Sugar Ray Leonard, boxing legend, is partnered with Anna. Yay! So glad Anna is back. Sugar Ray says that he could dance in the ring, but not outside of it. He gets really frustrated in rehearsals. He has Adam Carolla boxer syndrome -- he's got quick feet, but he's used to hunching his shoulders forward and keeping his arms up and tight, which is the opposite of what you need for dancing. I will say that Sugar Ray seems pretty good mentally, which is more than you can say for a lot of former boxers.
How is their foxtrot? Well, there are two bad signs before it even starts. First, Anna's hair is redonk. She looks like redheaded Delta Burke/Suzanne Sugarbaker. Second, Anna starts the dance alone and it's a good four beats before Sugar Ray joins her. Well, the parts that are in hold are pretty awful. Sugar Ray looks totally awkward and stiff, and his shoulders are up around his ears. Once they break hold, he actually shows signs of life. His technique is awful -- his hands are just kind of flopping around in between poses and he doesn't point his toes. But he actually performs and seems to have fun with it. I don't think he'll win or anything, but he could be much better than this dance shows. Judges: Carrie Ann says he had moments of Ben Vereen, but he needs to work on posture A LOT. Len thought the energy and performance levels were high but the dancing level was low. Bruno makes a Some Like It Hot joke that no one born after 1975 understands, and then makes my observation: he was great out of hold and awful in hold. Scores: Carrie Ann 6, Len 5, and Bruno 6. Generous.
Kendra Wilkinson describes herself as a sexy tomboy, and reminds us that she's a wife and mother, not just a whore. I mean, girlfriend of Hugh Hefner. Kendra thinks she has a lot of moves. Well, she can shake her ass and boobs. OMG, then Kendra says the greatest quote of all time: "This cha cha is going to be hot. Not club hot. But classy hot." She really is like a Christopher Guest character, isn't she? I bet she likes soup. And talking and not talking.
Kendra and Louis are about to do their cha cha cha. Here's the problem. She looks great in her little dress, and she sure can shake her hips, but she has no musicality or rhythm. And she's just flinging her arms around with wild abandon. And then, on top of all that, she looks terrified. I think she might have screwed up a little bit early on and it threw her, because she acts like a spooked horse. What did the judges think? Len says that she held his interest, and the content was great, but she needs to straighten her legs at times. Bruno says she brought on a "full-frontal attack" but she does need to straighten her legs. Carrie Ann points out that she didn't miss a step (so I guess I was wrong about that) but she needs to work on something more. Her spots? Her spa? Her stop? I don't know. Scores: Carrie Ann 6, Len 6, and Bruno 6. That was generous. I think they were mesmerized by her boobs.
Ralph Macchio doesn't shy away from the Karate Kid label, and why fight it? He's dancing with Karina. When they meet, Karina says that Ralph looks exactly the same as he did twenty-eight years ago. I think he's wearing a rug. Is he wearing a rug? His hair looks weird. Ralph is really smart, and he overanalyzes the dance and Karina tells him, "Overanalysis creates paralysis." So true, Karina. Wisdom for the ages.
How is their foxtrot? It's to Sinatra, which is a good choice for Ralph. I kind of assumed he's from Jersey but I just looked it up and he's from Long Island. But he's Italian-American and from the Tristate area, so good enough. For the first two-thirds of their routine, I was fairly impressed. Ralph has grace and fluidity, and despite a few footing problems, looks pretty good. And then they did this side-by-side segment that was AMAZING. Like I am sitting alone in my living room and I said out loud, "Whaa-aaaa -- aaat? Where did that come from?" He's really good! He kind of messes up the ending, but goddamn! So much better than I expected and he has a ton of elegance. Perfect for a foxtrot. I don't know how he'll do on Latin, but this was really great, especially for the first week. Did the judges see what I saw? Bruno thinks it was a hit, and he had great showmanship, but he has to watch out for creepy hands. Carrie Ann thought it was an amazing surprise and elegant. Len thinks he has great potential but is a bit rough around the edges. But it was still the best foxtrot of the night. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 8, and Bruno 8.
