It’s that time of year again folks, that time of year when we sit down in front of our televisions, make our predictions and let the madness sink in. That’s right, it’s time for the newest season of Dancing With the Stars and as in years past the headlining talents are athletes who have taken some time off to show off their skills on the dance floor.
This season, four of the twelve contestants are professional athletes and include gold medalists Aly Raisman and Dorthy Hamil, professional boxer Victor Ortiz and Super Bowl hero Jacoby Jones. But I know you’ve been wondering how well these people can dance, and thank the TV gods that we can know finally find out.
Boxer Victor Ortiz danced first with his partner Lindsay Arnold, who is actually a 19-year old dancing protégée making her first appearance on the show long with Ortiz. But despite the fact that this could have lead to an embarrassing and awkward, Ortiz and Arnold actually turned in a decent first dance. The judges ultimately thought that Otiz could do better, but like the rest of us, they were very surprised that Otiz could dance the Foxtrot as well as he did, and he should not doubt thrive doing the jive next week.
The next athlete to dance was the beautiful Aly Raisman, who showed off a sexier side to her than the focused side we saw while she was winning gold at the London Olympics last August. Dancing with loose partner Mark Ballas, Raisman turned in not only one of the best performances among the athletes dancing, but she turned in one of the better dances of the night. Gymnasts typically do well on Dancing With the Stars for very obvious reasons, so it’s not far fetched to predict that Raisman may be taking home another piece of hardware to add to that Olympic gold.
Dorothy Hamill danced third and we were re-introduced to the highs and lows of her life prior to her dance. Hamill won Olympic gold back in 1976 in figure skating, but despite all her success she hit a low about five years ago when she battled breast cancer and fought for her life. But according to Hamill, it was watching fellow figure skater Kristine Yamaguchi win a few seasons ago that motivated her to get back on her feet and live her life post-cancer. Hamill did that very thing with partner Tristan MacManus and even though her performance was in the middle of the pack, she definetly looked like one of the stronger dancers in the compeition.
The final dancer was Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who made a name for himself in the AFC Playoffs and eventually the Super Bowl where he returned the longest kickoff for a touchdown in the history of the game. But thanks to knee surgery at the end of the season, Jones only had a week to practice his Ch-Ch-Cha dance for the premier with partner Karina Smirnoff. But while the judges called it “performance driven” and “a series of touchdown dances”, Jones took home a respectable score but clearly has work to do before he steals the Mirror Ball Trophy.
Jones was absolutely out of breath after the dance, which surprised the judges and other contestants due to the fact that Jones ran over 100 yards for that touchdown.
“There’s no play in football that lasts for a minute-thirty seconds,” Jones laughed after his dance. “There ain’t no break out there.”
It’s Dancing With The Stars, and as much as you want to pretend it’s a girly show that no man should watch — well you obviously live alone and aren’t forced to watch it. But at it’s core, it’s actually a grueling competition that even some of the best athletes in the world can’t successfully do. There are some pretty prestigious names attached to the Mirror Ball Trophy, as contestants like Apolo Anton Ohno, Donald Driver, Shawn Johnson and Emmitt Smith have all won the competition, so it’s become less about being a dancer and more about adding the Mirror Ball to your wall of trophy’s and accomplishments.