DWTS16: How are our New Pros doing so far?

Well, we’ve completed 3 weeks of Season 16, and I think it’s time to look at our new pros, and hear some comments from you. I figured that now is a good time to start, since we still have all 3 of the new pros, I’m not sure how long they’ll last. So, I think it’s Interim Report time!

To review, we’ll see the Ladies First….

LINDSAY ARNOLD is our youngest at 19, and came to us from this past summer’s SYTYCD. She’s paired with Victor Ortiz, a boxer.
Victor and Lindsay’s Week 1 Foxtrot They earned a 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18 for Week 1.
Victor and Lindsay’s Week 2 Jive They earned a 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18, and 36 for the first two weeks. They landed in the bottom two in the first Results show.
Victor and Lindsay’s Week 3 Contemporary They earned an 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23 for week 3.
They earned 59 points for the first 3 weeks of competition.

SHARNA BURGESS came to us first in the Troupe, where honestly, I didn’t notice her much, other than as a brunette among a sea of blonde female dancers. She’s paired with Andy Dick, a comedian.
Andy and Sharna’s Week 1 Foxtrot They earned a 6, 5, 6 for 17 points for week 1.
Andy and Sharna’s Week 2 Jazz They earned a 7, 6, 7 for a total of 20 points, and 37 for the first 2 weeks. They were placed In Jeopardy in the first Results show.
Andy and Sharna’s Week 3 Cha Cha Cha They earned a 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18 points for week 3. They were placed in the Bottom 2 in the Results show.
They earned 55 points for the first 3 weeks of competition.

GLEB SAVCHENKO is originally from Russia, but came to us from Australia, where he was a professional dancer on DWTS Australia last year. He is paired with Lisa Vanderpump, a Real Housewife and restauranteur.
Lisa and Gleb’s Week 1 Foxtrot They earned a 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18 points for week 1.
Lisa and Gleb’s Week 2 Jive They earned a 6, 6, 6 for 18 points for week 2 and a total of 36 for the first two weeks. They were in the bottom 2 in the Results show.
Lisa and Gleb’s Week 3 Viennese Waltz They earned a 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
They earned 57 points for the first 3 weeks of competition.

MY THOUGHTS: Looking at just the scores, it would seem like Lindsay is doing the best job so far, of all three of the new pros. However, in my opinion, it’s Sharna who has done the best job so far. I think she’s bonded the strongest with her celebrity partner, and they’ve managed to create some strong chemistry. And, Sharna has given Andy some great choreography, and she fit it TO Andy, and she used his personality and his strengths and weaknesses to their advantage. Lindsay seems to have some potential, but I don’t think she’s “there” yet. Neither she nor Victor seem to have a dominant personality, so they’re coming across to be as pretty boring. They need some very strong choreography to avoid fading into the woodwork, I think, and I don’t think it’s Lindsay’s strong suit (yet). Gleb also seems to have potential, I think. And that’s about it. So far, there doesn’t seem to be any chemistry with Lisa, and they’re more concerned with getting themselves more votes, than working with “what they’ve got.” I do think he CAN create some strong choreography, and given the right celebrity, I think he could soar. And I am VERY impressed that NONE of them have overdanced their celebrity partners!

Vogue: Great idea for a post, Lori! I hadn’t been paying much attention to scores and how these three pros and couples might be stacking up against each other. I was quite shocked to see Lindsay placed 1st, Gleb 2nd, and Sharna in third. Like you, I think Sharna is doing the best and should be first. She’s made a big splash. We know from all of her interviews that she has been choreographing for quite some time and you can tell. She and Andy’s Jazz dance sealed it and it put her in a whole new class …and potentially in the same class with Derek Hough. Like Derek, she’s powerful, creative, and has a huge touch for theatrics and wanting to push the envelope. She’s just so sweet, big hearted, and humble like him too. I’d put Gleb in second. He’s so cute, but, he’s more than a pretty face. Being Lisa is older, he’s been limited and yet, manages to get Lisa to really bend and put forth something really appealing and entertaining. I’ve loved them. As for Lindsay, she should be in last place in my opinion. She doesn’t have a lot of the performance and creative factor in her dancing and choreography yet. I blame it on her age and lack of experience. Last week was a little better, but, that was a contemporary dance which really doesn’t fit in the ballroom category. And before anyone says I or anyone else here is hating on Lindsay, I’m not. I hate no one. I’m just saying she’s got a ways to go.

