It’s fun to watch the show as the dancers progress from looking like they’d get lost in an Arthur Murray dance class to bona fide hoofers. Of course what makes it even more fun is all the unofficial snarking that goes on on the GEM Facebook page and Twitter feed and last night was no different.
The first show of the season had it all; highlights, like Ralph Macchio’s fairly smooth inaugural outing (am I the only one who thinks he looks like a younger, thinner Jackie Gleason?) and some distinct lowlights (Mike Catherwood, who moved a bit like his last name implies) but in the end it seemed to me to be a tale of two dancers – Wendy Williams and Kirstie Alley.
A few weeks back when I handicapped the cast, I said this about Kirstie:
KIRSTIE ALLEY: Let’s hear it for the big girls! I anticipate passion by the pound and more than a little drama.
And this about Wendy Williams:
WENDY WILLIAMS: NOW WE’RE TALKIN’! We are in for big hair, big boobs and big personality.
If you’ve ever seen Wendy’s show or heard her on the radio, you know she’s made a name for herself being bold, brash and unafraid, someone who says exactly what she feels, no matter the fallout. But last night, while all the external trappings that make Wendy, Wendy were there, (hair, nails, boobs, more hair) something was missing. The same woman who’s gotten into more verbal scrapes with celebrities than we can count, timidly walked her way through her routine, like she was dipping her big toe into the pool, afraid to take the full body lunge.
But the big surprise of the night was Kirstie Alley. For the record, I thought she might be pretty good; she’s got a great personality, knows how to have fun and laugh at herself. But I thought her well-documented weight troubles might get in her way. Was I ever wrong!
Tell me you were not smiling while watching this!
So here’s my amateur theory. I think Kirstie Alley was fun to watch because she is fearless. She may not always have been so confident but the ups and downs she’s faced over the years have made her so. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, she was strong and sexy and oh yeah, she’s 60! She was self-deprecating about her weight, which she knows is too much (she said if they told her to haul ass she’d need to make two trips) but still totally comfortable in her skin.
Now keep in mind this was just the first night and in most cases, it only gets better from here. But if Wendy wants to stay, she’s gonna have to bring more of the sass we see on her show every day to the ballroom. But I think the big winner could be Kirstie Alley, who, even if she doesn’t bring home the mirror ball trophy, wins by losing. Because if she keeps moving the way she did last night, Dancing with the Stars will do for her what Jenny Craig could not.
Did you watch last night? What did you think? Will Wendy Williams be able to loosen up? Will Kirstie go all the way or will it be someone else?