Complete rankings of athletes on 'Dancing'
September, 24, 2012
By Lynn Hoppes | ESPN.com
ABCHines Ward and professional partner Kym Johnson.
ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" returns Monday night, and here's the recap of Playbook's look at the past athletes who have appeared on the show.
No. 35 KENNY MAYNE
THE SKINNY: Kenny Mayne had a cup of coffee on Season 2 of "Dancing With the Stars." Mayne didn’t last long as he was eliminated early. Mayne is widely regarded as the worst contestant on "Dancing With the Stars." He and his partner, Andrea Hale, were booted after a forgettable rendition of the Cha-Cha. Mayne told Playbook a few years ago, "The only time I dance is at weddings and only if it is to Stevie Wonder or 'Love Shack' by the B-52s."
No. 34 CLYDE DREXLER
THE SKINNY: As graceful and fluid as Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was on the basketball court, he was the exact opposite on the dance floor. Before he was eliminated, Carrie Ann Inaba told Drexler he “was the worst dancer in this competition." Ouch. The judges were especially critical of his version of the rumba. Drexler and his partner, Elena Grinenko, earned some of the lowest scores in Season 4. "I am extremely elated! I feel like I won the lotto! I don't think I've been this happy since I won the championship [in 1995]," Drexler told People magazine. "I was ready to go."
No. 33 METTA WORLD PEACE
THE SKINNY: It was over before it started for Metta World Peace on "Dancing With the Stars" as he was the first person eliminated with a score of 14 (out of 30). To add insult to injury, Len Goodman told World Peace his footwork was atrocious. World Peace is known for over-the-top antics, but even that couldn’t help him advance.
No. 32 MARTINA NAVRATILOVA
THE SKINNY: Martina gave it the ole college try but didn’t perform well on "Dancing with the Stars." The tennis legend put in the work, and was disappointed to learn she would be the first celebrity headed home. "I had a wonderful time and I hope the people can see that you can do anything if you set your mind to it," she told Playbook. "I want people to get out of their rut."
Kelsey McNeal/ABCLawrence Taylor and professional partner Edyta Sliwinska.No. 31 LAWRENCE TAYLOR
THE SKINNY: LT staved off elimination for a few weeks before finally getting sacked by the judges and voters. Taylor lasted longer than most would have expected, but was routinely near the bottom of the weekly scores. "I did learn how to dance," Taylor said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." "I don't know where the hell I'm going to use it at."
No. 30 CHUCK LIDDELL
THE SKINNY: Chuck Liddell had to overcome the obstacles of being “dance challenged” and lacking the proper footwork to compete. His own partner, Anna Trebunskaya, said, “He wasn't a very good dancer to start with. [Liddell] had to work a lot [on] his dancing footwork and dancing ability. Totally different from fighting."
No. 29 MONICA SELES
THE SKINNY: The tennis great struggled on her brief stint on "Dancing with the Stars." Scoring a pair of 15s won’t get you a win in tennis or on the dance floor as she and Penn Gillette were the first to be eliminated from Season 6. "I think it's so early in the show, I was definitely at a disadvantage because I have no acting experience and this show is about being a dancer and an actress," Seles said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
No. 28 JERRY RICE
THE SKINNY: The G.O.A.T. made a good run on "Dancing with the Stars" all the way to the finals, but it was mostly because of his popularity as an NFL player rather than his dancing skills. He and partner Anna Trebunskaya finished in the top three due to strong voter backing. One word gives an accurate description why Rice is so far down on the countdown: DanceCenter. Time.com described DanceCenter as "the worst 'Saturday Night Live' skit ever."
No. 27 TY MURRAY
THE SKINNY: Murray lasted a lot longer than expected and defeated celebrities far more talented than he was, such as Lil' Kim. The overriding theme of the judges' comments toward Murray was that he "lacked dancing talent." He and partner Chelsie Hightower scored a 48 before being eliminated. "I've got a whole new respect for what these guys do," Murray said following his elimination. "It's so hard."
No. 26 LOUIE VITO
THE SKINNY: Vito admitted it was his first time dancing; at times, it looked like it. He lost in a dance-off with Michael Irvin to be eliminated. To Vito’s credit, partner Chelsie Hightower told "Good Morning America" after the elimination, "With an athlete, you always have the work ethic there. Vito definitely improved a lot."
No. 25 MICHAEL IRVIN
THE SKINNY: Survive and advance was what Irvin did, staving off double elimination before eventually going home in Week 7. Fan voting kept Irvin and partner Anna Demidova around despite low scores week after week. "I'm happy that we had seven weeks," Irvin told "Good Morning America" after his elimination. "We had a good time. That's the best thing about this."
