Ahhhh, yes – the cha-cha. The only first week dance that has remained the same in all 14 seasons of the show – they’ve often vacillated between the waltz, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz as the first week ballroom dance from season to season, but they’ve always had the cha-cha as a week 1 Latin dance. That’s 75 regular week 1 cha-cha’s (I’m not counting the cha-cha relay from season 9 – the scoring is too funky) for me to run the stats on, to give us an idea of what we might expect in the coming week :-) So before I run down the list of the biggest “Oh god, that was baaaaaad!” week 1 cha-cha moments, here are a few interesting cha-cha stats:
*The lowest cha-cha score in DWTS history is 12 – and it’s a 3-way tie between Master P & Ashly, Tucker & Elena, and Jeff & Edyta. Two of the couples were eliminated the first week of their respective seasons – and all 3 female pros are no longer on the show :-) (ok, that last one was probably not a direct cause of a bad cha-cha, but just an interesting coincidence ;-))
*Five former DWTS champions did cha-cha as their week 1 dance (Drew, Emmitt, Apolo, Brooke, & Hines).
*The pro who’s done the most week 1 cha-cha’s is Cheryl – she’s started 9 of her 12 seasons on the show with a cha-cha.
*A female celeb didn’t dance the cha-cha as a week 1 dance until season 5 – up until that point, the ladies had always done a ballroom dance the first week, and the men had always done cha-cha.
Now…without further ado…I give you the worst week 1 cha-cha’s in DWTS history :-) Season 14 celebs, pay attention! This is for your own good…do not try to emulate these routines!
10.) Clyde & Elena, season 4
I never got the feeling that Clyde was actually making a genuine effort during his season, really. I think his handlers probably signed him up for the show just to get him some exposure, and it was never something Clyde really wanted to do – he just seemed to do the bare minimum each week and probably hoped to get voted off quickly. His whole “outrage” over Len pointing out that some couples weren’t practicing enough just really made me think that Clyde the Glide doth protest too much – he wasn’t putting in the hours and he knew it. On top of the apathy, there was a huge height difference between he & Elena, and at 6’7″, he was generally just kinda ungainly…add that altogether and you’ve got a cha-cha that’s just kind of an awkward non-event.
9.) Billy Ray & Karina, season 4
I’m not sure who I feel worse for here – Billy Ray or Karina. Billy Ray really was kind of “a left-footed hillbilly from Kentucky” (his own words), and this cha-cha was a pretty hot mess. I like to call this “drunk uncle at a wedding” dancing – some random grooving & flailing & forgotten footwork from Billy Ray while Karina did some cha-cha around him. But I will say this – unlike Clyde, who had probably phoned it in before the season even started, I do think Billy Ray was giving it his all the entire season. This poor guy REALLY wanted to do well for Karina, and he did put in the effort – but some people are just not natural dancers, and Billy Ray is unfortunately in that camp.
8.) Elisabetta & Val, season 13
Use of a prop? Strike 1. Clothing removal? Strike 2. Forgotten choreography? Strike 3 and you’re OUT, Elisa & Val. If the gimmicks alone weren’t enough to get Len’s blood boiling, Elisabetta seemed to kinda blank on her steps in the middle of the routine, and ended up flailing around awkwardly. Elisabetta, to me, seemed to be yet another victim of “Awkward-Moving Model Syndrome”, where she just didn’t seem to know quite what to do with her limbs – the result in this case was kind ragdoll-like, and a little creepy (at least to me). Hopefully Val has learned his lesson about gimmicks this time around, and will give Sherri some solid choreography.
