DWTS 14 Week 1: Martina Navratilova gets glamorous

When it was Chris Evert against Martina Navratilova who were you cheering for? I was an Evert fan because I like her style, but there’s no denying Navratilova was a tennis superstar. On Monday night as one of the “Dancing with the Stars” season 14 celebrities, she wowed, but mostly because she got glamorous.
Partnered with the diplomatic Tony Dovolani, she did well enough to score a 20, but this season, with no couple getting in the teens, that score only kept her tied for the bottom spot with Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy and singer Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff. The last tennis player who was on DWTS didn’t do well.
That was Monica Seles during season 6. Seles was paired with Jonathan Roberts, but for the first week only. Seles and Roberts received a 15 for their foxtrot. Their team tied with the team of Adam Carolla and Julianne Hough for the lowest score of the evening, both for the foxtrot. Seles and Roberts were eliminated (along with  magician Penn Jillette and Kym Johnson) in the first round. Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas would win that season with football player Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska in second.
Navratilova admitted she’s not used to wearing a dress and she always seemed not to care how her hair looked. She seems a bit ill at ease in her new glammed up persona. She didn’t take command of the dance floor like she does on the tennis court. Dancing the cha cha cha to “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” by Diana Krall, she didn’t get into the text of the song. No flirting with Dovolani. No on stage persona. Her dress outshined her performance. Her feet and legs didn’t reach full extension and her heels were a bit dowdy.
Carrie Ann Inaba thought Navratilova was beautiful and refined. She told her to work on her turns and spotting.
Len Goodman was booed, but said he thought the routine was too careful and asked for the wow factor.
Bruno Tonioli mentioned that she was looking “stunning.” Tonioli said that she needed to work on her arm extension and fluidity. The footwork was another problem.
There’s nothing wrong with strong women dancing. Remember Laila Ali? Ali was paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy during season 4 and finished third. NSYNC’s Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson were second and Olympic gold medalist Apolo Anton Ono with Julianne Hough won that season.  Ali and Chmerkovskiy scored a 23 for the foxtrot.
The question is in this field with so many good dancers and good performers, will Navratilova continue on beyond week 2?

Overall ranking
  • Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas: 26
  • Jaleel White & Kym Johnson: 26
  • William Levy & Cheryl Burke: 24
  • Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya: 23
  • Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower: 23
  • Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy: 23
  • Gladys Knight &Tristan McManus: 23
  • Maria Menounos & Derek Hough: 21
  • Donald Driver &Peta Murgatroyd: 21
  • Gavin Degraw & Karina Smirnoff: 20
  • Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 20
  • Martina Navratilova & Tony Dovolani: 20


Cha cha cha

Online voting 


About Jana J. Monji

I've written for the Rafu Shimpo, LA Weekly, LA Times, Examiner.com and, more recently, the Pasadena Weekly and RogerEbert.com. I formerly worked for a dot-com more interested in yodeling than its customers.

Posted on March 21, 2012, in Dancing with the Stars Season 14, Martina Navratilova and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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