When “Dancing with the Stars” premiered as a summer replacement on June 2005, who would have thought it would have lasted for 11 seasons. In those seasons, 121 athletes, award-winning actors and actresses, singers, reality-television stars, business professionals, journalists and even politicians are among the cast of characters who have strutted their stuff in hopes of winning the mirror ball trophy.
Several participants revitalized their careers by appearing on the show. For example, Mario Lopez earned a stint on Broadway and Stacy Keibler, a professional wrestler, guest starred on television series. Others appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” right after winning sports, music and acting awards. On Monday, November 1, “Dancing with the Stars” begins a two-night celebration of its 200th episode.
The show opened with pros dancing to Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love,” the song that played on the premiere episode. After he showed contestants from previous seasons, Tom Bergeron introduced Kristi Yamaguchi and her team – Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke, Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas, and Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer. Apolo Anton Ohno’s team consisted of Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya, Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough. They would perform the first team dance of the season.
Team Kristi danced the cha cha cha. Rick Fox looked like a giant among the people on the team. Bristol and Mark were definitely the weak links on the team. They made a good decision putting Kyle and Lacey last. They were strong anchors for the team. The judges gave them a score of 24.
Team Apolo danced a hip-hop cha cha cha to “Bust a Move.” Though Kurt and Anna were the weakest of the team, they still kept up. In my opinion, Apolo picked the stronger dancers of the season and it showed in their team performance. I loved it. I wanted to get up and dance with them. The judges gave them a 27.
Mel B, the runner up for Season 5, judged Kyle and Lacey’s recreation of her passo doble, a dance listed as one of the top 10 dances of all the seasons. I thought they did a good job. They added a little bit of their own personalities to the dance. They received 35 out of 40 for the dance.
Season 3 winner Emmitt Smith served as guest judge as Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya recreated his tango with Cheryl Burke. I thought Kurt did a better tango than Emmitt Smith. They received 34 out of 40.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas recreated Kelly Osbourne’s Season 9 Viennese waltz. She didn’t evoke the emotions that Kelly did when she danced. She still hasn’t had her breakthrough, though. They earned 33 out of 40.
Helio Castoneves watched as Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke reinterpreted Castoneves’ and Julian Hough’s upbeat quickstep. The green suite made him look like an oversized leprechaun or a pimp on St. Patrick’s Day. I remembered Helio’s quickstep. For me, Rick just didn’t have the energy of the quickstep. The judges gave them 37 out of 40.
Season 8 runner up Gilles Marini judged Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s recreation of his and Cheryl’s foxtrot. I was worried because Gilles was just so hot. Brandy and Maksim, though, were awesome. Brandy never really danced in her music videos beyond simple steps, so I’m impressed every week. They earned 37 out of 40, including a 10 from Len Goodman.
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough recreated Season 2 winner’s Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke’s tango. Though Jennifer’s body seems to be failing her, she did really well, earning 37 out of 40. She’s in such good shape that you forget she’s 50 years old.
The 200th episode of “Dancing with the Stars” featured Jennifer Grey’s return to the top and ties for first and second place. The recreation of past performances was a nice touch for the night and the appearance of past contestants brought to mind some great performances. As close at the scores were, it’s hard to say who will be eliminated on the results show, which airs Tuesday, November 2. Because it’s election night, “Dancing with the Stars” airs an hour earlier.
Combined Scores and Rankings:
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy = 64 out of 70
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough = 64 out of 70
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya = 61 out of 70
Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke = 61 out of 70
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer = 59 out of 70
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas = 57 out of 70