First up is Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani. Poor Wendy. I feel kind of sorry for her. I think she has a true desire to do this and loves that she gets to dress up for it--the costumes, wigs and make up. But really, Wendy is sadly lacking in the dance dept. I am predicting hers to be the departure tonight. Her story is about her struggle from radio personality to TV personality. And the trials that went with it. As I watched them, I thought two things: This is a Foxtrot? And...Tony, come on!!! I am sorry but he has had a string of lesser partners. It's time he has one that can shine.
Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani 1-800-868-3402
Len told her that expressing emotion in a dance is very difficult and that her story was about hard work and struggle. "You worked very hard but it was a struggle. It lacked fluidity. It was a dance more suited for radio" Ouch, that one hurt!!
Bruno said she was strong like the Statue of Liberty but that he agreed with Len. It needed to be more fluid. "You look like you put down roots." Maybe Len is contagious.
Carrie Ann said that she respsected a woman who has strength and perseveres and follows her dream. However, she felt Wendy took a little step backward. "There is more to you Wendy Williams and I want to see it!"
Carrie Ann: 5
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas 1-800-868-3401
Mark and Chelsea are dancing The Cha Cha. The song Chelsea has picked is called, "Chelsea." A song that was literally written for her by the lead singer. This was his way of confessing his love to her. They started dating immediately following that first performance. In rehearsals, Mark wants her to relax and move her hips more. She said Mark makes a better girl than her. Tom assures her after the dance she makes a better girl than Mark. I think both were happy to hear this. As for the dance, she did very very well.
Bruno was very excited about this dance! "Chelsea! Chelsea! Chelsea! You were sexy sexy sexy. I could feel the excitement. The taste of first love. Tasty tasty tasty Chelsea!" Meanwhile she is totally blushing. Down Bruno, down!
Carrie Ann began with, "I'm a little disturbed right now!" She also said she was a big fan of that cha cha and advised her to work a little more on the hip action.
Len told her he remembered his first love, and told her that this was her best dance so far.
Carrie Ann: 7
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke 1-800-868-3409
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke are dancing The Rumba to the song, Let It Be. His mother was in a very bad accident that left her paralyzed and later lead to her death. This was her favorite song. Chris spoke of how he was going to quit wrestling to help her and she would not have it. Dancing is something she loved. So he dedicated this dance to her. He surprises me. He is a wrestler and is therefore solid! It's amazing how he can dance and move the way he does.
Carrie Ann had tears in her eyes. She told him that it was a beautiful tribute to his mom, but that his hip action was a little strange. But that it was emotionally amazing.
Len told him he didn't use his arms enough. Hmmm...I hadn't noticed that. I need instant replay folks! He told that his arms were always on his hips, but that his lines and poses were execllent.
Bruno said there was a great sense of warnth. And that he had a "Naked vulernablity." Well I guess it doesn't get any more vulnerable than that! He told him that the Rumba has to flow, but that he did a good job over all.
Carrie Ann: 7
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel 1-800-868-3407
Kendra and Louis are also dancing The Rumba. Her story is about her and her husband, football player Hank Baskett. He received a lot of flack and grief for marrying this Playboy Bunny Girl/Stripper. But he stood by her through it all. The song is, "It's You and Me" She firmly believes that you must follow your heart. I didn't like the opening of their dance. They used a smoke affect that went a bit awry and she couldn't see coming down the steps. She made it. As for the dance, I thought it was all right.
Len told her there was a lot of unnecessary girating. Ummm, Len...this is The Rumba, isn't there supposed to be at least SOME of that? He told her that she was also occassionally unstable. She argued that she couldn't see because of the smoke. He countered and told her he wasn't talking about that part. Then he told her she had gorgerous leg action and beautiful foot work.
Bruno told her she had nothing to worry about, that her dance was hot and erotic and arrousing. "The men are truning purple!" Somebody get the fire hose for him.
Carrie Ann said that indeed it was a HOT HOT HOT!
Carrie Ann: 8
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower 1-800-868-3405
Romeo and Chelsie are dancing The Rumba. And again, instead of a dance about passion and love, his story is focused on tragedy. His is a double whammie. He lost not one, but two cousins. One was beaten to death. Very sad. His song of choice, "I'll Be There." During rehearsals, Romeo turned a bit diva and tossed his dance shoes across the room. And, to my chagrin, he did it again. Practiced without his shirt. I mean really. What is that. I like what my BF said, "If I were Chelsie I would ask him to put it back on! Like 'ewwwww I don't want your sweaty flesh all over me'" I couldn't stop laughing after reading that instant message! Now for their Rumba. I am trying to put my attitude behind and just look at the performance. I think it was pretty good. Not spectacular or the kind that sweeps you away, but pretty good.
Bruno said he really put his heart and soul into it, but that sometimes when you do something goes a stray. In Romeo's case it was the footwork.
Carrie Ann told him it really was heartfelt, but that he needed to work on refinement.
