Dancing with the Stars Recap: The Premiere, Part Deux

Some people really shine on second try...some don't make that leap.

We're back for part two of the two-week season premiere of Dancing With The Stars, and one celebrity will be going home tonight. Who will it be? Well, let's dig in to my recap and you'll find my prediction at the end!

Image courtesy ABC

1. Sugar Ray and Anna danced a Jive

Like last week, Sugar Ray was perhaps the most erratic performer. Sometimes he seemed like he was marking it, sometimes he was right in it. He has good moves...especially when he gets to swivel those hips, but overall, I felt this was not as good as last week. And I'm sorry, but when he was saying he was going to bring his fast footwork next week, I Just had to ask out loud: What's faster than the jive? Nothing, that's what.

Bottom line: Sugar Ray has oodles of charm...and while folks of my generation revere him, I wonder if the younger generation knows who he is. If this were American Idol he'd be in trouble, but I do think an older cohort vote for DWtS. He should be fine, and for a while, but I hope he starts to have way more of the sparkle, way less of the marking.

2. Kendra and Louis danced a Quick Step

Like last week, Kendra needs to get more grounded. Which is kind of another way to say what Carrie said about needing more core strength. You really fear she may fall right off her own feet. That being said, they had excellent hold and connection...with great stable upper body and fast-moving lower body. Now, if she could have just unfrozen her face frozen in fear? That would have been awesome.

Bottom line: I'm afraid Kendra may have a split audience...those who really don't like her and the whole Playmate vibe, and those who know her as a reality TV star and will vote for her. She might be at risk, but I think she'll be around at least one more week.

3. Chelsea and Mark danced a Jive

Given Chelsea's excellent routine last week, it's almost disappointing to say "Good job". Her limbs just weren't fully extended or sharp enough. And while I appreciated the unique aesthetic approach, even I could tell they took a really really long time to get to any Jive. I'll simply close with Bruno's accurate description of the vibe of the routine, which should be preserved: "Marcel Marceau desperately seeking Lolita in a Clockwork Orange." Indeed.

Bottom line: Oh, she must be safe; she's one of the more talented contestants.

4. Chris and Cheryl danced a Quick Step

Wow. This was SO MUCH BETTER than last week. Great smile, good posture. Such a big improvement. Perhaps the best week to week improvement I've ever seen on this show. Which only means last week was really pretty bad :)

Bottom line: Oh, he pulled it out, 100%.

5. Petra and Dmitry danced a Jive

Oh, this was a train wreck waiting to happen, and happen it did. She really was trying so hard, but sadly that effort was written all over her face. They talked a lot about how being tall is a disadvantage for the quick dances like the Jive, and we could see that in action, as she was sometimes behind the beat.

Bottom line: I think she's at very high risk, and will likely be one of the bottom two.

6. Kirstie and Maks danced a Quick Step

Well, all props to Kirstie, who continues to rock it...and all without mocking herself. And that last part makes me happiest of all. OK, so she got a bit out of control at times, but generally she kept up and did a very nice job.

Bottom line: I think she's safe as can be...and some idiot's comments about her weight are only going to lead to more of us, particularly women who would all rather not have our dancing spirit judged based on an exacting and mythical standard of beauty. So THERE.

7. Mike and Lacey danced a Jive

Well, it could have been worse. Ringing endorsement, I know. It wasn't great. It was awkward and wasn't much of an improvement over last week's Foxtrot. And, sorry to be icky, but with that short skirt and no big rumba ruffles, they really shouldn't have done any "fingering" of her skirt in back. That just kinda creeped me out. Just me?

Bottom line: He joins Petra on the very-high-risk list.

8. Romeo and Chelsie danced a Quick Step

Romeo did a nice job overall, showing a slight improvement over last week, particularly in performance. He'll need to bring a little more spark to keep going, but he does have a kind of aw shuck charm.

Bottom line: Jeez, if Mister Master P (his dad) lasted as long as he did, I'm sure Romeo will be around another week.

9. Wendy and Tony danced a Jive

Well, Wendy did indeed do better than last week, but she didn't fully bring it. She wasn't as sharp as she could be, and, like Sugar Ray, she seemed to be almost marking certain portions. And did anyone else notice the weird slow portion towards the end? It went from Jive to, I don't know, Waltz or something

Bottom line: I don't know if Wendy has a big national following. Given she also just didn't perform outstandingly, I have to believe she's at risk.

10. Ralph and Karina danced a Jive

Another great job. Yeah. He's this year's Donny Osmond. But oh by the way, can I just say: Aha! As you know, I suspected he was a ringer and searched IBDB to see if he'd been on Broadway. When I didn't find him, I decided my visions of him playing Finch in "How to Succeed in Business..." were just that -- hallucinations. But oh no, I was correct. OK, so he wasn't on Broadway, but he did *tour* in "How to Succeed in Business..." So, I'll say it again: RINGER!!!

Bottom line: And a totally safe ringer he is.

11. Hines and Kym danced a Quick Step

Hines is good. Perhaps not as sparkly as last week, but this was definitely another strong performance. He's right up there amongst the strongest contenders

Bottom line: Oh, he's not going anywhere.

Bottom Line for the Bottom Two:

I think the Bottom Two should be: Petra and Wendy, with Petra going home.

I think the Bottom Two might include Mike instead of Wendy, and in that scenario, it's anyone's guess, but maybe Wendy goes home.

Kendra is the wild card: Will the audience have a love/hate relationship with her that clouds assessing her performances?

We'll see.

But, as always: What did you think?

Elisa Camahort Page
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