DwtS 5, Week 1: Men’s Performance Show

Based on Tuesday’s DwtS performance show, there’s a clear frontrunner among the men, and five other guys who should be worried about tomorrow night’s elimination.

After a recap of the ladies’ performances, Len Goodman gave his assessment of the dances. He said the judges agreed that the ladies set an unbelievably high standard, and he was hoping their performances would stick, so it would be "bye-bye" to one of the boys.

Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska — Fox Trot
Cameron’s work schedule is tight, and so are his hips. But it didn’t show too much in this smooth performance. Besides, Edyta’s more than flexible enough to make up for Cameron. Overall, it was a charming first effort from the soap star.

Len joked, "Cameron, you remind me so much of myself: tall, good looking, muscular body. But enough about me. I thought it was a really good job first time out." Bruno said, "You have very good arm lines for a man. Not quite a Rolls Royce yet, but not a Buick either." Carrie Ann told Cameron, "I think you made a lot of women happy watching you."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 21/30

Floyd Mayweather & Karina Smirnoff — Cha Cha Cha
On the first day of rehearsal, Floyd gave Karina attitude and she walked out. But they came together to develop a routine with which they could both be happy. However, there were even more hip-hop moves in this routine than in Sabrina’s dance last night. If they want to stick around, Floyd’s going to need to fix his awkward posture and soften up a bit.

Bruno told Floyd. "If you channel that energy and you focus on technique, you could be an amazing dancer." Len advised Floyd, "It was good; it wasn’t a great first round." Then he pointed at Karina and said, "Trust this girl. She’s a great trainer." Carrie Ann wanted more "finesse" from Floyd: "You have to treat Karina with a little more tenderness."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…6 = 18/30

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Fox Trot
Helio was all smiles during his classy debut performance, complete with Julianne sporting a neat pants outfit. It’s very hard not to like a guy who lets his partner dip him at the end of their routine.

Carrie Ann told Helio, "You are a natural." Bruno said, "The King of Speed has become the King of Charm. I have to praise the choreography and the chemistry between you two." Len said, "That. Was. Great. It was like you were on cruise control."

As they waited for their scores, Drew Lachey asked Helio, "When I was doing this show, I didn’t smile until Week 6. You haven’t stopped smiling. Are you just that happy?" Helio smiled and replied, "I guess I had more fun than you."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…9, Bruno…8 = 25/30

Albert Reed & Anna Trebunskaya — Cha Cha Cha
The routine began with Albert posing and Anna ripping off his jacket, in a nod to his modeling career. Albert’s first performance was uneven: some cool moves mixed in with some not-so-cool moves. But he’s got real potential, if he can learn to tone down his exaggerated facial expressions.

Len enthused, "You gyrated, you rotated, and you pulsated. It was like watching a stripper!" Bruno said, "The crotch action was like a warp drive. I got a hernia just watching it! Great, great fun!" Carrie Ann gave more modest praise: "It was more other stuff than it was Cha Cha, but it was a lot of fun."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 21/30

Mark Cuban & Kym Johnson — Fox Trot
Mark was surprisingly loose for a guy with a new hip, and he was very light on his feet. He looked like he had a good time singing along with the music, although he needs to look at Kym more. It was a good first effort with room to grow.

Bruno called Mark the "bouncing, bionic billionaire. If you keep working the technique, you can do well." Carrie Ann said, "You’re more of a showman than I expected you to be. Just watch the tongue motions a little. Keep it in the mouth." Len "It wasn’t exactly a dance floor disaster. It wasn’t exactly ballroom bliss. It was somewhere in between."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 21/30

Wayne Newton & Cheryl Burke — Cha Cha Cha
Wayne stays fit by water skiing, playing tennis, and practicing karate, so he had no trouble keeping his feet moving. The performance was all the more charming because, based on the way Wayne looked at Cheryl, you can tell how fond he is of her. And for a guy in his sixties, he wasn’t any stiffer than most of the younger guys he was competing against.

Carrie Ann told Wayne, "You were so charming up there. I wanna see you open up your hips a little bit more. I think you’ve got more hip action waiting in your hips." Len said, "You came out and showed a lot of great basic moves. Well done to you, Cheryl." Bruno added, "It’s a great honor having you here, and hopefully you’ll stay with us for a long time.’

When Drew asked Cheryl what it’s like coaching someone 20 years older than any of her previous partners (himself included), she replied, "You know, I’ve been thinking about that, and, after all the seasons I’ve done, Wayne might just be the best partner I’ve had." As Drew gave the couple’s voting phone number, he said, "If you want Mr. Las Vegas to have another roll of the dice — not so much his partner, maybe — but Wayne…"

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…7, Bruno…6 = 19/30

Leaderboard:
25 — Helio & Julianne
21 — Cameron & Edyta, Albert & Anna, Mark & Kym
19 — Wayne & Cheryl
18 — Floyd & Karina

While tonight’s scoring was pretty tight — apart from Helio’s clear victory — I think there may have been more difference in the performances. My ranking for the remaining five dancers is Albert, Cameron, Mark, Wayne, and then Floyd.

Since each phone number and email address get six votes tonight, I’d give three of mine to Helio and one each to Albert, Cameron, and Mark. Wayne and Floyd are on their own, although I’m sure Wayne is safe.

At Wednesday night’s Results Show, Dolly Parton and tap dancer Savion Glover perform. And Kenny Mayne returns, although no word on if he’ll be bringing "Dance Center" back. I hope so.

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