Len told him that last week he took a huge step forward and this week he took a huge step back. That is all he said and he got some major booing for it.
Carrie Ann: 7
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson 1-800-868-3403Hines and Kym are dancing the Samba and Hines chooses "Fantasy" from "Earth, Wind &Fire which his Mom always listened too. His parents divorced when he was just a baby and being Korean his Mom didn't know English. She did everything she had to do gain custody. This dance is for her. I love this guy! He is quite the dancer. And he seems very humble. It was a great fun dance.
Carrie Ann exclaimed, "Boo-Yah! Mama must be proud. You could be dancing the samba your whole life!"
Len said that both the story and the dance were upbeat and fun. And that he should be proud!
Bruno told him that this samba was an expression of bouncing butt shaking happiness! "It was happy hour! Two for the price of one!!!"
Carrie Ann: 9
Total: 25 (highest score so far)
Petra and Dmitry are dancing the Waltz. I love seeing this dance because it is so beautiful. Since she was a survivor of the tsunami in 2005, she returned to Indonesia in the days that followed and was devastated by what she saw. She created the Happy Hearts Funds to raise money for schools in disaster struck areas. Her song is for them. "You Raise Me Up" It is beautifully danced with much improvement.
Len told her she had grace, elegance and beauty.
Bruno said that she was a vision from heaven and that she danced like an angel. Her improvement was incredible. "Your beauty is great, but your heart is even more beautiful."
Carrie Ann said she was a super model with super movement!
Carrie Ann: 8
Total: 25 (Tied for first with Hines and Kym!)
1-800-868-3406Sugar Ray and Anna are dancing The Paso Doble. A dance about power and struggle and domination. So it makes sense that his story is about how he continuously beat the odds in his career. He said that the odds were against him and that he proved them wrong. Anna told him, "You have to be strong." To which he replied, "Strong. I feel like a wimp!" As they danced, I still feel as if Anna is leading the way. He improved a little but I don't see a long future ahead for him here.
Bruno feels differently than me. He told him that he was a raging bull putting his fighting spirit back in busines. He told him to refine his moevement. A lot of that being said. And Bruno added, "You've got something there!"
Carrie Ann said she saw a lot of improvement and that he took control. "Great performance."
Len told him that each week a dance is like a fight and that the opponent is the dance. "Week 1 and week 2 you let the dance dominate you. This week came out stronger!"
Carrie Ann: 7
Kirstie Alley and Maks Chmerkoskiy 1-800-868-3411
Kirstie and Maks are dancing the Rumba to "Over the Rainbow." In 1980, Kirstie gave herself one year to become an actress. When she got her first major break, "Star Trek Generations" her parents were hit by a drunk driver. Her mother died, and her father was dying. She went onto say that this song brings hope. Their dance began beautifully. I knew in a heartbeat that Kirstie would not disappoint. And then, Maks' had a "Charley Horse" or some muscle strain. Which lots of critics harshly blamed Kirstie's weight for. First of all...NOT COOL people. Second, her weight was on his right, it was his left leg that was hurt. Hmmmm. And lastly he is a pro he knows what he is doing. And he will not let her take the fall at all. I like you Maks! Both barely missed a beat and immediately got right back into the dance and performed like nothing happened! AWESOME!
Carrie Ann said that sometimes tradgey leads to amazing beautiful moments and that something magical happened. She added that Kirstie was very connected to her vulnerability.
Len said that dancing is like life. You have to overcome adveristies. "You overcome it. You got up!"
Bruno raved that once they got up they were even better.
Carrie Ann: 7
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff 1-800-868-3408
Ralph and Karina are dancing The Rumba and he wants the song to be "Stay Gold" from The Outsiders for two reasons. One because that movie launched his career and two(and more important) it was the song played for his wedding. And April 5th is their 24th anniversary! He dedicated the dance to her, his soul mate. I enjoyed their dance, but as I watched him I couldn't help but think he looked like he was dancing the Paso Doble instead. He was very intense.
Len said that it was great and clear but that he needed refinement. He reminded him to work on his hands and his feet. He said the overall look was very appealing.
Bruno said he had beautiful execution--really he did. BUT....the hands. He siad that Ralph has a "statue effect." and that he acted like Karina was too hot to handle.
Carrie Ann said it was a very sweet rumba and that Bruno and Len missed the point! "He was doing it for his wife! Arguing ensues. Tom steps in and reminds cranky Len that it is Carrie's turn. She finishes with, "You need to work on your core. It was otherwise very sweet and very moving." And then turning to Bruno and Cranky Len she said, "And you two are cuckoo!" You tell them, Carrie Ann!
Carrie Ann: 7
Going home tonight is Wendy Williams. She has a great attitude about the whole thing when she says that despite many stereo types, "This black girl can't even do the 'running man." She thanked Tony for teaching her and giving her the opportunity to dance in front of millions of people.
Next week is the first ever: Classical Week.
Pictures from ABC