Dancing with the Stars Season 13: Weeks One and Two

Here I am again for a whole new season of Dancing with the Stars. My recaps are going to be a bit different this season. I’m not going to be doing recaps for the performances and the results. Instead, I’ll just be recapping the performances. At the beginning of each new week, I’ll mention who was eliminated but other than that, I’ll be sticking with the dancing. I have two weeks worth of shows to catch up on, so let’s dive right in.

The Couples

I want to start off by talking about the couples and my impressions of them from the performances we’ve seen so far. I’m not writing about Ron ‘Meta World Peace’ Artest and his partner, first time pro Peta Murgatroyd in this section because they’ve already been eliminated and one rehearsal wasn’t really enough to get a feel for how they worked together. Alright – enough into. Let’s go.

Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya

Anna is one of my favorite female pros on the show so I was glad to hear she was returning. Sadly, I doubt she’ll be sticking around long. I adore Carson and I want so badly for him to do well but it just doesn’t look like he has the coordination needed to really dance. He’s clearly willing to put in the work though so you never know. He might really pull it together and do well.

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer

Sometimes wanting it bad just isn’t enough to get it. Chaz is working with some pretty big physical disadvantages, namely his knees, and I think that’s really going to limit Lacey in terms of choreography and limit how much he can do on the dance floor. I admire his spirit and his attitude. He really wants to keep going. I’m just not sure how long he’s going to be able to. Still, he did his best and that’s something to be proud of.

Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani

I loved Wilson Phillips and I love Chynna Phillips so I was pretty excited when it was announced that she’d be a contestant this season. She seems to have a great attitude about the competition and she’s definitely entertaining. She’s definitely got talent as a dancer so I’m pretty excited to see her stick around on the show for a while.

David Arquette and Kym Johnson

I think, as of right now anyway, David and Kym are my favorite couple on the show. Kym is tough on David but I think he needs that. He’s really giving this his all and taking the competition seriously and I think that’s awesome to see. He might not be the best dancer on the show but once he finds his footing, I think he’ll be fantastic.

Elisabetta Canalis and Val Chmerkovskiy

I was not an Elisabetta fan going into the show and she’s not really changing that but it’s really through no fault of her own. She seems to be trying hard to get the steps down and I think she could be a great dancer but it’s hard to get a feel for her personality due to the language barrier. I don’t dislike her but she’s also not my favorite. Take that for what it’s worth.

Hope Solo and Maksim (Maks) Chmerkovskiy

Maks is without a question my favorite male pro on the show but I’m not really feeling this couple to be honest. There’s just something missing – perhaps it’s the chemistry he had with Kirstie Alley last season and with Brandy the season before that. I’m sure they’ll be sticking around for a while though so maybe they’ll grow on me. Aside from that, I’m Hope is a very successful, very busy woman. I’m not sure she’ll have enough time and energy to devote to dancing practice; practice she definitely needs.

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff

How can you not love a guy like J.R.? He’s got so much personality, so much positivity and has such an incredibly back story, it’s impossible not to fall in love with him. On top of all that, he’s an incredible dancer. This is one of the few couples I actually get excited to watch. I don’t like making predictions this early on but I will anyway. I think we’ll be seeing J.R. and Karina in the top three.

Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas

Well look at that. If you read my article about the Dancing with the Stars casting announcement, you know I’m not a Kristin Cavallari fan. Look at her going and changing my mind. I’m not ready to say I’m a fan just yet but it’s getting pretty close. She’s not an especially breathtaking dancer but she’s got a great teacher (my second favorite male pro behind Maks) and I think she’s going to do really well.

Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus

I said it before and I’ll say it again, Tristan got a raw deal his first time out as a pro on Dancing with the Stars. I feel for the guy. I honestly do. I hope they bring him back next season and partner him with someone who doesn’t mock his accent and listens to his instructions. Nancy could be a decent dancer but her personality will prevent me from ever being a fan.

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough

Love, love, love Ricki. I really, really hope she makes it all the way in this thing. She has the work ethic to learn and improve and she’s got the personality to win over the public. She’s wonderful. I was a fan before and I’m an even bigger fan now. I think she’ll do great in this competition.

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke

I like Cheryl as a pro but I’ve never been a fan of anything to do with the Kardashian clan. With that said, aside from the fact that he’s the boy Kardashian sibling, I know nothing about Rob so I didn’t really have an impression of him going into this. So far, I’m pretty indifferent to him as a celebrity, but I think he could do well on the show.

