For this viewer Season 17 of “Dancing With The Stars” got started with a bang. Before I even think of breaking down the dances, I have to say that I absolutely loved the opening of the show, which was choreographed by Mandy Moore. The only thing that would've made it better for me was to have actually been there. I love, love, love the thrill of a live show. Toss it up to twelve years of dance followed by more years in theatre. For me there is nothing like it, and the opening group number just took you to the ballroom. It was awesome.
As I said in my previous post, breaking down the cast, I thought this season could be interesting. After one night I found myself extremely impressed with what I saw. No one gave less than what I expected, however, some of them gave even more. Several of them had me pleasantly surprised. For the first night of competition, I thought everyone did a great job.
All that being said, lets get down to it.
Brant Daugherty (Cha-Cha): Brant I had a good feeling about to begin with, and he went for it. He showed off the bat that he can move. Not only that, he isn't scared to. He wasn't stiff and went for it. I can't wait to see him with a ballroom style. If he has the poise, he could be a contender. Judges' Scores: 7-8-7
Leah Remini (Fox Trot): Leah had surprising grace, I thought. She did a completely respectable dance. I think the one thing that might've held her back a little this week was nerves, but she can move. I hope she stays loose next week with a Latin dance. That will definitely tell the tale. Judges' Scores: 7-7-7
Corbin Bleu (Contemporary): Going into tonight, I expected a lot from Corbin, and he didn't disappoint. I think contemporary can be a very difficult style to start with, especially if you aren't used to dance or performing emotionally. He had the benefit of having a dance and theatre background. That leant itself well to his dance. Judges' Scores: 8-8-8
Jack Osbourne (Fox Trot): I admire anyone who has an obstacle in their way and refuses to let it defeat them. Jack is no exception. I have friends with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and I know it can be a battle. Jack took to the dance floor and gave a great performance, and seeing his mom – Sharon Osbourne – crying made me cry. Judges' Scores: 8-8-7
Amber Riley (Cha-Cha): Wow! Wow! WOW! I knew that Amber would have musicality, but she was fierce tonight. As a woman that isn't a little stick either, I admire her for tackling this competition, and she definitely represented. She was fast. She was sharp. She blew me away. I can't wait to see what she brings next week. Judges' Scores: 9-9-9
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Contemporary): So I grew up watching Elizabeth on “Saved By The Bell”, and I saw her dance some there. I didn't realize she had a bigger dance background. It definitely showed tonight, though, and I'm glad she is getting to rediscover a passion. Contemporary suited her well. I'm curious to see what happens when she takes on the dances with more “rules”. Judges' Scores: 8-8-8
Bill Nye (Cha-Cha): With Bill I definitely got what I expected. I figured they would go for the “theatrics” and comedy, and that's what they did. Was he horrible? No… I've seen worse on the show over the years, but he definitely didn't rank with the others. The judges seemed to agree. Judges' Scores: 5-4-5
Keyshawn Johnson (Cha-Cha): Typically football players tend to do well in this competition. They also tend to do well with Latin. As I mentioned in my original breakdown of the cast, I don't see Keyshawn making it to the end, and tonight supported my original call. He wasn't horrible, but he needs to loosen up. If he doesn't, he won't be following the NFL tradition. Judges' Scores: 6-5-6
Christina Milian (Contemporary): Christina is another celebrity that has an edge, especially when it comes to the all important musicality. Her performance tonight was good, but I think it could've been better if she was able to shake off her nerves. I think they held her back. Hopefully she can shake loose next week. Judges' Scores: 7-7-8
Bill Engvall (Fox Trot): This was another surprise of the night for me. I didn't really expect him to be great, and I figured they would go the comedy route. I'll fully admit that I was wrong. Bill did a really good job, and he DANCED. They didn't do comedy; he actually danced. No, I still don't think he'll win, but he did well. I'm looking forward to more. Judges' Scores: 6-6-6
Valerie Harper (Fox Trot): What can I say? I don't know how you can say anything bad about Valerie Harper. The woman wasn't supposed to be alive by now, yet she's competing. I look at her age and where she has been health wise, and I'm blown away. She did a beautiful dance that left me smiling. Judges' Scores: 7-7-7
Nicole Polizzi (Cha-Cha): Now I had no doubt that the reality star, formally known as Snooki, would be able to move it on the dance floor. What surprised me was her technique. She definitely brought it, and I was impressed. Judges' Scores: 8-8-7
Those are my thoughts after the first night of competition. I'm not an expert. I don't claim to be, but I've been a fan for 17 seasons. Over the years I've become a pretty good judge at determining who will stay, who will go, and who will make it to the end.
So I'm going to make my final three predictions. This is something my dad and I do every season. We make predictions solely based on the first dances. My final three predictions is: Brant Daugherty, Corbin Bleu, and Amber Riley. For my dad, he picked: Corbin Bleu, Amber Riley, and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren.
As for who I think will be the first to go – that's a difficult call. You have to take into consideration not just scores and how well they danced, but fan support. If you remove who fans are cheering for, Bill Nye should be going home first. However, I've seen plenty of support for him on the show, so that tells me he is probably sticking around, meaning someone that should stay will go. My guess is going to be Leah Remini. I don't want to see her eliminated, but my instincts are telling me that she may not have the fan support to keep her around.
What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this week's competition.
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