No. 24 KURT WARNER
THE SKINNY: Warner was graceful and elegant in his dance moves but got a raw deal from the judges. Surprisingly, Warner moved better on the dance floor than he did on the football field. Warner was a crowd favorite, but it wasn't enough to keep him around. Warner told People magazine about his elimination in 2010, "It was unfair. We [he and partner Anna Trebunskaya] felt for a long time that we should have gotten better scores than we did, so we're disappointed."
No. 23 MARK CUBAN
THE SKINNY: Cuban overcame a few odds by participating on "Dancing with the Stars" less than 2 months after hip replacement surgery. His work ethic and competitive nature paid off, as he shed 34 pounds and was looking "high school skinny" during the competition. "There's a part of me that says, 'You know? Practicing six hours a day to do the mambo and the samba -- dances I've never heard of before?'" Cuban said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." "So there's a good side." It was later revealed that Cuban was trying to trade for Kobe Bryant during the taping of the show.
Carol Kaelson/ABC/Getty ImagesFloyd Mayweather and professional partner Karina Smirnoff.No. 22 FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
THE SKINNY: Mayweather may have saved his best for last while on the show, but it was too little, too late. He had his best performance, scoring a 23 for his paso doble with partner Karina Smirnoff, just before elimination. It didn’t surprise anyone that Mayweather had good footwork or work ethic, but his focus wasn't there. "It was marvelous just being here, just to get to this plateau," Mayweather said after the show. "For all the fans that supported me, to everybody behind the scenes, I really appreciate it. We had a great time."
No. 21 MISTY MAY-TREANOR
THE SKINNY: Misty May-Treanor competed for only two weeks on the show before rupturing her Achilles while rehearsing, forcing her to withdraw. May-Treanor wasn’t on the show long, but she was one of the most passionate about being there. After her injury, the Olympic gold medalist petitioned on her Facebook page to get back on the show. "I am glad I had the opportunity when I did," May-Treanor told Playbook, "and I hope the opportunity comes around again to let me finish."
No. 20 HOPE SOLO
THE SKINNY: Hope Solo and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced well but didn’t have the best attitudes about being critiqued by the judges. Solo and her partner made it all the way to the semifinals of Season 13, but their beef with judges overshadowed their performances. "This competition is one of the toughest competitions I've ever been a part of," Solo told Playbook.
No. 19 MAURICE GREENE
THE SKINNY: Mo Greene was very entertaining in his time on the show. One of his most interesting moments was during his Paso Doble and his use of the cape during the dance. After the show, Greene said, "I had a lot of fun. I made a lot of new friends out here. I learned how to dance out here in front of millions of people every night. I had a great time."
No. 18 NATALIE COUGHLIN
THE SKINNY: Coughlin and her partner Alec Mazo performed well, but the fan voting did them in. Coughlin was solid (as most of the Olympic athletes are on DWTS), but she and Mazo were the sixth couple voted off. "I guess I didn't show it, how much I loved it," Coughlin told the Associated Press. "But I really did, and I'm sorry."
No. 17 EVANDER HOLYFIELD
THE SKINNY: The former heavyweight champ was one of the most enthusiastic competitors in the show's history. His dancing skills needed some serious work, but he gets the benefit of the doubt because he was on the first season. Bruno Tonioli had some harsh words for Holyfield’s version of the quick-step. The judge said Holyfield’s quick-step “was a bit like watching 'Terminator' keeping up with Tinker Bell.”
No. 16 CHRIS JERICHO
THE SKINNY: Jericho’s elimination was a blessing in disguise as he was slated to attend the royal wedding. He was upbeat the entire competition and a crowd favorite. Jericho and Cheryl Burke actually received a standing ovation after being voted off. "Let's be honest, it wasn't my best dance, and at this point in the competition you have to be at your best every week or this is what happens," Jericho told Playbook. "But I'd like to say I'm proud of all the dances we did, and I'm proud to show that a WWE guy and a rock 'n' roll singer can go this far and do this."
Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty ImagesJason Taylor and professional partner Edyta Sliwinska.No. 15 JASON TAYLOR
THE SKINNY: Jason Taylor, now an NFL commentator for ESPN, was just as athletic on the dance floor as he was on the field. He scored a 27 out of 30 on his mambo and impressed the judges. Taylor finished in second place to eventual champion Kristi Yamaguchi.
No. 14 ERIN ANDREWS
THE SKINNY: Erin Andrews consistently put up strong performances and lasted until the finale, proving she was more than just a pretty face. She also dealt with tough competition (Evan Lysacek and Nicole Scherzinger) and still held her own. Andrews told Playbook the experience on the show "meant everything to me," and said she would only return if Maks Chmerkovskiy was her partner again.
