The second episode of Season 12 of DWTS proved that this season's cast really is far, far superior to seasons past. This isn't necessarily because they're better dancers. They're just much more entertaining to watch and more humble than in seasons past.
They're all generally upbeat and funny and committed. Other than Mike Catherwood, there isn't an obvious dud who needs to go home tomorrow night. And for the first time, maybe ever, it's hard to picture who will go home after the most apparent low hanging fruit.
The top contenders aren't even that obvious this season. Certainly Chelsea Kane and Romeo seem like the top contenders with their natural way of moving and youth working for them, but there are some less prominent talents as well. This night, more than ever, it was clear to me that I just don't get where the judges are coming from.
Ralph Macchio is so much fun to watch, and given that he looks more like a brother to his children than like their father, he hardly seems a day over 25. His dance tonight seemed light and agile and strong, but yet the judges thought he slipped -- always the danger of starting out on top.
Meanwhile, Sugar Ray Leonard, the boxer who shows incredible raw talent, was basically pummelled by the judges. How do you please them?
There is no method to their madness, either. Kirstie Alley danced a very strong dance, but yet they criticized her as well and told her she wasn't as strong as last week. Meanwhile Petra Nemcova, the model who is lovely but not much of a dancer, they showered with praise.
What gives? The judges always seem to do this a bit. At the beginning they're much harsher with their critiques and much more sparing with their praise. By the end, they're practically sucking toes. In the beginning it's next to impossible to get an 8. By the end, they are flinging out 10s like they're pennies.
Admittedly, I'm not a dancing expert. I can't look at the feet and judge the way they should look and I don't understand holds or what Carrie Ann Inaba is complaining about when she says "lifts," but I do think I have an eye for natural rhythm and raw talent, and quite a few of the stars this season have that. It will be a good season to watch. And as for the judges, I will keep on ignoring them.
What did you think of this episode?
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