“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance” – Confucius
If you’re like me, you enjoy seeing how major television shows and their participants operate behind the scenes. Still, even with members from the Redskins in Los Angeles on Monday to document Josh Norman’s final hours of preparation, the condensed schedule of “Dancing with the Stars” and Norman’s dedication to practicing with the team each week makes his ability to memorize two dances over the course of several days quite remarkable.
After receiving the second-highest scores of the night last week on the season premiere, Norman put a lot of pressure on himself to equal or exceed expectations. This week’s dance was a Paso Doble, and Norman danced to “The Theme From Zorro.” That synced well with the couple’s introductory video feature, which caught up with he and Sharna at his farm in Greenwood, S.C.
“This town didn’t ask for a hero, it needs one, and that hero is me,” Norman said, all but whisking his imaginary sword in the shape of a “Z.” Monday night, he and Sharna started the show off with some western flare, beginning frozen with some dynamic poses and then finding their groove once the music kicked its spurs. This was a slower, more technical dance, built on posture and attitude, a Norman specialty.
The ending is quite dramatic, as Norman swords Sharna and then eliminates two foes behind him with outstretched arms.
This week added a previous winner to the judge’s table in Rashad Jennings, who was impressed with his NFL peer, though didn’t reflect that as much with his score (later inflating everyone else's). Len Goodman said he expected a dip in dancing with the duo’s tight schedule, but Josh “came out and did equally good,” he said. Bruno likened his energy to Killmonger from Black Panther, adding that his sculptural shapes were great but that he has to “sustain the lines in his hands.” Carrie Ann Inaba had a similar critique, but was impressed with his posing.
The duo received a score of 30 from the four judges, but maybe the best feedback came from Sharna, who believed Josh performed that dance the best of all their practices.
Speaking of, did you catch the Redskins’ Twitter account? It had you covered on some of the practicing before the show. Did you also happen to catch Jimmy Kimmel’s prediction? His comedic sidekick/henchman/friend Guillermo pulled Norman’s name out of a hat, predicting that Norman would win this season. It’s not exactly science, but let’s go with it.
Norman’s current and former teammates were a little quieter in their praise of Norman on Twitter, a bi-product of the Capitals game airing at the same time.
Norman finished his night in a group dance, playing on “Team 50s Tennis” and the challenge of him doing this dance with more partners is considerable since he missed practice time while in Ashburn. Kareem Abdul-Jabar played the coach in this scenario – with his lack of movement skills – and Norman was featured near the end spinning Sharna around. He's not bad with a racket.
The group received a 33, which helped in Josh’s final individual score, the lowest of the night. However, the people voted well. Norman will stick around for the third week (just as the Capitals won, too). Another red-eye flight and another shot in the spotlight.