As the premiere of Dancing With the Stars continues, tonight the women get to take the floor.
But first, a manly montage. However, I already covered that ground last night, so let's get on with the show.
Shannon Elizabeth is up first. She says she is best known for her role on American Pie (which came out nine years ago, just for the record), but she's also a poker player. Her partner is Derek Hough. They take on the cha-cha-cha, dancing to Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive." They've got speed and some technique, but you can definitely tell it's the early rounds -- Shannon looks like she is thinking really hard and seems a little tentative but she's playing to win. Judge Len Goodman says it was a great start to the season and very high energy. He tells Shannon that if she is going to wear outfits that short, her legs need to be very straight, and they weren't quite right. Bruno Tonioli calls her a sexy minx and says she has great natural extension, but she needs to finesse her technique a little. Carrie Ann says Shannon has energy and confidence and great legs. Scores: 7-7-7, for a 21/30.
Monica Seles is partners with Jonathan Roberts, and their dance is the foxtrot. She says she wanted to do this because she didn't have a normal childhood and was definitely not a girly-girl, so this is like her prom. During the intro footage, it looks like she's having a tough time loosening up, and she calls herself "El Stiffo." I think, unfortunately, she didn't get very far beyond that, but clearly she tried. Bruno says she set a lovely, romantic tone, but once she started dancing, it was a little "Grace Adler." He says she needs to engage her core more. Len says it had nice moments in the story, but that he agrees with Bruno about the core. Carrie Ann gives her props for taking this on and says she can get it. Scores: 5-5-5, for a 15/30.
Broadway star (and Tony winner for Hairspray) Marissa Jaret Winokur is partners with Tony Dovolani and reallllly excited about it. They discuss the difference between Broadway dance, where you have to sell it to the whole audience vs. the more controlled movement you have in ballroom. Their first dance is the cha-cha-cha, to "Low," which I can only guess was only chosen because the lyrics include the word "shorty." (Also, Tony is wearing the sparkliest outfit in recent memory.) They have fun with it, though Marissa can't seem to shake the big facial expressions you need in Broadway and which feel kind of exaggerated on TV. They might have messed up a part in the middle, but still: fun fun fun. Carrie Ann says she loves Marissa's style and sass, but she doesn't think there was enough actual cha-cha content. Bruno says she had a ton of personality, but didn't show enough of the dance. Len: "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." He says he was bewitched by their performance, bothered by the mistake in the middle and and bewildered that Tony didn't give her more to do. Scores: 6-6-6, for an 18/30. Samantha talks to her about the mistake and Marissa says she just got overwhelmed by all the audience screaming, and she kind of forgot what was happening next.
Priscilla Presley is partners with Louis van Amstel. She is nervous but wants to win. For their first dance, they take on the foxtrot. As shy and reserved as she seems, once they start, she is on. She does a really nice job when they are together in holds but seems to get a little tense when they aren't. But still, it was far better than I thought it would be based on their practice footage. Len says it was a proper foxtrot with no gimmicks or props. He warns Priscilla to watch her posture, but says it was great. Bruno says it was the first time he's seen star quality tonight. Carrie Ann calls her the queen of the dance floor and says it was great. Scores: 8-8-8, for a 24/30.
Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas are together for this competition. Kristi says she is doing this to take on a new challenge. She talks about the differences between the flat-footed nature of skating vs. dancing in heels. Seriously? She is jaw-droppingly good. Bruno: "Absolutely wicked! ... Timing, precision!" Carrie Ann says she made it look totally effortless, and that is perfection. Len: "The ice maiden has just melted my heart. ... You are a really talented ballroom dancer!" Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30.
Marlee Matlin says she is on DWTS to prove that just because you are deaf doesn't mean you can't dance. Her partner is Fabian Sanchez. They work together to figure out all their cues since she won't have the benefit of the musical ones. They take on the cha-cha-cha. I'd say that if you didn't know she was deaf, you definitely couldn't tell from her performance. Together, they really did pull it off. Carrie Ann: "That was almost unbelievable, I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen. ... You were so fluid and moved with so much ease." Len says she had great choreography, but she does need to work on her arms. Still: "very, very good." Bruno says that even if she can't hear, the music runs through her veins. He adds that he counted through the whole song and she hardly missed a beat. Scores: 7-7-8, for a 22/30.
What did you think about the first women's performances? Who's in danger?