I know what you’re thinking.  A Dancing With the Stars weekly update? On a sports blog? NO WAY. But, when one of the contestants is one of our own, it’s warranted. So, as long as Donald “Quickie” Driver is on this show, expect commentary and snark the following day. I deeply apologize if this offends any of the Dan Needles worshipping  Boy’s Club, but really, you don’t know what you’re missing. As evidence, I give you the following Tweet:

Kevin @ CheeseheadKevin

Man these chicks are almost naked. I have never watched DWTS. Go # DonaldDriver

See what you macho dorks are missing? Girls. With long legs, very little clothing, flowing hair and spray tans. And tassels in appropriate places. It’s win-win for everyone.

And come on. Have you ever seen a show with such endless possibilities for mocking others? Nope. You haven’t.

Okay. Lesson One. You need to know the lingo. I shall refer to the show by the acronym “DWTS,” because I’m not typing it out every time I want to say it. See? You’re learning.

We shall start with the performance:

Okay, before we even get to the dancing, how freaking cute are the Driver children? I especially adored the looks on their faces as they opened the door to see the tall, blond woman standing there. “DADDY, there’s a Caucasian lady at the door. And she brought a bunch of guys with cameras, too!”

1. Maria & Derek (Cha Cha) 21/30: It’s always hard to go first on premiere night. You’re basically setting the bar for the night and the season.  Derek is quite talented, but, I actually hope he falls flat on his face. You see, Derek usually gets a partner that is guaranteed to get him to the final show, or damn close to it. He’s the show’s Golden Boy. You won’t see him schlepping around Bristol Palin, Kate Gosselin or Cloris Leachman. This season he has Maria Menounos, who is smiley, happy and fun (but with an unfortunate laugh). She’s not the best of the bunch, but she has potential to stay in the competition for awhile, which is what the producers want. Because Derek Hough is what they think we ladies want.

2. Jack & Anna (Foxtrot) 23/30: Some old guy ate Frisco Jones!!  Jack Wagner looks like he’s spent way too much time on the golf course without sunscreen. He’s a scratch golfer. His name is always at the top of the leaderboard when they have those pro-am tournaments in the spring and summer. He’s defeated Tony Romo more times than the Giants, Redskins and Eagles defenses have. I found his dancing to be boring and a little stiff, and cannot figure out for the life of me how he was scored so high.

3. Donald & Peta (Cha Cha) 21/30: As expected, our guy was all charisma and charm! And he definitely was happy to be there. Maybe a bit too happy! Ahem. My worry for Donald is that this is a loaded season. Really, there’s no excruciatingly bad dancer in the bunch. Usually, you can tell by the end of the first night who’s going to be cannon fodder the first couple of weeks. Like Ron Artest….I’m sorry….Metta World Peace was last year (heavy sarcasm). And Kenny Mayne. And Penn Teller in season’s past. Also, Donald’s partner is relatively new. She was stuck with Metta last year, so they were voted out in Week One. But, that’s it. She hasn’t been on this show since the beginning like Cheryl, Kym and Karina. They have built in fanbases. They know how to hide their partner’s flaws. This means, fan voting will have to keep Donald in this contest. I did my part. Voted 12 times online, 12 times by text,  and 12 times by telephone. I probably could have done 12 more by landline, but by the time I thought of it, the hour was up.

Donald’s dancing was especially great for his first time. He definitely shook what his mama gave him. The judges were complementary, but I felt he was underscored. No way was Jack Wagner’s coma inducing performance worth two points more than Driver’s more exuberant, crowd pleasing one . He also received an extended standing ovation from the audience, who were NOT wearing Cheeseheads. The Driver kids were in the audience with Mom and (probably) Grandma, looking quite fresh and adorable as expected.

4. Gavin & Karina (Foxtrot) 20/30: Oh, Gavin DeGraw. I love your music. You were just adorkable last night. He just seemed a bit awkward and out of his element, which usually involves sitting behind a piano. He looked a bit lost. It wasn’t bad, but it was just average. He’s definitely in the bottom tier.