Week One Performances

Ron and Peta

Dancing the cha-cha to Krazy by Pit Bull feat. Lil Jon

I won’t speak too much about this one as it was their only performance before elimination but to be honest, I didn’t like much about the dance. To be fair though, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting and Ron really did seem to be trying. I guess. I feel for Peta. Her first time on the floor as a pro and she’s eliminated first. That kind of sucks. I hope they’ll bring her back.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 4 Bruno – 5 = 14 overall

Rob and Cheryl

Dancing the Viennese waltz to Lake Michigan by Rogue Wave

Rob seemed a little too stiff and nervous but all of the moves were there. His second week performance was a lot more relaxed so who knows what we’ll see by week three. I was impressed by his performance but not completely blown away.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 5 Bruno – 5 = 16 overall

Kristin and Mark

Dancing the cha-cha to Dynamite by Taio Cruz

At this point, I was starting to think this was going to be a long night. I wasn’t thrilled with Kristin’s reserved performance but in fairness, it was only week one. She showed a lot of improvement in her second performance but this cha-cha left me feeling a little blah. I think Mark will be able to work wonders with her though so I have hope.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 = 19 overall

Chynna and Tony

Dancing the Viennese waltz to If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys

Chynna and Tony’s waltz was one of my favorite performances of week one. She has beautiful form when she dances and so much grace and beauty when she moves across the ballroom floor. I see big, big things in her future with this competition. Also, it’s nice to see Tony finally paired with someone who really has a shot at taking home the mirror ball. A tremendous first dance.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 = 22 overall

Nancy and Tristan

Dancing the cha-cha to Cry Baby by Cee-lo Green

Nope. Just… no. Didn’t like this at all. Nancy really seemed to be trying but her nerves really got the best of her. I wondered if perhaps I reacted so negatively to Nancy’s performance because I don’t really like her as a human being but I actually liked her quickstep. I don’t think we’ll see her in the competition for long but she definitely improved from week one to week two. That has to count for something.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 5 Bruno – 6 = 16 overall

David and Kym

Dancing the Viennese waltz to Somebody to Love by Queen

Out of all of the celebrities hitting the ballroom floor that first night, I was most looking forward to David Arquette. I expected quirky, weird and all over the place. Instead, he shocked me with a mature and sophisticated waltz. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Sure he slid a bit in his second performance – according to the judges anyway – but I really am looking forward to seeing more of him.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 = 18 overall

Elisabetta and Val

Dancing the cha-cha to Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) by Katy Perry

I was expecting a little more sizzle from Elisabetta. Overall, I just found the whole dance rather underwhelming. She looked awkward and uncomfortable when she was on her own and it almost looked like she started the dance too early but hey – she looked fantastic. Bonus points for that? Sadly, no. It was pretty awesome to see Val on the show though. I don’t think he’ll be around long this season but hopefully he’ll be next season.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 5 Bruno – 5 = 15 overall (ouch!)

Hope and Maks

Dancing the Viennese waltz to Satellite by Dave Matthews Band

Aside from perhaps not being as feminine as one would want in an elegant dance like the Viennese waltz, I thought Hope did a wonderful job. She looked lovely and seemed to nail the steps. There might’ve been a few problems here and there and it wasn’t the best waltz of the night but it was far from the worst. It was a great debut.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 = 21 overall

Carson and Anna

Dancing the cha-cha to Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5

Okay, honestly… I don’t know. I have no idea. I absolutely loved it. I smiled the entire time. It was fun. At the same time, it was a complete mess. The technique was all off and I knew the scores were going to reflect that but in terms of entertainment value, I would’ve given it a ten. I don’t want to talk about what I would’ve given the technique but I’m not a judge so I don’t have to. Definitely my favorite dance of the night.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 5 Bruno – 6 = 17 overall

J.R. and Karina

Dancing the Viennese waltz to Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson

Although I knew the judges would find faults with this performance, I couldn’t see any from where I was sitting. It was emotional, moving and surprisingly well executed technically for a first time dance. I really think J.R. has what it takes to win the whole thing – especially after his second performance. I can’t wait to see what else this couple has for us.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 = 22 overall

Ricki and Derek

Dancing the Viennese waltz to This Year’s Love by David Gray

I must admit, Ricki really shocked me. She was incredibly graceful and looked absolutely beautiful. The emotion in her dance looked authentic which made the whole thing a joy to watch. This is a woman that could be a serious contender in this competition. She has drive and determination. She also has talent and an incredible partner.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 6 Bruno – 7 = 20 overall

Chaz and Lacey

Dancing the cha-cha to Dancing in the Street by Martha and the Vandellas

Chaz was the man everyone was waiting to see and although he faltered in week two, he definitely came out strong in week one. I loved this performance. It wasn’t the most impressive dance technically and it wasn’t even the most entertaining but it was oodles of fun. I was impressed. I hope we can see more of this Chaz in weeks to come.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 5 Bruno – 6 = 17 overall

Week One Leader Board

Chynna and Tony – 22
J.R. and Karina – 22
Hope and Maks – 21
Ricki and Derek – 20
Kristin and Mark – 19
David and Kym – 18
Carson and Anna – 17
Chaz and Lacey – 17
Rob and Cheryl – 16
Nancy and Tristan – 16
Elisabetta and Val – 15
Ron and Peta – 14

Week Two Performances

Hope and Maks

Dancing the jive to Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne

I want to like Hope and Maks. I really, really do. The first week showed a lot of potential but I didn’t really care for this week’s jive. Something about it just didn’t speak to me. Perhaps it was the theme. Not sure but I didn’t feel it. I see a lot of potential with her though and I think Maks can bring that out – if they have time.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 7 Bruno – 6 = 19 overall

