Emma Slater may be taking a break from this year’s season of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ but each week the pro will be there and giving us a behind-the-scenes break down on Tuesday mornings.
It was the premiere of Dancing with the Stars last night on ABC — Len was back in the ballroom (Welcome back Lenny) and once again the producers of the show have delivered a varied cast from all walks of life. To celebrate this season, I’m going to be writing a DWTS blog every week right here on HollywoodLife to give you my very honest opinion on all of the couples as the rip up the ballroom. So, who was hot, and who was… Errr… Not?
Kim Fields & Sasha Farber.
First up was Kim Fields from Facts of Life and, more recently, Real Housewives of Atlanta. Wow! What a great example of electric team chemistry! Kim and Sasha wowed with their fun loving Cha Cha. Not sure many people expected this performance. Watching Kim dance, her zest & spicy personality is undeniable; exactly like Carrie Ann said “fierceness in a tiny package.” But I think what Bruno was trying to say in his comment was that Kim needs to go through the arches of her feet more (not just landing on a flat foot). This will give her sexy cat-like legs which I believe she’s capable of. The routine was perfectly in-sync. I have to hand it to Sash, he worked very hard on her arms and I think it paid off. Now… I know he’s my boyfriend (yay for love and all), but I will NOT be biased here. Sorry Sash! But credit where credits due, Sasha did a brilliant job with Kim and I’m so happy to see him as a Pro. Oh and if you haven’t seen Kim’s reaction to her judges scores, open a new tab & go watch it now. It’s Priceless!! Scores for Kim & Sasha: 7, 6, 7
Paige VanZant & Mark Ballas
Seriously, I know it’s week one and all but I was glued to my seat watching them. This foxtrot was thrilling, Paige is surprising graceful for a UFC fighter! Her shoulders were pushed right down I noticed from the start, her neck extension was the best out of all the ballroom dances tonight. Awesome job Mark as usual, I LOVED the soul sections in this. In the coming weeks Paige my sweetie, work on extremities (sharper in the sharp sections, then sit back and relax even more in the oozier sections) it’s all about light and shade. I easily see Paige going all the way, so I’m looking forward to another season packed full of creative Mark Ballas routines. Scores for Paige & Mark: 7, 7, 7
Doug Flutie & Karina Smirnoff
Doug! Oh sweetie, you dashing Matthew McConaughey lookalike you. He does remind me of Michael Waltrip my partner from season 19! Such a joyful foxtrot but it was missing a lot of grace and stretch. You have to glide along the floor in foxtrot, using heel leads and tucking your bum underneath. Whilst these were absent I couldn’t help but smile when I watched Doug. He had energy running right through to his finger tips so I have to commend him for this. Doug, keep listening to Karina and remember next week is Latin week so we need HIPS! I admire your competitiveness and I definitely don’t see you leaving the competition just yet. So bring that grace my love! Scores for Doug & Karina: 5, 5, 5
Jodie Sweetin & Keo Motsepe
Jodie said in her pre-dance package that she wants to reinvent herself as a women in the eyes of the American public. Well last night I think she did just that. Well done Jodie! The beginning of her Tango with Keo was soooo intense. Then she lunged showing beautiful straight legs & pointed feet. I have two criticisms for these two however. Firstly, when in frame I would have liked to see no gap in-between their bodies. Secondly, Jodie needs to lift her chin as she lowered it so much it looked a little like she was glaring. I’m excited to see more from Jodie, I think she’s going to bring her all to every performance. And nice work Keo! Scores for Jodie & Keo: 7, 6, 7
Geraldo Rivera & Edyta Sliwinska
I agree with Geraldo that 70 is the new 50! (My Nan is also pure proof of that) Geraldo has that grin, so adorable. But smiles won’t get you all the way in DWTS. I thought Edyta could have given Geraldo some more steps in this Cha Cha. They don’t have to be complicated, but I would have liked to seen her stay with Geraldo the whole time, grab both his hands and given him some strong, solid but simple steps, not competitive open cha cha locks. This was a bad choice I feel. Basics steps done together and executed well are often better than leaving your celebrity solo. Come back next week Geraldo and Edyta and remember, simple but solid. Scores for Geraldo & Edyta: 5, 4, 4
Ginger Zee & Val Chmerkovskiy.
