With Week 1 Dancing With The Stars performances behind us, The Rib and I break down the dances and a bottle of wine. Enjoy!
Joey Fatone/Kym Johnson
The Rib: Good kick-off to Season 15, but the “Fat One” needs to ease up on the facial expressions—came off as a smidge overdone.
Stub: Seemed like Joey was a bit rushed, but this was o.k. While his dance didn’t impress as much as I had hoped, I’ll score Kym’s costume a 12.5!
Shawn Johnson/Derek Hough
The Rib: As expected, full-on enthusiasm and excellent technique but lacking in the elegance called for in a foxtrot—plus she looked like someone dressed up a chipmunk to play the sun in a third grade school play.
Stub: Len’s comment about the lack of “Foxtrot-y-ness” may have been right, but she at least looked like a grown up, despite a lack of full-blown “elegance.”
Sabrina Bryan/Louis van Amstel
The Rib: This one is a sexy little spark plug! However, the chemistry between her and Louis, as predicted, is lacking. What was not lacking: cleavage… Hello, Dolly!
Stub: I thought her legs were nice during the dance. And this gal sells “nonthreatening sultry” like nobody else!
Helio Castroneves/Chelsie Hightower
The Rib: For me, this was among the top three dances of the night–fun, elegant, and Helio and Chelsie look very nice together—reminiscent of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers….only miniaturized!
Stub: Smooth, leading man material here and The Rib is right: this couple looks great alongside each other!
Pamela Anderson/Tristan MacManus
The Rib: Yikes…no way do they get the chance to improve. Several times, her knees were as crooked as her first boob job—before she got Baywatch money and could afford a decent surgeon. Sorry, Pam, you are my vote for leaving the island tonight!
Stub: I’ll agree with The Rib and say that this dance fell a bit short.
Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani
The Rib: Sorry, Len, I liked the theatrical open, although I agree it went about 4 counts too long. She hits some amazing lines, but was not as awesome out of the gate as I might have thought. No need to worry, though, I have faith that she and Tony will bring the heat shortly.
Stub: The opening sequence of this dance was nice. She seemed a bit awkward getting back into hold at times, but overall, pretty good.
Apolo Anton Ohno/Karina Smirnoff
The Rib: I thought he had great hip action until I saw Emmitt dance. It was a respectable performance overall, and I expect them to do well. I predict that Karina’s season premiere outfit is the most clothing she will wear all season.
Stub: I was not as impressed with Apolo’s hip action as The Rib—that’s probably a good thing, though, huh? He seemed a bit out of sync with the music, as well. A bit disappointing from a champion.
Gilles Marini/Peta Murgatroyd
The Rib: Thank you Gilles and Peta for proving me right…this is the winning combination. It was like watching Old Hollywood royalty.
Stub: While I haven’t actually seen the Academy Award winning film “The Artist,” I sure felt like I was watching it during this dance. And I liked it. One of the top two dances of the night.
Bristol Palin/Mark Ballas
The Rib: While she unquestionably looked fantastic—call it plastic surgery or “corrective jaw surgery”, I say tomato; you say tomato—and was vastly improved technically, with the weight loss, she also lost some of her charm. Still, she deserves to stay in the competition, at least until next week. Congrats, Bristol, you have “carved” yourself out of 13th place.
Stub: Seemed a bit stiff, but that hip action was way better than I remember. To quote Aphrodite, she “shook it like a Democrat!” While I’m not 100% sure what that means, if she keeps it up like that, I won’t mind seeing her stick around the ballroom for a couple of weeks.
Drew Lachey/Anna Trebunskaya
The Rib: Drew’s foxtrot was boring and heavy-footed. For some reason, I did not care for the picture he and Anna created. Snooze!
Stub: His posture in hold is beautiful—until he moves! And don’t leap, Drew. Ever!
Kelly Monaco/Val Chmerkovskiy
The Rib: I was not as impressed as the judges seemed to be, but she is talented. While Stub and I pondered the “authenticity” of her bounty, her pre-dance bounce suggested she was shakin’ that which her momma gave her. Kudos to you, miss! However, the lower wiggle was far less impressive than the upper jiggle.