Kristin and Mark

Dancing the quickstep to Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend by Marilyn Monroe

What do you know? I really, really liked it. I thought Kristin looked elegant and graceful although still a bit unsure of herself. I think she could really have a shot at sticking around in this competition. She isn’t perfect but she’s a heck of a lot better than I expected and she has excellent chemistry with Mark.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 = 22 overall

David and Kym

Dancing the jive to Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars

I think the judges were too hard on David. The guy is really trying. He hits that floor with such enthusiasm and energy. He should’ve scored higher for the entertainment value alone. I think he could really do well in this thing so I hope he gets to stick around. I just don’t think the jive was the dance for him. He has the ability. I just think he needs to find the balance.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 = 18 overall

Elisabetta and Val

Dancing the quickstep to Don’t Get Me Wrong by The Pretenders

Well…. I dunno. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. I thought Elisabetta handled it all rather well but it just didn’t seem all that exciting to me. I think Elisabetta has real potential but she needs to loosen up and Val really needs to take it easier on her. While tough can work, it doesn’t work on everyone. I think Val needs to recognize that and alter his approach.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 = 21 overall

Rob and Cheryl

Dancing the jive to Surfin’ Safari by The Beach Boys

I clearly missed something with this one. I liked it but I didn’t go crazy over it. I found it a little bit slow and tame but I really thought Rob did a fantastic job. It was entertaining enough to hold my attention but it was nothing I was actually getting excited about. All in all though, a real step forward for Rob. I think he has real promise.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 – 21 overall

Carson and Anna

Dancing the quickstep to Walking Back to Happiness by Helen Shapiro

Here’s my problem with Carson and Anna. I absolutely adore him as a personality and so far, both of his dances have been entertaining for me, but they haven’t been all that technically sound, or at all really. That may be a problem. I think he’s putting in enough hard work that he could do really well. Maybe. Probably not, but I want him to stick around all the same. Fingers crossed.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 = 18 overall

Ricki and Derek

Dancing the jive to Hey Ya by Outkast

Okay, wow – so that was a whole lot of fun. Ricki Lake, right? Who knew! I absolutely loved it. That was awesome. I don’t know what else to say. Way to go Ricki!

Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 8 = 23 overall

Chaz and Lacey

Dancing the quickstep to Love is All Around by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

That was a little uncomfortable to watch. I really like Chaz and I really like Lacey but based on tonight’s performance, I’m not sure they’ll be sticking around in the competition much longer. I thought Lacey did a fantastic job of choreographing a routine that Chaz could handle and I think Chaz danced it well. I just felt it was a little boring and his problems with his knees are probably going to hold him back. I hope not. I like him a bunch.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 5 Bruno – 6 = 17 overall

Chynna and Tony

Dancing the jive to That Boy Does Nothing by Alesha Dixon

Yeah, before the dance even starts, I’ve decided I love Chynna. I sincerely love her. First, the whole fudge thing was adorable but the look on Tony’s face when she actually swore – priceless. Who could’ve imagined she could’ve topped that but moments later, she comes out with “Sorry Jesus, but I have to curse” and my heart was hers. Ha! Sorry… on to the dance. It seemed a little slow for a jive, but it was fun. I enjoyed it. Not sure what the judges will think though.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 = 21 overall

Nancy and Tristan

Dancing the quickstep to It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) by The Andrews Sisters

Despite my feelings about Nancy, I was actually kind of surprised by this performance. It felt a little slow and sleepy for a quickstep but I thought she danced it well. She looked a little more confident and perhaps even showed potential. I still don’t like her but I have to give credit where credit is due. Nicely done. Doubt the judges will agree but I suppose that’s what they’re there for. What’s with the shots of the audience not clapping though? Weird.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 8 Bruno – 7 = 21 overall

J.R. and Karina

Dancing the jive to Jump Jive an’ Wail by The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Okay man – I can’t even find the words. Holy cow that was a ton of fun. There was a lift and that’s probably going to be a problem for Carrie Ann but I don’t care. That was, without even a bit of hesitation, my favorite performance of the night. It was electric. I honestly had a hard time remembering the J. R. wasn’t the pro out that. Absolutely fantastic. In case I haven’t been clear, I loved it.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 8 = 22

Week Two Leader Board

Ricki and Derek – 23
Kristin and Mark – 22
J.R. and Karina – 22
Elisabetta and Val – 21
Rob and Cheryl – 21
Chynna and Tony – 21
Nancy and Tristan – 21
Hope and Maks – 19
David and Kym – 18
Carson and Anna – 18
Chaz and Lacey – 17

So that’s how the first two weeks of Dancing with the Stars season 13 have been going thus far. I’ll update this post when the results come in tonight to let you all know who went home. Make sure you come back next week to find out whose left and how they did at next Monday’s performance show. Questions? Comments? Leave them in the comments section below or send them to me on Twitter.

*All photos in the post credited to ABC and Dancing with the Stars*

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