DwtS In-Season Update: 9-18-06

Now that we’ve seen the DwtS 3 celebrities in action, it’s time for me to rethink my preseason predictions. I’m
0-for-1 so far, as I had Shanna & Jesse going before Tucker &
Elena. In my defense, that was before I saw Tucker dance.

Here’s where I have the dancers slotted this week:

10. Shanna Moakler & Jesse DeSoto
Preseason Rank – 11
Shanna
wasn’t one of the better celeb dancers, and she had little chemistry
with Jesse. On top of that, her tale of enduring a celebrity divorce
wasn’t compelling enough to help her escape the Bottom Three. The sob
story route could wear even thinner with viewers as the weeks go on, so Shanna needs
to exhibit some more personality (and dance better) if she means to
stick around.

9. Willa Ford & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Preseason Rank – 4
Despite
tying for third with the judges, Willa still wound up in the Bottom Three, after the fan vote was added in. If we learned anything from
Stacy Keibler’s popularity problems near the end of last season, it’s
that DwtS fans are not easily beguiled by gorgeous blondes.
Willa may be able to turn things around with a few weeks of perfect
dancing, but she might not be given that much time. That would be too
bad, since she danced well and seemed fun… and her partner is Max.

8. Harry Hamlin & Ashly DelGrosso
Preseason Rank – 1
I said that the only way Harry could lose is if he couldn’t dance. Harry can’t dance.

7. Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel
Preseason Rank – 6
Monique
seems like a nice girl and a competent dancer. She just may not have
the chops or the star power to last long into the competition.

6. Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson
Preseason Rank – 8
After
finishing in 9th place with the judges last week, Jerry needed a huge number of fan
votes to stay out of the Bottom Three. He got the votes he needed,
which should scare the sequins off of his competitors. Jerry’s only way
out of the competition may be to ask his fans to stop voting for him.

5. Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska
Preseason Rank – 7
Joey
had a good first performance, but there’s still room to improve. Now
that the team has seen the competition they’re up against, it’s up to Edyta to craft some
show-stopping routines for Joey.

4. Sara Evans & Tony Dovolani
Preseason Rank – 3
Last week, the judges gave Sara an even lower score than they did Jerry. Yet she, too, avoided the Bottom
Three thanks to an active fanbase. Sara was a little nervous in her
first outing, but she’s got enough potential — and enough fans around
the country — that she should stick around for a long time. Tony is
still the key; he needs to adjust and choreograph to his partner’s
strengths. Sara Evans isn’t Stacy Keibler, but she doesn’t have to be.

3. Vivica A. Fox & Nick Kosovich
Preseason Rank – 2
Vivica
gave a wonderful performance last week, and she looks to be the alpha
female of the competition. She’s also the biggest star in the field,
and I’d guess she has enough support to fend off fan favorites like
Jerry and Sara, who don’t dance at the same level.

2. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
Preseason Rank – 5
Jerry
Rice finished in second place last season, and he’s not even as good a
dancer as Emmitt is. Emmitt’s popularity and talent should keep the
other celebrities on their toes; one wrong move, and Emmitt could win
the whole thing. If he remains the fan favorite, all he has to do
is survive to the final three, and then come in second with the judges.
Since the fan votes are the tiebreaker, Emmitt would get the trophy.

1. Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff
Preseason Rank – 9
For
now, I have to rank the season’s best dancer in the number one spot.
However, there are rumors floating around that Mario’s had extensive
dance training, contradicting what he said on last week’s show. Couple
that news with the fact that his cheating ways led his ex-wife to annul their marriage less than a week after the wedding, and Mario could lose a good chunk of his fan
support. He needs to be perfect from here on out to stay in the top
spot.

In Other DwtS News:
If
you placed a bet that Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson were the most
likely pair to suffer a season-ending injury, you’d be right. But
it was Kym who
blew out her knee during practice, not Jerry. Kym looks to be out of the
competition, and Jerry is currently training with Nick Kosovich’s wife.
We’ll find out Tuesday night if she’ll be his partner for the
remainder of the season. (9-19-06 Update: Word on the street is that Kym’s injury might not be as bad as initially feared, and she may be able to continue dancing with Jerry. We’ll find out when tonight’s show airs!)

Fans of Cheryl Burke will get an extra chance to see her this week, as she guest stars on an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,
on the Disney Channel. The episode, which airs on Thursday, September
22, also features some routines choreographed by Louis van Amstel.

Cheryl’s former partner, Drew Lachey, will be the special guest on the October 4 DwtS Results Show.

Tucker Carlson revealed in an interview why he danced so poorly last week. He was rattled because his shirt had been sewn to his underwear
in order to keep the shirt from coming untucked during the performance.
I’d probably have trouble dancing under those conditions, myself.

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