Ginger and Val win the ‘most uplifting’ award with their performance, the Jive. Val knows how to highlight a lady and he did a great job here, ginger showed moments of sass inbetween high energy. I do agree with the judges that more of a bounce through the knees and ankles was needed from her to gain higher scores. Attention to footwork will be her Everest I predict. I hope the traveling to New York each week for her work on Good Morning America doesn’t take its toll on Ginger because I think they could go all the way. Carrie Ann compared Ginger to Bindi Urwin which is a bold statement but I gotta say, I did find myself nodding when she said it. Scores for Ginger & Val: 8, 7, 8
Mischa Barton & Artem Chigvintsev
Mischa Barton. Oh man, I admit I am a little star struck here! I watched her all the time on The OC. Rumer Willis told me recently she had been trying to get Mischa to do the show. I’m glad she succeeded. I feel like nerves got in the way though with Mischa’s Tango performance tonight, a kind of self doubt. I see her holding back. I understand this will take time to overcome and won’t happen over night. Artem speaks so highly of her which I love. If Mischa trusts him and makes her goal to have fun, Mischa you will see just how rewarding this show is. I saved a vote for you tonight. Scores for Mischa & Artem: 5, 5, 6
Marla Maples & Tony Dovolani.
Marla and Tony had quickstep last night, and when I finally picked my jaw up off the floor and stopped obsessing about how beautiful she is, I was quite impressed at her general ease of movement. Marla grasped the dance well, I see Tony found out she could kick well because it was choreographed into the routine many times! (This isn’t a dig however, Tony knows exactly what’s needed to get the most out of his partners). There was one instance during a stationary kick section that Marla got lost in the routine but she picked it back up quickly and the judges didn’t make a comment about it. Overall, the scores were great for week one. Well done Marla & the great Tony Dovolani! Scores for Marla & Tony: 7, 7, 7
Wanya Morris & Lindsay Arnold
Wanya is the Manya. No doubt, he’s the one the others should be looking for. And the ‘Boys to Men’ singer is aimed with the best weapon of all. Lindsay Arnold. What a duo! I see great things. Wanya is SO dynamic in this Cha cha, his turns were comparable to our professionals on the show! His ‘New Yorker’ section (it’s a step in Cha cha) was perfectly matching Lindsays line and arm position. Super sharp, smooth in places and kinda flirty too actually which a cha cha should be in my opinion. Just down right swag, Wanya left me wanting more!!! Encore! Well done to my girl Lindsay Arnold! Scores for Wanya & Lindsay: 8, 7, 8
Nyle DiMarco & Peta Murgatroyd
Nyle & Peta blew me away tonight. I loved watching how Peta has developed her teaching technique to adjust to Nyle’s inability to hear the music. I was quite moving! Nyle is undeniably a talented dancer, he was a real sexy Latin man dancing away, spinning Peta and dipping her. Grrrrrrrr he was so in control and I love that! Having this kind of attack in Cha Cha is key. With Nyle watching Peta’s every move to keep him on time, I saw a trust and respect in their partnership. I can’t wait to see more from him, I think he’s a natural who doesn’t hold back. Good job Nyle!! Scores for Nyle & Peta: 8, 7, 8
Antonio Brown & Sharna Burgess.
Antonio Brown is in town, and he bought the Rock and Roll last night. I hope the Steelers fans out there are proud! He did a good job in his quickstep with Sharna, I loved the split slide they did. My constructive criticism would be his posture. This was his weakness. The more he can work lifting from the back of the neck the better as he’ll need this to move forward in the competition. I have to ask, Was I the only one who secretly thinks Antonio & Sharna had more than dance chemistry?! They would be hot together! Oof! Scores for Antonio & Sharna: 8, 6, 7
Von Miller & Witney Carson,
Well turns out I’m a Von Miller fan! Witney tells me he’s almost geeky and I DIG IT!! They closed the show with their Foxtrot performance which I liked, it was sharp, quirky but probably not the most technical. He needs to lock his knees back when straightening his legs and finish each movement of to its fullest before taking the next step. I sat next to Witney’s mum during the show last night and we were discussing the height difference between Von & Witney! It’s actually massive! Von has charm, it’s very endearing. I think this season we’ll get to know this MVP a little deeper, I have a feeling there’s a dark horse in there. He has a very bro-like masculine quality. Could Von be the reason why Dancing with the Stars recruits a new wave of husbands tuning into the show?! Scores for Von & Witney: 8, 6, 7
Well, next week on Dancing with the Stars is Latin Week — so expect some spice. The pro dancers will be turning up the heat because it’s also the first elimination, which is when it gets real y’all! Catch my blog next week for the backstage scoop! Write me your comments and have a great week loves!!! Plus, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.