show, she wanted to be on it. She dedicated number to her gal “buds” in prison. Fairly rhythmic, with a positive interaction with audience. Judges gave 7s for total of 21, which was about right. Bruno was on about her “stumbles” like she should have had perfect feet and Carrie Ann was on about expressiveness and Len was on about posture for next week’s quickstep. Belinda Carlisle & Johnathan Roberts – Spins make her dizzy & sick. Waltz. Really bad feet and very little arm and hand actions. A pretty smile, but bad arms, bad neck, bad legs and no flow. She did have OK good timing and knew her moves. Deserves max of 18 points. Judges had varied comments about awkwardness and technical merits. As Michael Schedler noted: For the first night, Bruno was a bit harsh. 6+6+5 = 17
Lawrence Tayler (football) & Edyta Sliwinska – Cha-cha. Thinks he has more dance ability that Jason Taylor???? Fat chance of that! A bit stiff. Fairly rhythmic and had pretty good timing. Bad footwork, no hips & unfinished arm lines, but was natural looking in his performance. Len and Carrie Ann were fairly accurate in their encouraging remarks, Bruno was a bit too harsh. My guess – from judges comments – was 18 points, but I’d have given him a lower score. Judges awarded lower scores than their comments suggested, but 6+5+5 = 16 was good for that performance. Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer – Waltz. Painful to watch. No technical merit at all. She did the dance while he blundered around and posed. And he didn’t pose well. I’d give that no more than15 points. Judges had mixed emotions – all thought the technique was lacking. 6+5+6 = 17. No way this was better than Lawrence Taylor’s Cha-cha. This reminds me of the comedy show “Whose Line Is It?” where – as Drew Carey says – the points don’t matter! Gilles Torini & Cheryl Burke – Cha Cha An engaging personality. A bit heavy-looking at times, but quite rhythmic and did some nice body actions. Looked in command and was very much in character. Best so far – could win if he’s got the same feel for Ballroom as for Latin. 24 points? Judges were very positive in comments – 8+8+8=24. Right on. He should do well overall Chuck Wicks – Julianne Hough – Waltz. Some pretty difficult choreography. He has bad feet and looks heavy and a bit rough around the edges. Overall a pretty good performance, and the audience liked it, but that may be due more to the “Love angle” than to the dancing, which was not all that good. Bruno noted that he looked like he struggled to keep up with Julianne. Len said he had good footwork? (Len! Get some new glasses.) Carrie Ann thought he was GRACEFUL??? 21? 6+7+7= 20 (I guess Carrie Ann took off a point for the “lift”?) Holly Madison – Dmitry – Cha-cha. For 1 week to prepare, she did quite an admirable job. Her technique was really better than the guys that danced except for Gilles. She made a few foot faults. 18 points? Judges were fairly lenient and encouraging. 6+6+6=18 Ty Murray – Chelsie Hightower – Cha-cha. Great sense of humor! Pretty quick. A bit rough at times, but he had the choreography and the timing pretty good. He got lost a time or two, but kept right on going and did a fairly strong finish. 18 points? Bruno was a bit rough with pretty rude comments. He wasn’t great, but he certainly wasn’t the worst! He WANTS to do better, so he probably will. 5+4+5=14 – too low when compared to the other guys. Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas – Mark met her in a suit, then had a long-sleeved shirt on for first practie, then went to T-shirts – downhill as usual. Waltz: Good attitude. Pretty arms. Good control of body. Fairly sound footwork & expressive arms. Very limber and able to do nice lines and poses. 25-26 points? Good comments from the judges, though they criticized her for her “gymnastic” arms (duh!) and lack of fluidity. 8+8+7 = 23. Too low for that quality of performance Steve Wozniak – Karina Smirnoff – Cha-cha. He looks like a dork in shorts, which he should NEVER wear in public. A comedy farce with a pink boa and lots of prancing. He was remarkably agile and rhythmic in his moves. For a big and older man, he really surprised me. Went for the entertainment factor, Len thought it was a disaster. Bruno was very critical – Gay Pride Parade? Carrie Ann was on the money with comments about Steve representing what the show’s contest is all about. 5+4+4=13, which was too low for what he presented. Sidebar: These judges do not judge the category of dance fitted to the dancer. Steve Wozniak, like Jerry Springer before him, was VERY entertaining and did a remarkable job. The judges should not be comparing him to a competitive dancer that is serious and going for the gold. Instead, they should be judging the skills the man presented with pizazz. David Allen Grier & Kym Johnson. Waltz. Good timing, posture needs work. Very nice smile and good floor presence. Syncopations a bit weak but arm lines nice and a very solid performance. 20 points? Bruno was a bit rough, and so was Carrie Ann, where the face / emotion factor is concerned. Len was positive, though he noted the bum sticking out. 6+7+6=19 – a bit low for that performance. Denise Richards & Maxim Chmerkovskiy – Cha-cha. Max is a bit too harsh with partners at times. She was a bit awkward in the legs, but did a good job with arms, got where she was suposed to be, and looked reasonably confident. He overdanced her, but I guess that’s easy for him to do. 18 points? Carrie Ann thought Denise looked terrified? Len thought it was loose (whatever THAT means!). Bruno thought she had “it”, but didn’t know what to do with “it”. Michael Schedler thought she shouldn’t get as good a score as Steve W got, and I agree. She got 6+6+6=18, which was really too high for that performance. Melissa Rykoff & Tony Doviloni – Waltz. Good lines & kicks, nice smile. Solid timing and good potential. Syncopations were a bit rough, as were some of the other moves, but it was quite nice over all. 17? 18? Len was on about her footwork after just 2 days of practice? Bruno was very positive. Carrie Ann thought she wasn’t connected emotionally to the dance, that she was just happy to be out there. 8+7+8=23. At least 4 points too high, but not unreasonable for the strength of the performance after such a short time to prepare.