It’s About the Discovery – DWTS March 19, 2012

So the media says the cast of celebrities on Dancing with the Stars this time isn’t stellar or exciting or big name. Who IS William Levy or Katherine Jenkins?

Who they are is – fantastic! And I’m excited about the cast: gees louise the way Martina Navratilova carried herself – the sensuality of an assured, mature woman! I was reminded of Lauren Bacall. And discovering William Levy – ay ay ay que guapo – and he’s dancing with Cheryl Burke – yahoo! She knows how to take care of her men and choreographs some original wonders.

Then there’s the remarkable frame, lyricism and romantic air Katherine Jenkins lent to her foxtrot with Mark Ballas. She reminds me of Grace Kelly in an old time movie. I hope she has the fan base to go forward because I want to see more of her and what she and Mark create together.

Who else?

Gavin Degraw. This guy’s got a musicality, genuineness, innocence and ease that drew me in. I forgot about technique. I was – fascinated.

I did think, ought oh, when watching the beginning of Maria Menounos’ cha cha with Derek Hough. Had that continued I would have given them a five – not wanting to admit that losing Derek and his gift for getting his celeb to dance in new ways would be a huge loss to the show if it happens early. I breathed a sigh of relief when Maria loosened up and her cha cha got better. Still – her dancing is a bit worrisome because she was stiff at first, and the choreography was not Derek’s usual sparkler. Still, it’s just the first dance, right? Well if that’s how folks vote – thinking a dancer is safe – sometimes that’s all it takes for a real talent to get voted off.

Now Jack Wagner – he’s his own man and a romantic leading man as an actor. I saw potential as Jack danced with the lovely Anna Trebunskaya – she’s so cute. Jack has inherent grace and fluidity and he created a real connection with Anna – that’s leading man stuff. I felt like this might be the closest we’ll get to seeing a really big name like Robert Redford on DWTS, so I enjoyed it. I’d like to see more expressive hands though – Jack’s were a tad stiff.

NFL champ Donald Driver and Peta. Hmm. Didn’t write much down except that he has personality – however he didn’t seem to know how to step or connect steps and therefore the choreography looked choppy. Will he go off first? Probably not. But I didn’t manage to tape the show this time so I couldn’t see him again. The stepping challenge seems common to beginning ballroom dancers. We’ll see how he does from now on.

So much to look forward to – Disney star Roshon Fegan and Chelsie: wheee – personality! Disney stars seem quite versatile and he can move. Yet, his long legs and the way he places his feet give him an unclear shape so he seems all limbs and little technique. My question now is 1) Can Chelsie clean him up and 2) Can Chelsie provide him with the choreography he needs to compete from here forward? He knows how to make things is own. That’s a big plus – no matter what Len says.

Then we’ve got the flamboyant, natural and joyous Sherri Shepherd who I just know will have a great influence on Val. She needs to sustain some of her moves since she tends to break them off too soon, but she’s genuine and she loves life. She adds pizazz to the show.

Now I don’t know about all the viewers for Dancing with the Stars, but I grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books so of course watched the show and that helps Melissa Gilbert some. She can move, she’s passionate and vivacious and yet she’s got an uphill battle – she’s older, she’s had a broken back, both reasons that may contribute to why she looked stiff. I hope her acting skills, her fan base, and her partnership with Maks will help her. She can move and if she can relax and enjoy the dancing… she could last awhile.

Who else? Mmm lucky Tristan who’s guiding Motown great Gladys Knight into the spotlight. She obviously loves to dance and she can move. It’s a delight to see this star perform here and I want her to excel. What’s interesting to me however is that with all she brings to the stage, I felt somehow a distance from her, almost as though she was doing same old same old instead of bringing all of herself forward so we can connect to her passion and joy.

Jaleel White. Wow. He had such an ease and he obviously loves to move. His tenderness and consideration for Kym, his partner, made him special. Although I’m not giving scores this time around, he got high marks from me.

So my top three – William Levy, Katherine Jenkins and Jaleel White – aren’t necessarily household names but they don’t have to be. I don’t know about you but there’s something about the discovery process that is absolutely thrilling and I look forward to discovering more this season on Dancing with the Stars.