5. Roshon & Chelsie (Cha Cha) 23/30: Okay, who the hell is this twit? Oh, it’s the yearly ringer from the Disney Channel that anyone over 15 years old is clueless about, but who producers think will bring the teeny bopper viewers over from American Idol. That’s basically it. I still don’t remember who the Disney Channel chick was who made the Finals last season, and I don’t think I’ve seen her since.  I’m not even sure where the Disney Channel is on my cable line-up anymore. Roshon was all hip hop, showboating, and teenaged know-it-all arrogance.  Of course he was good. He’s 12. Okay, maybe he’s 15. How fair is it for this chump to be dancing against Gladys Knight, age 63? Really, show? Really?

6. Sherri & Val (Foxtrot) 23/30: Okay, I laughed. A lot.  From her reaction to Val, asking her to touch his ass (in practice) to show her how tight her buns should be, to her breathless comments about leaving a boob on the dance floor and could someone please pick it up.  She was quite entertaining and engaging to the audience. The View has a large following, and it has been proven in past seasons that daytime stars get the votes (duh, women vote). It’s all about the voting blocks, people. Which is why Quickie needs us.

7. Melissa & Maks (Cha Cha) 20/30: Wow. Half-Pint got old, too. Which depresses me, since I dressed as her for Halloween one year.  She also looks like she could use a sandwich. She is being partnered by my favorite eye-candy from the show, Maks. Maks can be moody, petulant, and obnoxious. He’s Russian. Actually Ukrainian, I believe. He’s the Anti-Derek Hough. I love me some Bad Boy of the Ballroom. Unfortunately, I don’t think Melissa Gilbert will get him that elusive Mirror Ball Trophy of Tackiness. They were okay, but I can see that if they last too long, Maks may kill her with his withering looks of disgust at her shortcomings on the dance floor. Note to stylist Monkeys: whoever spray tanned Maks before the show needs to back off the bronzer. But, oh, how yummy he looked in the practice footage with longer hair and an unshaven face. I may need a minute….okay, I’m back.

I still think he and Erin Andrews were dancing off the show, as well as on, if you knowwhudimean.

8. William & Cheryl (Cha Cha) 24/30: Seriously, did we need the shipped-in screaming fangirlies? I realize not many know who the hell he is, so we needed to be hit over the head with a sledgehammer, since we’re obviously too stupid to figure out how ridiculously good looking he is on our own, but really? It sounded like a bunch of 12 year olds at a Bieber concert (with Cheryl and Carrie Ann leading the charge).

And like the sun coming up, water being wet, and Maks being moody, Cheryl and Bruno scored him with their crotches. Eights? Really? Watching Cheryl dance around him as if he were a human stripper pole is not 8-worthy, in my opinion.  He was good, but by no means was he another Gilles Marini as they’ve been trying to market him. Cheryl is a great partner because she knew whatever he lacked in dance talent; she put in gyrations and hip shaking. He’ll make it a few weeks on his looks alone.

9. Martina & Tony (Foxtrot) 20/30: She wasn’t bad. I was kinda expecting worse. I mean, come on. She knows she has biceps that most men covet and that she could probably kick your ass, even at 55 years old.  She did look very pretty once the make-up and hairstyling monkeys got done with her. She had some elegance, but she was doing a slower dance. Nice, controlled and safe. Next week she’s scheduled for the Jive. She could be an early exit. Also, who does Tony have to kill to get his turn to have a “hand picked to make it to the Finals” partner? Or does Derek Hough corner the market on that? Martina looked lovely, and I like her, but this isn’t her thing! You’d think that after taking one for the team and dealing with Kate Gosselin, this show OWES Tony a ringer for once.

10. Katherine & Mark (Foxtrot) 26/30: The judges could hardly control the drool running down their chins. She’s an opera singer. Beautiful, talented and her musicality is evident on the dance floor. Her partner, Mark, has won this thing twice. He’s Derek Hough’s buddy. He rarely gets assigned a dud partner, either. She danced a waltz, which for a classical musician is right in her wheelhouse. Two of the judges broke out the 9′s for her. We’ll see if she sustains it when she has to dance a Jive or a Cha-cha-cha. We’lll also see if she has enough of a fanbase to carry her into the competition.

11. Gladys & Tristan (Cha Cha) 23/30: Gotta admit, I was writing Gladys Knight off  as the “old lady who is careful and stiff” but boy did she prove me wrong. She was amazing. And she bought The Pips. At least I think those were the Pips standing in the audience. I think she’ll be around for awhile. She definitely has a great attitude about it.

