Aly Raisman began this season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars as one of the favorites, and nothing that has happened over the first two episodes has done anything to prove that to be an overstatement.
Raisman, and partner Mark Ballas, danced the quickstep in the second episode, and by all accounts it was a hit. Check it out for yourself:
For the routine, Raisman and Ball earned a trio of eights—good for a 24. That bested their solid 21 from the opening week.
The judges were full of superlatives and few criticisms after the routine.
Celeb Dirty Laundry passed along this quote from judge Carrie Ann: "All I have to say is the best Quickstep of the night. Fantastic."
Not surprisingly, USA Gymnastics is in full support of Raisman:
USA Gymnastics @USAGym
A great quick step from @Aly_Raisman - we are so proud of you, Aly! #DWTS2013-3-26 01:25:37
It was an impressive showing for Raisman, and trouble for the rest of the field. The quick fluidity of the quickstep is about as far a departure from a floor routine as this competition is going to get.
It requires the dancers to really accent the music and lose the rigidity of movement that accompanies finishing off a gymnastics move. Raisman seems to have few problems adjusting. And she certainly is not going to fail for lack of hard work.
Here is team RaisNBall rehearsing for the quickstep:
I'm still not sold on the RaisNBall moniker, but don't expect this to hold back the votes this team receives. As a member of the gold-medal winning gymnastics team, Raisman's glory is still fresh enough in the minds of the public to make her one of America's darlings.
Also, Raisman and Ballas have great chemistry and genuinely seem to enjoy each other. This will certainly be noticed by fans of the show, get people talking and buzzing about a possible romantic connection, and it will only help earn them more supporters.
Then, of course, there is also the near perfect routines.
At this point, it would be a surprise if anyone but team RaisNBall won this season.