For the past seven seasons celebrities from the world of music, sports, business, and entertainment have gathered to pair up with professional ballroom dancers dazzling viewers with skimpy costumes, great dances, and ballroom mayhem. Season eight of “Dancing With the Stars” promises to be no different as week one saw scores ranging from 13 to 24 (30 is a perfect score).
While over the past seven seasons have brought its share of drama to the dance floor, the past few seasons have also brought more than its share of injuries. This season the injuries and drama began even before the show hit the air. The expectations of seeing the first husband an wife compete on the dance floor in the same season were dashed when singer songwriter Jewel had to withdraw after discovering a believed case of tendonitis turned out to be broken bones leaving husband Ty Murray to go on without her. And with only two days left before airtime “Access Hollywood” co-anchor Nancy O’Dell had to withdraw due to a knee injury.
Monday night the drama moved to the dance floor where celebrities attempted to strut their stuff with the Waltz and Cha Cha Cha.
The show got off to a “Nasty” start when Grammy Award winning rapper Lil’ Kim (born Kimberly Denise Jones) danced the Cha Cha Cha with season seven champ Derek Hough to “Nasty Boys” by Janet Jackson. The rapper became interested in the show while serving a prison sentence for perjury in a case involving a gun. By the end of the night the couple found themselves in the top third of the leader board with a score of 21.
Eighties girl band lead singer (The Go Gos) Belinda Carlisle and partner Jonathan Roberts followed with a waltz and finished with a score of 17.
The always sexy and sultry Edyta Sliwinska who shows off more than her dance skills with her revealing costumes shimmied around the floor performing the Cha Cha Cha with the two time Super Bowl champ and Hall of Fame football player Lawrence (LT) Taylor. While Taylor danced less than a Hall of Fame performance, the all time best defensive player made a decent showing with a score of 16.
Next up came the daredevil and the rebel as Steve-O and “So You Think You Can Dance” alum Lacey Schwimmer performed a technically inept but entertaining waltz that head judge and long time ballroom dance judge Len Goodman said was better than he expected. Steve-O and Lacey earned a score of 17 for their efforts.
Two time “Dancing With the Stars” champion Cheryl Burke showed why she is a champ with model and actor Giles Marini. The French born actor went from the sexy neighbour in the “Sex in the City” movie to a sexy Cha Cha Cha to earn a 24 for the best score of the night.
Husband and wife dancers Jewel and Ty Murray may not have panned out, but country music singers and partners Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough took their partnership to the dance floor to become the first “Dancing With the Stars” couple and dance partners. Adorned in formal attire Wicks proved to be the most graceful male celebrity of the night earning him and girlfriend Julianne a score of 20.
“Dancing With the Stars” newcomer Dmitry Chaplin found his debut on the show a real challenge when original partner Jewel was replace by former Playboy Bunny and reality show alum Holly Madison with only five days before showtime. Judging the performances only on what was seen on the dance floor, the judges awarded the pair’s Cha Cha Cha with the score of 18.
Newcomer and “So You Think You Can Dance” alum Chelsey Hightower took on the rodeo star as Ty Murray compared dancing the Cha Cha Cha to riding a bull – you’re not really ready, it’s just your turn. Ty and Chelsey found themselves near the bottom of the board with a score of 14.
Professional dancer Mark Ballas found himself paired with the youngest dancer to ever appear on the show as he tries to turn Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Shawn Johnson into a ballroom dancer. The 17 year old was told her waltz was elegant and refined as she and Mark earned a 23 to take second place.
Computer genius Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff found themselves at the bottom with a score of 13 when Len Goodman termed the Cha Cha Cha as an overall disaster. Wozniak stated that it was easier to create a computer than it was to dance ballroom.
Australian championship ballroom dancer Kym Johnson discovered that daunting task of pairing with comedic actor David Alan Grier. Despite displaying a number of facial character as he danced judges awarded Kym and Grier with a score of 19.
Bond girl and longtime show fan Denise Richards paired with Maxim Chmerkovsky to earn a score of 19 for their waltz.
The final couple of the evening found Tony Dovolani with a mere two days to teach Nancy O’Dell replacement Melissa Rycroft to waltz. The former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader recently appeared on another ABC show “The Bachelor” where she was refused at the finale. Rycroft’s previous ballet training proved to be an asset as the couple earned a score of 23 for their waltz to share second place.
“Dancing With the Stars” has added a new twist to the elimination round this season as the bottom two couples will be pitted against each other in a dance off. Scores are tallied as fan vote earns 50 percent and judges scores earn 50 percent. There will be no dancers eliminated in the first week; votes and scores will be added to those from next week before a decision is revealed as to who is in jeopardy of being eliminated.
Since AC is obsessed with citing sources: IWATCHED the show and payed attention!