Heidi: I agree with both of you on Sharna – she’s doing a great job with Andy. Very entertaining choreography that she fit to his strengths and personality. I think she’s had and is going continue to have a much harder time than the other two as she has the weakest dancer – but that makes her accomplishments even greater. Andy’s Jazz dance is one of the dances that I will remember from this season, and that’s saying something.  She has benefited from being in the troupe and she has a degree of maturity and strength that works well on this show for the Pros. Lindsay, on the other hand, strikes me as very young and a great dancer, but she didn’t have the benefit of working in the troupe for a couple seasons in order to watch the pros work with their partners. There’s a lot to be said for being on the show without a celebrity so you can see what people like Derek, Mark, Kym and the others do – and how the show works.  I’m also not sure that Victor was the right partner for her – they’re too quiet together and are fading a bit into the woodwork. I think she has potential, though – just not sure she’s ready to be the teacher yet. Gleb is different. He strikes me as kinda quirky and, while very handsome, not at all arrogant about it. It’s almost like his good looks are just something to joke about or to over exaggerate for a laugh.  He doesn’t seem to preen the way certain others of the Russian persuasion tend to do. I could be way off base on him – because one of the problems is that he’s fading a bit into the background – but he doesn’t take himself at all seriously.  It does seem that Lisa likes to joke about him “getting his kit off” in order to get points, as opposed to the dancing -but I think that’s really not the story. She had a pretty good dance last week and I think that shows that Gleb’s manner with her allows him to still teach her something.  They seem to have connected in a beneficial way.

Courtney: Not too many arguments from me – Sharna has been the revelation for me so far this season, as I was prepared for her to make an early exit and not much of an impact, but she keeps impressing me week after week with not only her choreography, but how she handles what I would consider to be a very difficult partner.  As I’ve said before, it takes a really special person to work with recovering addicts and the myriad of emotions they go through on a daily basis, just trying to get their lives back on track – and we’ve seen that Andy is a bundle of nerves right now, and does have his occasional “meltdowns”.  Now this is something that could really take its toll on a pro after awhile, and I could see a less patient, less seasoned pro throwing in the towel & giving up on him before long.  But not Sharna – every time Andy melts down, she’s there with him, offering encouragement and understanding while still prodding him to keep going and work harder.  And for him not being a very naturally-skilled dancer, she’s also doing a great job of making him look his best with her choreography – makes me excited to see what’s to come from her, and look forward to future seasons with her when she has a partner that isn’t quite so challenging.  If she’s doing this well with a “dud” – imagine what she can do with someone with some natural ability! I’d said Gleb is probably doing the 2nd best – like Heidi mentioned, there is a certain appeal to how un-seriously he takes himself, which is rather refreshing…so many of the Russian men are just so INTENSE.  Reminds me a bit of Pasha Kovalev from SYTYCD & SCD – quite possibly the most easygoing & smiley Russian I’ve ever seen. 🙂 I think his ability to not take things too seriously matches well with Lisa’s own humorous view of things, and while the end result is a couple that isn’t really that great out on the floor, I think they are succeeding in being entertaining, which is good.  I think Gleb could probably work on his teaching methods and choreography a bit, as it seems like he may be resorting to gimmicks just a bit too soon – granted, Lisa’s not great, but I don’t think they’ve reached the “Gleb needs to be shirtless EVERY WEEK in order for us to stick around!” point yet.  And that accent just soothes the soul 🙂 And then there’s Lindsay – I’m sure there’s going to be cries of “Don’t be so hard on Lindsay, she’s only 19!!!”, but that’s exactly the problem: she’s only 19, she has no experience in the troupe under her belt, and she’s basically getting a baptism by fire as a pro. I GUESS she’s doing the best she can – but like Heidi, I fear that she and Victor are just fading into the woodwork, and I’m not sure that they have a very good chemistry…seems like a lot of mixed signals and miscommunication between them.  What disappoints me the most is that she seems to be falling into the trap of overcompensating for her partners weaknesses by overdancing herself – their contemporary routine was a letdown in that it was 80% just Lindsay flailing around and Victor being there to catch her, and she seemed to be doing a lot of backleading and overdancing in their week 1 foxtrot as well.  I would like to see her focus more on actually teaching Victor how to dance, as opposed to just hiding his weaknesses with her own dance skills.  She’s a great dancer on her own – now I want to see what she can do with someone who isn’t a dancer.

Okay, now it’s your turn…. How do you think our new pros are doing so far?