Last night, September 19, Dancing with the Stars returned to ABC prime time for it’s 13th season. Whatever you may feel about the judges, hosts, pro dancers or their famous partners, I really appreciate this show for all it’s done to promote partner dancing and boost the reputation of ballroom dancing.
It takes A LOT of courage for these well known famous personalities to step out of their comfort zones to learn a new skill then perform that skill in front of millions of tv viewers.  The Dancing with the Stars franchise is now is 32 countries!  The show has been instrumental in maintaining and reviving interest in ballroom around the world.  Sometimes we may think it’s silly or even cheesy, but the hard work of the professional instructors and braveness of ‘Stars’ is to be commended.

Dancing with the Stars Season 13 – Episodes air on Monday and Tuesday Nights 9/8c

Week 1 Performance Recap

To kick off the show, all twelve ‘Stars’ performed either a Cha Cha or Viennese Waltz with their Professional dance partner/instructor.

First to take the floor was Ron Artest (now known as ‘Metta World Peace’ – no, I am not making it up), small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers.  His Cha Cha was not the greatest but I love to see large male athletes show that ballroom dancing is NOT for sissies.

Next up was Rob Kardashian, brother of Kim Kardashian and Khloé Odom, performing a beautiful Viennese Waltz with infamous partner, Cheryl Burke.  Lamar Odom was there to cheer on his teammate, Artest, and brother in law, Rob.  Let’s just hope Rob stays on longer than his sister Kim’s three episodes.

Then came Orange County’s own Kristin Cavallari, from Laguna Beach: The Real OC and The Hills.  She and partner Mark did a HOT Cha Cha!

Next is Chynna Phillips, singer from Wilson-Phillips, who’s inherent musical abilities came through during a lovely Viennese Waltz.  She and partner Tony scored the highest marks of the night – Congrats!

TV host, Nancy Grace, was not exactly graceful during her Cha Cha with partner Tristan.  However, the 52 year-old mother of twin toddlers deserves credit for balancing kids, a successful career and ballroom training!

David Arquette‘s Viennese Waltz with two-time Champion Kym Johnson was a pleasant surprise.  Known for his silly antics, Mr. Arquette proved to be a focus and diligent student.  Their danced flowed beautifully and it even looked as though Mr. Arquette led his partner rather than simply execute choreography – not an easy task as you men know!

Italian actress and (former) flame of George Clooney, Elisabetta Canalis looked a little lost when performing choreography on her own, but she managed to surmount a language barrier and Cha Cha her heart out.

Soccer star and Olympian, Hope Solo was up next.  Solo was worried she would not be able to walk in heels, much less dance in them.  Despite her concerns, she and partner Maks received a score of 21 for their flowing Viennese Waltz, placing them in 3nd behind Chynna and Tony.  I’m sure she’s a hard worker with an excellent training mindset for the precision of competitive ballroom dance.

Beloved fashion expert, Carson Kressley, from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and How to Look Good Naked, hit the floor with a fun and funky Cha Cha.  He and partner Ana certainly know how to put on a show and prove to viewers that ballroom dancing can be FUN!!

JR Martinez, wounded war vet and actor on (soon to be concluded) All My Children, wow’d the judges with his Viennese Waltz.  He was light on his feet and had quite good technique for a new dancer.  He and champion partner, Karina Smirnoff, received a 22 for a tie with Chynna & Tony.

Ricki Lake unveiled her ‘banging’ new body during her Viennese Waltz with partner Derek Hough.  She is aiming for the win and her first dance earned a solid 20.  I think she will bring the fire to the floor this season and give the crowd favorites a run for their money.

Finally, we come to the controversy.  Last to dance with our beloved Orange County West Coast Swing/International Latin Champion and So You Think You Can Dance finalist – Lacey Schwimmer, with Chaz Bono.  Because Chaz, daughter of Sonny and Cher, is a transgender male, there were some nasty comments from DWTS fans regarding his appearance on the show.  Chaz and Lacey worked really hard to show viewers that ANYONE CAN DANCE! He hit the floor with a Cha Cha routine that did not disappoint.  I sincerely hope he continues on the show, if only to prove to viewers and anyone slightly interested in learning to dance that dancing is a skill anyone can learn regardless of sex, gender, race, physical ability or what have you.  Best of luck Lacey & Chaz!!

This years show is shaping up to be one of the best ever!

Watch a full streaming video of last night performances here


Week 1 Results

Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) and his partner Peta are the first to leave the show.  His Cha Cha was pretty stiff and I’m sure fans are put off by his new name.

*Remember to vote for your favorite couple to keep them on the show!  Good Luck to the remaining contestants!!


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