From hero to hoofer: Alek Skarlatos’ speedy path to ‘Dancing With the Stars’

15 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: Bindi Irwin, Nick Carter take early lead in week 1.

Alek Skarlatos doesn’t just fill the heroic-man-in-uniform quotient for this season’s “Dancing With the Stars.” He’s also a hunky young, athletic guy who’s self-effacing and zeitgeisty, producers said. “There are a lot of categories he checks off, and we’re always looking for that of-the-moment booking,” said the ABC show’s co-executive producer, Deena Katz. “I swear he’s going to get an agent out of this. Here is my recap — plus scores from our judges Julianna Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli — of how our 13 celebrity dancers did on the Sept. 14 premiere.

Bindi Irwin, who considers her father to be her superhero, has paid a tribute to her late father Steve Irwin by performing on Elton John’s Crocodile Rock on the show ‘Dancing with the Stars’.was almost brought to tears as she took her first turn on the Dancing With the Stars dance floor on Monday, Sept. 14 — and the 17-year-old reveals her late dad Steve Irwin is her inspiration for this new chapter in her life. There’s just something about him.” Before he was a contestant on the hit hoofing show – but only a few weeks before – Skarlatos made international news for taking action in the face of grave danger. Not when the producers have gathered a cast of characters that includes wild man Gary Busey, snake charmer Bindi Irwin, butter queen Paula Deen, pop legend Chaka Khan, a couple of boy band stars, a social media phenom and a newly crowned American hero.

Her energetic performance with partner Derek Hough — together known as #TeamCrikey — saw her top the scoreboards in a tie with The Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter. The ‘Return to Nim’s Island’ actress added “after you lose a person like that, you feel like the sun will never shine again, but it will, and it may not shine as brightly, but you have to find that light in everything that you do.” Skarlatos, a 22-year-old Army National Guardsman who grew up near Sacramento, has since received a call from President Obama, a Twitter shout-out from Donald Trump and a dinner date with Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with decorations from the U.S. military and the French government. Kim Zolciak Biermann & Tony Dovolani (Salsa, score of 12) – Does anyone else think if Kim was dancing with her husband that we would see any difference? My family was here watching.” “Her brother is equally as awesome as she is!” the handsome 30-year-old dancer told Us. “I saw him and he was like, ‘Oh my gosh I’m so proud of Bindi!

Love you” The day before her performance, Bindi thanked her fans on her social media pages: “There are so many amazing souls that are going to be a part of this. Anyway, the barely-lucid movie star was obviously the highlight of the 21st season premiere on Monday, which featured the first Len Goodman-less season.

The show kicked off last night with a big Hollywood Boulevard flash-mob-style number and continued at a quick clip with intros to all the 13 competitors. She’s so amazing!’ I’m like, ‘Y’all are like the coolest human beings and I’m so thankful you’re in my life right now!'” “Honestly, from day one to now, people wouldn’t even believe how far she’s come,” her dance instructor revealed. “The transformation is miraculous, literally. We’ve got her in little training heels right now.” But while the audience support and praise from Hough makes Irwin feel totally “privileged,” she revealed her true inspiration is her dad, Steve, who was featured in the show during a video montage of Irwin’s life. “I’m trying to carry on my dad’s legacy, and it is tough,” she admitted. “I think that people always say when people pass away that time heals all wounds. Here’s our ranking for how this season could play out: Storyline: Bindi says she’s doing this to make her dad proud (he used to love to watch her dance around the zoo when she was little), which will no doubt be a heavily featured theme all season. In this case, Katz heard about the three American friends on vacation who tackled a shooter mid-attack on a 500-passenger train and immediately thought about getting one of them on the dance competition.

Her energy is infectious and the crowd adores her. “That was the best performance of the night!” Julianne declares. “You really are the wonder from down under,” Bruno marvels, noting she has loads of charm. When he appeared on “Good Morning America” to discuss the incident, during which Stone and several other passengers were injured, Katz worked with the sister ABC program to cut through the media firestorm. Sure enough, he tells Sharna that he’s always been insecure because he feels like he’s not the best dancer, and hid behind the rest of the Backstreet Boys.

She made her “five-minute elevator pitch,” and then waited anxiously to learn if Skarlatos would agree to be on “DWTS.” “It was touch-and-go there for a while because this is so out of his element,” Katz said. “He was just serving in Afghanistan not long ago, and now we’re asking if he’s ready to cha cha.” Skarlatos, who’s taking a short leave from the National Guard, hadn’t even watched an entire episode of the show until recently. He was on the fence about participating, mainly because he didn’t want to be singled out. (The series couldn’t accommodate all three friends.) But producers had an ace-in-the-hole: Noah Galloway, a military vet and double amputee.

Performance: Nick kills it and makes Julianne blush in the process (she had posters of Nick on her walls as a teen, naturally.) Bruno predicts Nick will go far by making an inevitable “Backstreet’s back” joke. That may have been the tipping point, along with Katz’s relentless “stalking” and “psycho texting,” she said. “Noah’s a great guy, and I wanted to know how the military would be portrayed and how my friends’ images would be protected,” Skarlatos said. “He told me I should do it. So after that conversation, I said yes.” Skarlatos, an avid sportsman and history buff, has never danced before, and Arnold has said in interviews that she’s been trying to get him to loosen his rather stiff military posture.