7.) Jeff & Edyta, season 7
You know you’ve got a problem when your celebrity partner spends the bulk of your first practice session cracking jokes and trying to pronounce your name correctly :-P Jeff is another celebrity whose commitment to the competition I have to question – however, instead of taking the apathetic route like Clyde, I think Jeff went the “What the hell? I may as well make a complete and total ass of myself and get a few laughs, ’cause I’m sure as hell not gonna win!” route. The end result, while a train wreck of a cha-cha, was still oddly entertaing to watch – even if his eye injury was kind of a harbinger of doom that this routine was gonna crash & burn :-)
6.) The Situation & Karina, season 11
I actually thought this one wasn’t too bad, considering he only had a week to rehearse it – but therein lies the problem: it’s good for 1 week of rehearsal, but not 3 :-( I get the feeling he was simply trying to remember his choreography in this one – all attention to technique (what little Karina was probably able to teach him) went out the window, and he only kind of played to the crowd. But, like Billy Ray – I do get the feeling he was giving it an honest effort. Given his bravado on Jersey Shore, I had the bar set pretty low for The Situation on DWTS – but he actually ended up being a pretty pleasant surprise, during the short time he was on :-)
5.) Wendy & Tony, season 12
As if the bulk of us weren’t irked enough by Wendy’s in-your-face personality, we got a double-whammy when we saw what a lousy dancer she really was – did she even move in this cha-cha? It was a whole lot of nothing, wrapped in an ugly dress with monster boobs 8( And to add insult to injury – Wendy seemed oblivious to how bad of a dancer she really was! With all the bragging she seemed to be doing, you’d think she had danced like Nicole Scherzinger – when in reality, she was more on-par with our next competitor…
4.) David & Kym, season 11
I think the most disturbing part of this cha-cha was the fact that David seemed to be “under the influence” – which just further left a bad taste in my mouth, after the sloppy dancing. And did David just come across as beyond creepy to anyone else that season? The inappropriate comments about Kym, the song (“Sex Bomb”?! REALLY???!!”), the awkward gyrations…for Kym’s sake alone, I’m glad they were out the first week!
3.) Kenny & Andrea, season 2
If a robot was ever a contestant on the show – this is what I would imagine its cha-cha looking like :-) Kenny did his choreography just fine – but there was zero feeling or emotion to it. Just stiff, wooden, and blank. And creepy.
2.) Tucker & Elena, season 3
Another non-event cha-cha – but this time, even the parts where Tucker was actually moving were enough to make your eyes bleed…just terribly awkward. And when you’ve got a partner as talented as Elena dancing circles around you, it just magnifies the fact that you can’t dance…plus your costume is dorky.
1.) Percy & Ashly, season 2
Do you really think I’d pick someone other than Master P for this one??? :-) This was the ultimate display of apathy: it was quite obvious he was not trying at all, and his face practically screamed “I don’t want to be here!” with every step – guess that’s what you get when you need a last-minute replacement for someone. Poor, poor Ashly…no wonder most of us had the bar set really low for Romeo!
Steve & Karina, season 8 - Ok, this was pretty bad, but at the same time, Steve looked like he was having so much fun doing it – and I do think he was making an honest effort. One of those routines that were technically pretty bad, but still very entertaining to watch :-)
Ty & Chelsie, season 8 – Poor Ty was just so far out of his element, but man – he was a charmer, and he was really, really trying :-)
Buzz & Ashly, season 10 – Another routine that I almost didn’t want to put on this list, for the simple reason that Buzz is older than the hills and just seemed so excited to be on the show – so who really cares if his cha-cha was more like a walk out to the mailbox? :-)
Ron & Peta, season 13 - Just…bizarre. Not the worst I’ve seen, but just…bizzare.
Now that we’re done with that bad trip down memory lane, you can look forward to reliving the top 10 best first-week cha-cha’s in DWTS history later this week…and the top 10 best first-week foxtrots, too :-) But first, you know what’s coming: the top 10 worst first week foxtrots in DWTS history! *horrified shriek* Sorry kids, but you gotta take the good with the bad – and it may keep you from getting your expectations too high for some of this season’s celebs.
So what week 1 cha-cha’s make you guys wanna vomit? What routine do you find so horrendously bad, you wish you could un-see it?