No. 13 SUGAR RAY LEONARD
THE SKINNY: Sugar Ray Leonard put up the good fight and danced well on the Viennese Waltz. He was loved by everyone on the show. The judges loved him, and so did the crowd and his partner, as well. Len Goodman called Sugar Ray Leonard “the heart of the show." Leonard said on "Good Morning America": "I had the best time of my life. It was an experience I never thought would have taken place because I'm not a ballroom dancer, but the crash course I had was wonderful."
No. 12 RICK FOX
THE SKINNY: Rick Fox and his partner Cheryl Burke could have taken home the mirror ball trophy, but he was eliminated prematurely. The 6-foot-7 former NBA player was by far one of the best contestants on the show, and it was a shock when he and Cheryl went home earlier than expected. Fox told Playbook, "I'm still shocked that I was eliminated."
No. 11 EVAN LYSACEK
THE SKINNY: Evan Lysacek was a true trooper on the show, dancing through injury (he had two broken toes), and still made to the finale. He went “toe to toe” with Nicole Scherzinger and was praised for his paso doble with partner Anna Trebunskaya. "From Olympics to 'Dancing With the Stars' to 'Stars on Ice,' I've had a great year," Lysacek told Playbook then.
No. 10 WARREN SAPP
THE SKINNY: Warren Sapp was by far one of the more entertaining athletes on the show. We saw Warren Sapp imitate Beyonce’s moves on the football field during his playing career, but who knew a 300-pound defensive tackle could be so light on his feet? The highlight of Sapp’s appearance on the show was when the former defensive lineman dressing up like Morpheus from the Matrix to perform his routine with partner Kym Johnson.
No. 9 CHAD OCHOCINCO
THE SKINNY: Chad Ochocinco lived up to his reputation as an entertainer, and his end-zone dances on the football field translated to the dance floor. With the help of Cheryl Burke, their chemistry propelled the pair all the way to the semifinals. After losing, Ochocinco tweeted: "Man this has been one of the best experiences ever, thanks to all who supported The Interesting One, this is just the beginning."
Carol Kaelson/ABC/Getty ImagesLaila Ali and professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.No. 8 LAILA ALI
THE SKINNY: Laila Ali was dinged up during her stint on “Dancing With The Stars” and still almost won the competition. She told the New York Post, "I have two bad shoulders, two bad knees, a bad back and my wrists are a little weak." On a side note, Ali was absolutely stunning on the show.
No. 7 EMMITT SMITH
THE SKINNY: Emmitt Smith wore a star on the side of his helmet for most of his career and his “star” shined throughout the competition. Emmitt was the benefactor of that Cheryl Burke magic (she’s danced with previous winners) and his celebrity. He narrowly edged out Mario Lopez to win season three.
No. 6 KRISTI YAMAGUCHI
THE SKINNY: Kristi Yamaguchi brought the women back to the winner's circle by blowing away the competition in the finale. She was perfect, literally. She became the first person to score perfect scores on all three of her dances in the finale.
No. 5 HELIO CASTRONEVES
THE SKINNY: Helio Castroneves got props for pulling magic out his hat and upsetting Melanie “Mel B” Brown in the finale. Simply put, a race car driver beat a Spice Girl to win.
No. 4 SHAWN JOHNSON
THE SKINNY: Shawn Johnson has performed in clutch situations before, and her time on “Dancing With The Stars” was no different. She was the youngest competitor ever and won by one of the narrowest margins in show history.
No. 3 APOLO ANTON OHNO
THE SKINNY: Ohno was “Oh Yes” on the show, winning season four, proving once again that former Olympians are tough to beat on the show. Ohno was great all around. He was good on the paso doble and even looked like he could have been an extra in the movie “You Got Served” with his hip-hop freestyle.
Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty imagesDonald Driver and professional partner Peta Murgatroyd.No. 2 DONALD DRIVER
THE SKINNY: It was a pretty good 18 months for Donald Driver. He won a Super Bowl title and season 14 of “Dancing." Driver beat out a few favorites and solidified his title with his freestyle competition. It also didn’t hurt that Driver plays for one of America’s most popular teams, and clearly fans came out to vote for the wide receiver when it counted.
No. 1 HINES WARD
THE SKINNY: Hines Ward got progressively better throughout the competition, and he can thank partner Kym Johnson for that. Ward told host Tom Bergeron during the finals, “She is an amazing teacher, and I want to thank the judges for giving us the constructive criticism to help me get better each week. Also, I want to thank all the fans." Ward’s personality, charm and passion about competitive nature pushed him through the competition. He also had the strong backing of Steeler Nation to push him over the top.