Last week was a huge disappointment for Antonio fans. His dance, a cha cha with switched-up partner Karina, was fun, energetic, exciting, and fell flat with the judges. They criticized his timing, his technique, and the dance itself (which really falls on pro dancer/choreographer Karina). He received the lowest score of the evening, while usual partner Sharna received the highest—the first ten given all season—with temporary partner Nyle.
This week it was back to the drawing board for the reunited AB and Sharna, and let’s hope they have figured out how to make the judges happy again. The audience loves him, of course, and Karina was obviously stunned and upset with the harsh assessment of the judges.
But before we look at this week’s dances, let’s see how Hines Ward did in Week 6, back in 2011.
The answer was, just fine:
It was “Guilty Pleasures” night, and each couple danced to a song that the celebrity is a bit ashamed to admit that they like. (I think that was the point, anyhow.) Hines danced a Viennese Waltz to “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men, which he admitted that he likes to belt out in the shower. (He also said that he thinks of the water as his fans – not sure where that’s going.) [Ironically, Wanyá, consistently one of the top male contestants this season, sings with Boyz II Men.]
Last week Antonio and partner Sharna wowed the judges with his jazz routine. Although perhaps “wowed” is the wrong word, as I got the feeling this was what they’ve been hoping for, and even expecting, from him all along.
This week the show has thrown a monkey wrench into things by switching everyone’s partner for a week. AB will now be dancing with Karina, who usually partners another of the NFL guys, ex-QB Doug Flutie.
But before we look at this week’s dances, let’s see how Hines Ward was doing at this point, back in 2011. As I wrote then:
Ward was, surprisingly, subject to performance anxiety throughout the competition. He even admitted that he often felt like throwing up before going onstage. He was especially nervous about the week five rumba, as it is a slower dance that requires more control.
So what did the judges have to say?
- Bruno – “Ease of movement, musicality, and just the right amount of sensuality to make all the ladies swoon!
- Well played.”
- Len – “It’s not false – it has a naturalness, an ease and an elegance that is charming, and I think that’s probably your best dance.”
- Carrie Ann – “You make it look so easy – I’m getting worried for you because you make it look so easy, but that’s a good thing.” Read more
Week 1 was fun, but Week 2 on Dancing With the Stars is where the pedal starts to hit the metal. There are no eliminations in Week 1, but one couple has to go during Week 2.
The first few eliminations are generally fairly easy, at least if the season in which Hines Ward competed is any indication. There always seem to be a couple of “stars” who just don’t have the, well, star power to overcome their technical weaknesses and lack of natural ability, and they generally get weeded out fairly quickly, unless they are happen to be very popular for some non-dancing reason. Then they may hang on for a few weeks longer than their Week 1 dances would have predicted.
So who is staying and who is going? Let’s find out…
As I noted the preview article, I will be not only reporting on how Antonio Brown is doing on Dancing With The Stars, but how it compares to Hines Ward’s appearance on the show five years before. So let’s get right to it. First, let’s see what I had to say about the whole idea, all those years ago:
When it was announced that Hines Ward would appear on Season 12 of Dancing With The Stars, the reaction from Steeler Nation was conflicted. On one hand, it would be great to let the world see Hines Ward the philanthropist, the untiring worker, the guy who loves his job so much that he pops up from even the most brutal hit—given or received—with a big smile on his face. But come on, it’s Dancing With The Stars. Steeler Nation had already moved on from and buried the memory of Lynn Swann taking ballet classes. We didn’t need any more of this dancing nonsense.
Ward ultimately decided to participate, and Steeler Nation was supportive because that’s what Steelers fans do. But it was with considerable trepidation that we watched the first show—those of us who could bring ourselves to watch, that is. Would Hines wear an outrageous costume? Was he going to forget his routine and look like an idiot? Would he remember his routine but look really uncomfortable…?
Happily, the answer to all of the above was a resounding “heck, no!” His costume was about as dignified as dancing costumes get. He certainly didn’t forget his routine. Most important, Ward looked like he was having a great time. Steeler Nation heaved a collective sigh of relief and settled in for the long haul, because by Week 2 it was obvious that Ward had what it took to last deep into the competition. Read more