I have a confession. I used to watch WWE, back when it was WWF. I even recapped Smackdown for a few episodes for this very site. I quit watching when The Rock left, I think. But it used to be so ridiculously over the top and the storylines were like soap operas, and I enjoyed the pageantry. So I am familiar with Chris Jericho. Anyway, he meets his partner, Cheryl, and her biggest concern is that he won't keep his shoulders down and you won't be able to see his neck.
They are dancing the cha cha cha. Cheryl, master choreographer that she is, manages to rig it so that Jericho basically just stands still while she dances around him. His movements are too small. He needs to go bigger and less stiff. He has hip action once in a while, but not consistently. They try to distract with lots of pyrotechnics and costume changes, but his footwork actually isn't horrible. It's just too small. Carrie Ann likes his attack and he didn't miss a step, but she wanted more content. Len didn't see any hip action, but he liked the energy and fun. Bruno thought it was unsteady and messy at times, but always entertaining. I guess I just expected something bigger and more out there, because Jericho has such a huge personality. Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 6, and Bruno 6. I think Carrie Ann's score was because she couldn't exactly pinpoint the problem, so she couldn't give him a 6. But that's an overscore.
Okay, the next contestant is the one most people haven't heard of, but I have. He's "Psycho" Mike Catherwood, who now hosts Loveline with Dr. Drew. He knows he's not well known, so that's something. And he's partnered with Lacey. Oh, Lacey. She seems to be growing out her bad dye job from last season, and she should really get those ends cut off and dye the rest her natural color, because it looks HORRIBLE. Does she know that she's on national television? Anyway, based on their rehearsals, he's not good. And he knows it. Does self-deprecation count for anything?
So their foxtrot. How is it? Well, he's crazy pigeon-toed, though that didn't seem to hurt Kyle last season. He has two problems: he's not good, and he has no fanbase. So I'm not going to get too attached. He's not embarrassingly bad. He moves around the floor well, and he tries to put some performance into it. But his feet are awful and he has no rhythm, and Lacey is dragging him around the floor. Judges? Len nails it when he says that dancing is movement to music, and he was moving and there was music, but it wasn't dancing. He advises Mike to do better next week if he wants to stay. Bruno acknowledges that it's hard the first time out, but he didn't have any flow. Carrie Ann thinks the others are being too hard, and she knows that he wasn't great but they had a tough dance. Mike looks really sad; I don't know if he hates the judges' critiques or if he's disappointed in himself. Scores: Carrie Ann 5, Len 4, and Bruno 4. Oof. Mike makes a joke that he beat the scores of his father, Master P. Aw. I hate Lacey but I like Mike.
And the final dancer of the night is Kirstie Alley. Here are my thoughts on Kirstie Alley, because I know you care. I want to like her. But she tries SO HARD and it's exhausting. I don't feel like she's ever being genuine. She has this persona of the good time girl who's a little raunchy and a little wacky and LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME! And hasn't she grown out of that yet? With the weight loss and the weight gain and the Oprah and the Scientology and the "big one" acceptance speeches and the hair and the boobs and I'm tired already. Anyway, her partner is Maks, who is the only one who could handle her. I can't believe she's 60 though. In rehearsal, Kirstie has trouble keeping up with Maks, but who wouldn't?
So they have the cha cha cha. The producers must really want Kirstie to stay because she gets this huge silvery glittery backdrop that makes the whole dance seem like a bigger production than the others. Then again, Jericho had fireworks. Kirstie is really good. I mean, really good. And I hate to say this, because I'm all about size acceptance, but she would be a lot better if she were in better shape. I think if she continues, she will lose some weight and be able to move around even better. What I love, though, is that she is totally sexy no matter what size she's at, and she works it. And her footwork is great. Here's another big deal: I spend the whole dance watching her instead of Maks, and we all know how Maks tends to pull focus. He's just a prop here, and that's how it should be, and I attribute that to Kirstie's charisma. She gets a standing ovation. Judges? Bruno thinks they are only scratching the surface, and her foot placement was the best of the night. Carrie Ann can't believe she's 60 (me neither) and it was musical with sizzle. Len thought it was fun, cheeky, and entertaining. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 7, and Bruno 8. I think that's fair but I would love to hear Len's rationale for taking it down a point compared to Ralph. I don't think he's wrong, but I would love to hear it.