The season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" aired Monday night on ABC at 8 p.m. ET and I watched it. I watched it from the time it started until the time Calvin Johnson’s post-dance interview with Erin Andrews came to an end. It was one of the most bewildering experiences I had on a Monday because my body and mind are conditioned for one thing—and one thing only—in this time slot during this time of the year: Monday Night Football. Monday Night Raw typically takes backseat to any football happenings around this time of the year because Hulu Plus puts together a nice and digestible 90-minute version of it the day after.
But this night was a bit different. Instead of watching Antonio Brown catch a touchdown pass on fourth-and-one from outside of the red zone and then twerk on his second touchdown catch, I watched Calvin Johnson, clad in a blue dress shirt with a large No. 81 on the back. Not so different until I mention the sequins that was all over the back of said shirt. Things felt... weird.
He was doing the cha cha with his partner for this season, Lindsay Arnold, a finalist from Season 21 of "Dancing with the Stars." Wait. Season 21 finalist. Calvin was No. 21 during his time at Georgia Tech. This might be his season!
The two did the cha cha all up and down a stage that had a large projection of a Lions football field across the dance floor and a set of goal posts in the background. He didn’t look out of place, he didn’t noticeably stumble through any parts of the routine and at the end of it, him and his partner fared well... I think.
One of the judges, Julianne, mentioned that Calvin had the "brightest, most infectious smile" she had ever seen on the show. Another judge, Bruno, dubbed him ‘Cha Cha-tron’ which, much to my joy, received zero applause from the audience. He also mentioned that Calvin’s "rhythm is there" and that he "can dance" which seem like nice things to say. The final judge who talked about Calvin’s performance talked about "hitting lines" and she said he was "really nice" at hitting them, but because of his size, he’s going to have to put a little more effort into hitting them.
Speaking of his size, and in case you weren’t watching for either of the reasons I mentioned earlier, the hottest topic of discussion about Calvin were not his dance moves. Measuring out at a size 15, nearly everybody was obsessing over the size of Calvin’s feet. All but one of the judges had something to say about them, so it seems as though the size of his feet might be one of the biggest obstacles he will have to overcome.
Calvin and Lindsay scored a 26 out of 40 possible points for their cha cha routine on Monday night, and here’s how they got to a 26:
Considering the no good, terrible things that friends, former teammates and even family members had to say about Johnson's chances on the show, things look promising for the former Lions receiver as he finished among the middle of the pack on Monday night.
|Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds|
|Jake T. Austin|
Calvin will be back in action with his partner Lindsay next week at the same time, 8 p.m. ET, and on the same channel, ABC.
If you want to view Calvin's performance, you can see it here. If you want to vote for him, vote here.