The premiere episode of “Splash” aired Tuesday, March 19 on ABC with half of the full roster of 10 celebrities showing us their stuff, with one being eliminated at the end of the show. The five divers appearing on week one each received a score from two judges (David Boudia and Steve Foley), with the other half of their score being from audience votes.
The divers who participated in week one and their final scores were:
Rory Bushfield – 8
Louie Anderson – 7.25
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 7.25
Katherine Webb – 6.75
Keshia Knight Pulliam – 6
Keshia might have been adorable when cast as Rudy on “The Cosby Show”, but cuteness went by the wayside as she donned a sequined one-piece cutout swimsuit for her debut on “Splash”. Her dive consisted of a forward handstand that sent her into the pool feet first from a whopping 10 feet. Both judges gave her a score of 6, commenting that she didn’t have balance. From Steve:
You showed as much balance as a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest.
The second celebrity contestant to walk the plank was comedian Louie Anderson, who, at 400 lbs, scored a win just by being able to climb up the ladder to the diving board. Deciding at the last minute to push himself by diving from a higher level, he stretched his arms out from his sides and basically just fell forward into the pool. His tenacity during training and courage to dive from 23 feet on his first competition dive is to be applauded, but falling into a pool of water certainly doesn’t rate a score of 7 and 7.5 from the judges.
Remember the old Tarzan movies where he jumps off the cliff with the swan dive? That’s exactly what you looked like. As you got closer to the water you resembled George of the Jungle …”
This is like old school swan dive from back in Steve Foley’s day. Breaking goals the first day, going up to 23 feet, and now I’m going to do a swan dive?
The third diver to hit the platform during week one was Katherine Webb, who said she decided to do “Splash” to show everyone that she’s more than just a pretty face. She did a back somersault from 16 feet and overshot terribly, yet because of the degree of difficulty and courage it took her to dive from a height of 5 meters, she earned scores of 7 and 6.5, putting her second from the bottom. She should hang up her swimsuit and stick with the pretty face.
Extreme skier Rory Bushfield had to get rid of bad habits and learn how to go headfirst, when that’s exactly what you should avoid when skiing. From the 33 foot high platform, he decided to go with a difficult dive for his debut, and his back double somersault earned him a 7.5 and 8.5 score from Steve and David, his average of 8 being the high score of the evening.
Last up was NBA’s all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, decked out in Lakers' colors. Kareem’s height might have been an advantage on the basketball court, but his 7’1” frame did him no favors as a diver. Choosing to dive from the 3 meter springboard, Abdul-Jabbar hesitated and repositioned before performing his backward somersault that resulted in a belly flop. Rather than score him on his diving ability, the judges gave Kareem kudos for trying, and David even admitted that the dive wasn’t great, but gave him a 7.5 because he’s 7 feet tall.
(At 65 years old) … you should be home watching “Splash” but no, you’re here. I’m giving you a 7.
The giant of a man tied for second place with Louie Anderson because he’s tall -- and he showed up.
Keshia’s low score put her at the bottom of the pool, so she had to perform in a dive-off with Katherine Webb, who’s first dive wasn’t much better than Keshia’s (although Miss Alabama 2012 looked slightly better in her cutout swimsuit). Both of their second dives were severely lacking, but since Katherine chose to dive from a higher board, she was given the nod to return, and Keshia was sent home.
Tune in to ABC on Tuesday, March 26 at 8 p.m. to see the remaining five celebrity divers try to outdo last night’s debut performances.