Ricki/Ricky/Rickie/Ricci – 14
Chaz/Chazz – 2
JR/They were all bad except JR – 2
Kristin – 1
GET NANC OFF THE STAGE – 1 (Who’s “NANC”?)
Courtney: I really don’t think any of the other contestants had such a profound transformation as Rob – after week 1, I think I said “Yeeeep, he’s a goner next week or the week after!” and then each week, he actually started to get better…and better…and better…and more likeable, too. Like his buddy Romeo (who went to USC too…did you know that? ;-)), he seemed to let go of his “tough guy” image, and really embraced the experience…and when celebs with hang-ups finally open up, that’s when they really start to get good. I know there are people who still swear that Rob can’t dance – but really & truly, he ended up outdancing both JR & Ricki in the finale, and probably cumulatively had better technique than everyone except Ricki during the whole duration of the competition. Continue to deny it, if you wish – but from a technical standpoint, the boy did improve :-) Nancy did improve, but I don’t think she had the same leaps & bounds that Rob had; Hope was so all over the place that it was hard to tell if she was really improving, or was just sucking less than the previous week – I would say her foxtrot, quickstep, and instant jive were high points, but compared to all the low points (pretty much every other dance she did), I think she ended up pretty weak overall. David did legitimately improve – he would have probably been my 2nd choice after Rob for this award. He started off as a pretty hot mess and then managed to gain some focus to take him further. Ricki was more like a Hines to me – started off good, and stayed good for most of the season. Any improvement was minute, as she never really stunk to begin with. Chaz improved, but did seem to hit a wall by the time he left; was Kristin even around long enough to see any improvement? And as for JR…oy. He actually seemed to get worse during those last few weeks, but I think he had the right energy (and a big enough fanbase), so he managed to still win.
Heidi: I find it pretty hard to argue against Rob on this one – I mean, I was rooting for him!! Not only did he improve as a dancer, but you could tell that he really liked hanging out with Derek and Mark….well, the whole cast. He was having FUN. He was making jokes at his own expense. He was just funny. It’s almost like this was the first time that HE got to be the center of attention and he blossomed because of it. I think DWTS really improved his sense of self-worth which is a great thing. He went from gossiping about the cast to being part of that family and being invested in it. It was very nice to see. “They are all bad except JR” – what, are you FIVE?? Sheesh.
Vogue: Yep, Rob Kardashian all the way on this one!! When I first heard he was going to dance, I was turned off especially being I’m not a fan to the Kardashian’s in general. I thought between he and his sisters, they’d turn this show upside down with all the attention focused on them. I thought Rob would be a horrible dancer. I didn’t think he’d care about dancing, growing, or advancing. Wow, was I ever wrong and I love it when people do that to me. Rob not only listened to Cheryl, worked hard, and improved his dancing, he wanted to grow as a person as well. I was a total fan by the end and even hoped and thought he’d deserved first place. What a class act he turned out to be!! He will not only go down as most improved, but, as one of my favorite contestants on this show!! I was continually impressed with Chaz and how he worked so hard and improved too. Hope improved as well, but, much too late and her attitude was questionable all through out the show and until the end.
*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Taylor