Stub: I was impressed! And not just with her “bounty”—authentic or otherwise. A couple of awkward transitions in and out of hold, but I fear I may have sold her short.
Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy
The Rib: This foxtrot was surprisingly light on personality and heavy on feet. She looked great but will need to step it up to stick around the ballroom.
Stub: I thought she started out very well. And nobody sells “threatening” sultry like Kirstie Alley. That said, she seemed to lose all of her energy about halfway through. On a side note, I hope to one day meet her right after I receive a “major award.” I’ll leave that at that.
Emmitt Smith/Cheryl Burke
The Rib: Emmitt is one charming SOB! His hip action was ridiculous, and his magnetic stage presence cannot be denied. The only thing I must question is whether his commercial ad contract failed to include a lifetime supply of Just For Men beard color—seriously, man, if it did not, fire your agent…immediately.
Stub: Now THAT was a Cha-Cha-CHA! Charisma, steps, the whole shebang! Emmitt appears in it to win it. Best overall dance of the night, narrowly edging out Gilles.
2006 Shane Wines Syrah “The Unknown,” Sonoma County, California
Why did we pick this wine to pair with the Dancing With The Stars premiere? Well, we know Shane Wines and we like them. When we open any of the Shane bottles from our cellar, we try to make sure it’s at a time when we can really sit with the juice and enjoy it. Not that Shane’s wines are unapproachable, but we have found that winemaker Shane Finley makes wines we like to enjoy—not just drink. Shane’s Syrahs are typically big, but well-balanced (insert your own celebrity dancer bosom or weight joke here). So just like an “All-Star” season of Dancing With The Stars, we kinda knew what we were in for with this wine, even though we would see (or in this case taste) something new while still enjoying the overall product in front of us. It was a happy “Unknown,” so to speak…
On the nose, The Shane Unknown Syrah came strong with tobacco leaf/cigar box, big dark berries (blackberry, mostly), and a little damp earth.
The dark berries came through on the palate—mostly as blackberry, but blueberry notes came through, as well. The fruit was carried by big tannins that somehow managed to dominate without overpowering. That tobacco I got on the nose came through and was accompanied by soft cedar box notes. As expected with a Syrah, spicy notes (mostly pepper) came through, as well. An hour or so into the bottle, hints of chocolate emerged.
The Rib and I paired this wine with: t-bone steaks; a cheesy, mushroomy rice concoction left over from the night before; and steamed broccoli. It went well with the steaks—this wine is a friend of spicy, succulent beef (once again, insert your own inappropriate celebrity dancing comment here).
The Shane Unknown is a well-made, big ass Syrah that delivers fruit, spice, balance, and that “wow” factor. It’s not overdone (as The Rib suggests Joey’s Cha-Cha-Cha or Pamela Anderson’s “enhancements” are), though. I am sad (like an eliminated celebrity dancer will be tonight) that this was our last bottle. I’m hoping I can find additional bottles of this wine sitting on the shelf at a local shop, because I want more—another to open this fall and one or two to save for a couple of years. If you can find a bottle of this wine, grab it up! It’s well worth the $40+ price.
Takeaways (and the one to send away)
The Rib: Overall, I felt a little let down after the show ended. While the level of skill out of the gate was high, and there were a few lovely dances, no one blew me away. Perhaps my expectations were a bit too high? Well, you know who didn’t disappoint, the Emmy award-winning Tom Bergeron—that man can host the crap out of show. And for once, Brooke Burke Charvet did not look like she bought her dress at the Space Hooker store next to Spencer’s in, like, every mall in the world! Way to go, girl! You and Bristol Palin were the only things that actually were better than I expected. For that reason, Pamela Anderson will be the first to go tonight!
Stub: I agree with The Rib—the show overall was a bit disappointing, but sometimes things we look forward to with such enthusiasm are disappointing, right? And Bergeron is a pro. It appears that Brooke Burke-Charvet saw the Wizard over the summer and came away with some interviewing/interpersonal skills. We’ll see how long before she disappoints. And I agree with The Rib—Pamela Anderson will be out tonight.
Thoughts, questions, comments? Drop us a line below!
Until next week…
Cheers from the Ballroom at CorkEnvy,
Stub & The Rib