12. Jaleel & Kym (Foxtrot) 26/30: Yes, Urkel is in the house! Supposedly, he is the frontrunner, but truthfully, he bored me and my mind started to wander at this point. He is also benefiting from having a seasoned partner. Kym has won this twice. Jaleel is young enough to be able to pull off all the dances. I have a feeling he’s in it until the end. Driver has his work cut out for him.

My grades:

Cannon Fodder: Gavin, Martina, Melissa

Middle of the Pack: Donald (see what I did there?), William, Jack,  Maria, Gladys, Sherri, Rashon

Teacher’s Pets: Jaleel, Katherine

VOTE! You can vote weekly on ABC.com using your Twitter or Facebook to log in. Very simple. AT&T wireless customers can also text votes in for free. You can also do it the old fashioned way. Call the 800 number shown on the bottom of the TV screen when Donald Driver dances. Or, you can do all three. Which is what I did! Go, Quickie, go!

LA Times Gives Driver some LOVE. Ranks him SECOND behind Urkel

For anyone who missed Monday’s episode, you can view it in its entirety on ABC.com .

 

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  • gbpf127

    Well done Anita!! I think DD third out of the gate hurt him. Normally 7s are good scores for Week 1. But as you pointed out, this season is lacking mediocrity. No Billy Ray Cyrus’ or Master Ps. So judges were rewarding higher in later groups. I see Sherri and Jack have jive next week. That will be interesting. DD has the tough Quickie-Step.

    Lookin’ forward to your blog. Well done on how to vote. DD’s number remains same throughout so we need to have people keep that number programmed. And I’ll be laughing next week when non DWTS Packer fans tune in early to see DD dancing third. Ha!

    • Anita

      I think the 800 numbers change each week, depending on the order on which they dance. I know that the amount of times you CAN vote is reduced each week, as they get rid of people. Since no one is leaving this week, you still get 12 votes per device next week (they are adding the votes from Week One and Week Two). After they eliminate the first couple, the following week, you’ll only get 11 votes, and so on each week. They’re trying to eliminate ballot stuffing which is a problem on American Idol.

      I agree that we’ll see how well Jack, Sherri and even Katherine do when they step out of the slowly, controled, safe waltz and into some fast dances.

      The Quickie Step is just made for Driver! LOL.

  • http://PocketDoppler Carol

    Not being a DWTS regular, I wasn’t aware of the “vote for an hour after the show” rule, so I wasn’t able to vote last night. I will have to plan my Monday nights (or did I hear something about Tuesdays???) accordingly. As one of the Packer Faithful (and Shareholder, I proudly add!), I promise to do my part. (Once I figure out exactly what that is…..) P.S. DD certainly deserved that standing ovation!! Damn impressive!!

    • Anita

      Mondays are the performance shows, and you vote right after. Tuesdays are the results show, in which someone is voted off. No voting needed then. So, you only vote on Monday night. This week is different. They are not voting anyone off, so there is no Tuesday show. Next week, they will add the votes from last night and the votes from next Monday, combine it with the judges scores (which is supposedly a 50/50 split, half judges results and half viewer vote) to determine who goes home first.

      I hope I didn’t confuse you! :)

      • http://PocketDoppler Carol

        No confusion Anita, thank you. I will plan accordingly for Monday nights, and take advantage of my AT&T wireless, Facebook, and I’ll even use that “landline”! The Packer Nation comes through for Campbell’s Click for Cans, we can do it for Donald too!

  • Colleen

    Donald looked wonderful. Like Mary, I was shocked by the high scores last night, some, (most, all) of which were unwarranted. Packer Nation must vote until the judges see Quickie at his best. And then vote more, of course.

    • Anita

      I think DD was hurt by the fact that he danced early in the show. You notice that the judges scores went UP as the night went on. I can’t believe they hauled out the NINES on Night #1!

  • CaptElaino

    Thanks for the voting tips! I was afraid about using the text method because I don’t have unlimited and wasn’t sure how it worked, so just voted online. Next week I’ll text AND vote online since I have AT&T and the texts are free. And my husband will do the same! Go Quickie!

    • Anita

      I was a little concerned, as well. But according to my phone, when I texted “Vote” to the number provided, I got the following reply:

      “AT&T FREE MSG. Vote for Donald and Peta confirmed. Data rates apply.”

      So, it reads to me that your text is free, but it counts against your data minutes.