Who's dancing to the top and who's shuffling off to nowhere? The judges had their say during the Dancing With the Stars Season 12 premiere, but here's our rankings based on initial performance, future potential, personality power, and shameless favoritism when it comes to Maks showing the goods:
Wendy Williams & Tony Dovolani
Ranking: 11 out of 11 (so pretty much no chance of winning)
Why: Wendy had a slightly higher score than Mike Catherwood, but it was after doing a Cha-Cha-Cha. That should have been right up her alley. It seemed like a great opportunity to show off her big personality. Unfortunately, the dance just showed off her insecurities. On Monday, Wendy & Tony have the uber-fast and classy Quickstep, which is unlikely to bring out her wild, fun side. Wendy’s saving grace could be Tony, who is not only a patient teacher, he’s a beloved pro. Between them, their fans may be able to pull out a save.
Mike Catherwood & Lacey Schwimmer
Ranking: 10 out of 11
Why: Mike got the lowest scores of the week, but it was for the Foxtrot, which wasn’t ever really going to be his forte. On Monday he and Lacey have the Jive, which will be his make-it-or-break-it dance in terms of showing off his fast, fun, flirty — but not too flirty — side. It should be a better fit for him.
Chris Jericho & Cheryl Burke
Ranking: 9 out of 11
Why: Chris & Cheryl had a fun, energetic Cha-Cha-Cha that put them near the middle of the pack. With his size and personality, it’s going to be tough to excel at the classy ballroom elegance of the Quickstep. He can probably pull it off well, but it just seems like the rock and roll Cha-Cha-Cha would be the stronger of his two dances.
Romeo & Chelsie Hightower
Ranking: 8 out of 11
Why: Romeo & Chelsie also ended up near the middle of the pack with a sexy Cha-Cha-Cha, but for the Quickstep they have youth and energy on their sides. We can picture both of them grinning from ear to ear as they glide through the ballroom dance. We’ll see if that turns out to be true.
Sugar Ray Leonard & Anna Trebunskaya
Ranking: 7 out of 11
Why: Anna choreographed a really cute routine for their Foxtrot and Ray pulled it off beautifully. They had a fun, sweet, classy performance. Their scores weren’t that high, but he had great performance power. On Monday, Ray has the Jive, which is really going to push him to stretch in a fast, fun routine. Whatever happens, he’s likely to get the support of the fans just for putting himself out there.
Kendra Wilkinson & Louis van Amstel
Ranking: 6 out of 11
Why: Kendra was a bit soft out of the gate in her Cha-Cha-Cha, but she does seem to have great potential. She said she wants to show off her classy side, so the Quickstep will give her a chance to do that. A lot of people pegged her as the pre-season favorite, so a quiet start could end up in her favor if she steadily improves.
Petra Nemcova & Dimitry Chaplin
Ranking: 5 out of 11
Why: Their Foxtrot was all class and elegance — and they claim Petra isn’t even naturally elegant. Ha! She is not only gorgeous, she’s also sweet and more relatable than some of the show’s past models. Plus, Dmitry is hot and fans have missed him (he's been gone for a few season). This week they have the Jive, which should show off a lighter side to her personality. And maybe even some sex appeal?
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson
Ranking: 4 out of 11
Why: Hines was a bit of a surprise success in his Cha-Cha-Cha. He had so much energy, confidence, and personality. If Kym can keep his posture in check, they should have a fantastic, crowd-pleasing Quickstep.
Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff
Ranking: 3 out of 11
Why: They were top of the leaderboard after the premiere, but let’s be honest — they squeaked by with that win, helped out by Karina’s classy choreography and the stage production to “Ain’t That A Kick in the Head.” We adore Ralph, but we need to see him Jive to determine whether he just got lucky with that Foxtrot.
Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas
Ranking: 2 out of 11
Why: Their Foxtrot was adorable. So cute, but also classy. But the fast, fun, bouncy Jive is Mark’s comfort zone. Mark owns that dance and he should be able to go all-out with the choreography when it comes to Chelsea. They should put on one helluva show.
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Ranking: 1 out of 11
Why: Ralph may have won over the judges, but there’s no question Kirstie owned the premiere. She’s the one most of us were talking about after the show. She surprised us in a great way with her energy, sex appeal, and personality. Frankly, she put on the Cha-Cha-Cha we expected from Wendy. Plus, the dance used Maks to his best advantage with an open shirt and tight pants. Now they have to do a Quickstep, which will be a tough challenge, but they are the must-watch couple of the season. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.