Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 25: Dishing and Dancing

By the time you read this, two of them will be gone, forever banished to the land of Tom Bergeron's one-liners. But right now, before the first elimination, I can list all twelve hopefuls and break down their potential for you. Don't mention it--it's what I do.

In alphabetical order, the stars of Season Six of Dancing with the Stars:

Adam Carolla

Strangely, I was not familiar with this purported comedian, but I do like his self-deprecation in rehearsals with the fresh-as-the-flowers-of-Utah Julianne Hough (a two-time winner whom Adam has grimly informed will not be eligible for the "three-peat.") His fox trot had a Lurch-like quality (and he looks spookily like Jon Turturro) but I found his mambo rather fun. It was entertainment-dance of a higher caliber than Jerry Springer's, but in that same mode. He's going for it, I'll say that for him. He'll probably scoot by on his charm for a couple more weeks.

Cristian de la Fuente

I was like, WHO? But I did recognize him from the clip from Ugly Betty. I was surprised the judges were so ga-ga over his Cha Cha the first week. Yes, the man can move his hips, but I agreed with Bruno that his shoulders were distractingly Quasimodo. For some reason, I don't remember his Quick Step at all, but I know the judges are still digging him. I do think he's teachable (and doesn't seem like an idiot) so he'll probably stick around.

Shannon Elizabeth

Now she has been a big surprise. I love that she looks so genuinely thrilled to be there, and this week her Quick Step was a massive improvement over the Cha Cha. Even that benefited from her balls-out enthusiasm. For such a big, lanky gal, she's light on her feet, and works the audience. I told David that Jennie Garth from last season could learn a thing or two about how to manage her facial expressions from Shannon. A few more weeks like this (and unless she succumbs to "The Model Curse," I think she'll stay) and I'll be able to completely forget her crazy balloon-like boobies from American Pie.

Steve Guttenberg

The last time I saw "the Gute," as they call him, he was scaring the hell out of me with his frozen clown face on Veronica Mars. Now, his face seems to have thawed, and he's kind of--dare I say?--adorable. I don't think his dancing is as bad as the judges imply. He's fairly light on his feet, and performs up a storm. He also seems like an audience favorite, so I'm sure we'll be seeing more of him.

Mario

I don't know who this guy is, but he's cute, he's game, and he's got Karina. If she could propel Billy Cyrus to the finals, she can do anything. And he's competitive--you can tell. He got his hips moving a bit in the Cha Cha, and then he flew around the floor in the Quick Step to the point where I couldn't tell if it was good or just fast. (Also, I was distracted by his caveman tuxedo.) I think Carrie Ann is in love with him, or just wants to get Mario-ized.

Marlee Matlin

I read in the paper that she was good, so it wasn't as much of a shock to see HOW good. Wow. She might be deaf, but she's musical, and an Oscar winner. She performs the hell out of those dances. It's intriguing me that her partner, Fabian Sanchez, is the only non-vet of the professionals. Were some pros skittish about working with her? I also love her wry sense of humor, like when she put her hand over the mike that Samantha Harris keeps dopily shoving in her face. And my favorite quote ever is when she explained that the fans have been great, if a little confused, like the one who asked her "Will you still be deaf at the end of the show?"

Penn Jillette

He of the monster feet makes me feel a bit bad for Kym Johnson. She always seems to pull the short straw and get matched with a good ol' boy who can't really dance but wants to show everyone how much FUN he's having. It actually IS kind of fun to watch them dance together, especially when he scoops her up in his meaty paws and her feet actually leave the ground. But I don't find all his "humorous" interruptions of the judges and Samantha very amusing. He's kind of strident, and it makes me tense. I think he'll be the one to go this week. Either him or Adam.

Priscilla Presley

About three seconds into her fox trot on the first night and I was totally smitten. Last night's mambo only clinched it: I have a crush on the 60-something former child bride of Elvis. And I admit this AFTER having announced to David (before I saw her dance, mind you) that her waxy visage and painted-on mouth reminded me of The Joker. What can I say? Cupid is a mad scientist. It's not just her dancing (although that is spectacularly sultry)--it's also her languid modesty. She's the one to watch.

Monica Seles

Aw, sweetie. I'm sure you're an excellent tennis player. And there's something about the worried furrow of your brow that makes me feel protective of you. But the second you start dancing, just the look on your face makes me almost spew my Dr. Pepper. Then you add your thrusting arms and the bounce that makes it look like it's your serve, and I totally lose it. I know you're working hard--no one doubts your commitment. But a merciful God likes to spread the wealth around, I guess. I'd start saying my goodbyes, if I were you.

Jason Taylor

I don't watch football, so as far I'm concerned, this guy could be a florist. And I was surprised to find him strangely alluring--his soft puppy eyes, his southern drawl, the delicate extension of his fingertips. The guy can dance, and isn't afraid to get a little sissified in the name of ballroom. I think he's better than what's-his-name, the football player who won the whole thing a few seasons ago.

Marissa Jaret Winokur

Man, that name is a mouthful. But she is cuter than cute. They could use her face as a generator in the next NYC blackout. I'm rooting for her. And I couldn't stand it when Carrie Ann changed her tune half-way through her review last night to say she was disappointed. The quivering lip, the eyes abruptly averted. I think the judges are being a bit tough on her. She makes dancing look fun. And Tony Dovolani is my new hero for that sweet pep talk he gave her. I believe him. I'll bet she is a blast to work with.

Kristi Yamaguchi

I'm one of those girls who grew up thinking ice skaters are gods descended to walk among us, so I did have high expectations for my girl Kristi. Then she raised the bar to the heavens with her two performances thus far. In her face, I recognize the stamina and determination of Apolo Anton Ono--you don't get Olympic gold by trying kinda-sorta. But Kristi has an edge that Apolo didn't, and that's that her sport actually required her to be graceful. Don't think I'm comparing dancing to skating--they require a completely different musculature, for one thing--but they do share the "light as a fairy princess" illusion while, like the duck, you have to be paddling furiously underneath. I told David that Kristi is risking it all each time she gets on the floor, and why not? "Unlike on the ice, she can put it all out there, hold nothing back, and there's still very little chance of her landing on her ass." She's the one to beat.

3 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I must confess I've always found Steve Guttenburg adorable. And I'm thrilled to hear you mention Veronica Mars--we cried when it was over--that was a show the whole family loved.

Dancing With The Stars? No idea . . . no time to watch.

Cheri said...

Random Confession #8:

I totally LURVE Steve Guttenberg. He's seems so sweet and wholesome, the polar opposite of secret-boyfriend material for me, which is why I think we could live happily ever after.

Anonymous said...

Your post makes me want to watch this show (which I have never actually seen)! Now, how about turning your powers of prediction on American Idol? Will that cute (but not very talented) Australian make it to the top 5? :) Lix