As the couples of Dancing with the Stars 4 prepare for their second performances, which celebrity is most likely to follow in the footsteps of Trista Sutter, Kenny Mayne, and Tucker Carlson on elimination night?
If you need a refresher on the premiere performances, check out the videos in our Week 1 Performance Show Recap.
From worst to first, here’s where the couples rank after one week…
11. Billy Ray Cyrus & Karina Smirnoff
It’s not just that Billy Ray & Karina earned the lowest scores from the judges after their Cha Cha Cha. It’s the way they did it that puts the most pressure on them. Billy Ray seemed so self-conscious that it would take a psychological breakthrough of Freudian proportions for him to give the kind of performance he needs.
For him, the real accomplishment may have been just getting out on the dance floor. If that’s the case, then he needs to go, so that the show can focus on the couples who came to win.
10. Heather Mills & Jonathan Roberts
The same goes for Heather. Her decision to join the cast is admirable, and she’s already done a lot to change perceptions of the abilities of people with physical handicaps. But she gave me the impression that participating was victory enough for her.
I’d be more inspired if she’d said, "I’m not just going to dance; I’m going to be better than all of the other dancers." Her first routine was great, but I’m skeptical as to whether Heather’s heart is really in it.
9. Leeza Gibbons & Tony Dovolani
Leeza needs to look more relaxed on the dance floor, and she doesn’t have much time to figure out how to do that.
8. Shandi Finnessey & Brian Fortuna
Shandi seemed funny and engaging in pre-show interviews. Sadly, it seems she didn’t come across so well on the show. I thought Shandi’s dancing was fine — but not good enough that she can survive too long without winning over the audience.
Shandi needs to come across as a real person, and not a beauty queen trying too hard to seem like a real person. For example, she should stop calling herself a "geek." Instead, prove it! I recommend responding to the judges in Klingon. Qapla’, Shandi!
I also hope the producers won’t try to manufacture a showmance between Shandi and Brian this season. It didn’t help Willa & Maks last season, and it won’t do Shandi any good now.
7. Clyde Drexler & Elena Grinenko
Some fans called Clyde’s performance "sweet" or "charming," which is the kind of backhanded compliment you give to shy guys. If he wasn’t so tall, they would’ve called him "cute." He’ll have a couple more weeks to get comfortable with the performances, but his dancing will suffer if he can’t loosen up.
6. John Ratzenberger & Edyta Sliwinska
The surprisingly competent Ratzenberger seems to think that he can win this competition on merit alone. Didn’t he get the memo that the older male competitors are supposed to be sluggish, self-deprecating, and threatening to break a hip at a moment’s notice?
5. Paulina Porizkova & Alec Mazo
Hopefully, Paulina will stop harping on her own clumsiness after this week. Not that I don’t believe she was a clumsy kid, but by mentioning it so much, the audience and judges are going to be looking for missteps. She’s better when he sticks to the commie humor.
4. Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough
Apolo’s naturally gifted, and he pairs well with Julianne. But if he isn’t able to devote as much time to dancing as the others — especially a perfectionist like Ian — it’s going to show in his performances. Fortunately, I’ve heard that he plans to curtail his skating for the remainder of the season.
3. Ian Ziering & Cheryl Burke
Ian didn’t get the highest score from the judges after his first performance, which could be a blessing in disguise. The pressure’s off, so he gets to focus on his own progress and not worry about what everyone else is doing.
2. Laila Ali & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Laila may have scored the highest among the women, but she wasn’t in first place. This early in the game, that’s perfect for her. She’s going to force herself to work that much harder to overtake Joey as the judges’ favorite.
1. Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson
Joey will probably be setting the pace for the next few weeks. He should aim for consistency early on, looking to peak in the last few shows. Hopefully, he can leave himself some room to grow.