But Katz said she’s confident he will adapt and that viewers will respond to him. “He’ll get so much love in the beginning because people are proud of him and what he’s just done. Bruno thought she was a “hot sexy wild Latina,” just like he likes (uncomfortable chuckles rippled through the audience), and said her “kicks and flicks” were solid. He’ll have to dance to keep going.” Skarlatos, who’s single and plans eventually to become a police officer, said he’s enjoyed himself so far in the completely unfamiliar arena. Hayes dances like a gawky teen, but the judges don’t care. “God, if I was only 30 years younger…I’d still be way too old for you,” Carrie Ann jokes, which immediately makes everyone uncomfortable. Julianne thought the routine had “so much content” and that Alexa had “amazing presence.” This pop singer-songwriter performed his hit, “Honey, I’m Good,” on “DWTS” last season, and he said it made him feel close to his mother, who died six years ago.

Best known as: One of the three Americans (and a National Army Guard Specialist) who made headlines for heroics on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, when he and his two friends overpowered a man who opened fire. Performance: It was technically terrible, but who wants to vote this guy home after his comments to Bergeron? “I dance in a cosmos of riddles, and nothing means anything to me if I have to think about it, and with this young lady, Anna, from Russia with love, this is the one who sculpted me in what I am today dancing.” After Bergeron tries to control his laughter, Bruno compares the dance to a summer blockbuster: Chaos, mayhem, destruction…but “bring on the sequel!” Julianne says the cha cha wasn’t very good, but it sure was entertaining! For the first dance of the night, Victor and Karina danced a high-energy salsa right outta of the gate, but is it enough to ensure that the mirror ball trophy will be the jewel in Victor’s triple crown?

Carlos was in Big Time Rush, a pop act birthed on a Nickelodeon TV program of the same name, and he’s the other half of the first married couple to ever compete on “DWTS.” Neither Carlos nor his wife, Alexa, has ballroom training, but they can both move. Paula said that she hasn’t done any sort of organized dancing for 50 years so we can only imagine she greased her joints with butter to start feeling limber again.

This obviously sets up a good-natured rivalry, as well as the inevitable faux-jealousy issues, like when Carlos sees Mark Ballas give Alexa a kiss on the forehead after practice and call her “babe.” Performance: It’s pretty good, which makes sense given that he was in a boy band. Paula and her partner did a quickstep to “Hey, Good Lookin’ ” (how appropriate), and it looks like the recipe for her dress called for a healthy serving of grape soda. Carrie Ann and Bruno want more from him, but liked the jive he and Witney did to the James Brown classic tune, “I Got You (I Feel Good).” Carlos seemed OK with the score, as long as he gets to keep his wife’s skimpy spangled costume. Dressed as Cleopatra, Kim did a salsa to David Guetta and Nicki Minaj’s “Hey Mama.” She didn’t really have the moves, but what she lacked in rhythm she made up for with fog and mystique.

She starts the dance by being lowered from the ceiling, and Julianne exclaims it was “a glorious entrance for a glorious woman!” Carrie Ann notes that Chaka was having fun, but so much fun that she clearly forgot the choreography. Bruno reluctantly offers some criticism (“It pains me…because I adore you”) and says that her footwork was terrible, even though her personality was superb.

He called her “a legend, a diva, a queen.” The couple did a cha cha to a cover of her massive hit, “I Feel for You,” and she didn’t so much dance as gyrate to the beat after floating into the ballroom on a suspended platform. Performance: Carrie Ann is not very impressed, saying that “it didn’t quite come together” and that it looked like Louis was simply dragging her around the floor. During rehearsal with the gorgeous Russian and 11-time “DWTS” pro, he can’t quite get the steps and asks her, “Am I really slow?” She reassures him that he’s “learning a brand new language.” That language includes some kung fu and kickboxing moves, apparently, that Anna was either too nice or too afraid to cut out of the routine.

Can she tap into her reality show roots and pull it together? “It’s one thing to do reality television, it’s another thing to shake with another man,” she explains. No such luck with the Cleopatra-themed salsa routine to chart topper “Hey Mama,” where Tony had tried to cover up her lack of dancing prowess by including a bunch of pros in the number. Bruno told her she has to “sell it.” Nearly everyone made some kind of reference to her hot bod, and she couldn’t stop mentioning her pro football player husband. Their quickstep to “Hey Good Looking,” started in a kitchen setting – with lots of saturated fat on the countertop, natch – and ended with Deen saying she’d probably soiled her undies because nerves. And they’re both strong-willed people, as evidenced by their video practice session in which he says he’s the boss and she tells him to talk less.

Julianne called her a “feisty, fierce woman” who showed “elegance and femininity.” Karina, returning to the series this season, shows just how smart she is by dressing Victor in jockey silks (with a bedazzled helmet!) and telling him to simulate riding a horse instead of attempting a salsa.

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