Five players compete in Dancing with the 'Stros
The emphasis was on fun Sunday night in the inaugural Dancing with the ‘Stros charitable event.
And that included the five Astros players who competed, their teammates who served as judges, and the audience at the House of Blues, who were greatly entertained.
Dallas Keuchel won the voting over runner-up Jake Elmore, but the real winner was the Astros Foundation, the team charity of the Houston Astros.
The five players, which also included Jose Altuve, Jarred Cosart and Trevor Crowe, were each partnered with a professional dancer. Altuve finished third in the voting by his peers but many felt he was deserving of being the winner.
“Altuve is five-foot-five but he dances like he’s six-foot,” said one of the judges, Brandon Barnes.
After all five dancers completed their routine, Altuve said, “I have to be in the top five, easily.”
Both Cosart and Keuchel, sporting a 1970s-style shirts, said they got them out of Jordan Lyles’ closet.
The dancers, who only had an hour of rehearsal, were all entertaining. As were the reactions and comments from the judges on stage, which numbered almost the entire Astros team.
Lyles on Cosart’s routine: “I’m glad he throws 98 (mph).”
Brett Wallace on Altuve’s performance: “He has a little Bruno Mars in his game.”
Asked how he felt before dancing the cha cha, Altuve said, “I’m nervous.” Asked how he felt after his routine, Altuve said, “I’m still nervous.”
After performing the cha-cha to the music of “Moves like Jagger” Cosart said he was more nervous dancing in front of a crowd than when he was making his major league debut.
In reviewing Cosart’s performance, Marc Krauss said, “I admire his effort. And the shirt looked great.” Added Carlos Corporan: “He was dancing the next song.”
Elmore, considered the front runner by his teammates and Astros manager Bo Porter before the competition started, was first on stage. He and his partner danced the cha cha to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”
Elmore’s facial expressions were priceless.
“My expectations were don’t mess up, don’t fall,” said Elmore. “It turned out well.”
On Elmore’s performance, Jason Castro said, “He didn’t disappoint.” Added Brett Oberholtzer: “Jake knows how to shake it.”
Keuchel was the fifth and final dancer. And he didn’t disappoint, dancing to Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman.” What won it for Keuchel was lifting up his partner twice.
Keuchel was more successful in picking up his partner than Crowe was in attempting to slide between his partner’s legs at the end of the meringue dance.
Crowe’s unsuccessful move would have been great if he was trying to break up a double play.
Asked how Dancing with the ‘Stros compared to pitching in a game, Keuchel said, “I’m sweating out here. It’s about the same.”
Barnes on Keuchel: “That kid can move his hips.”
After receiving the runner-up award, Elmore jokingly said, “I might cry myself to sleep. But I’ll get over it.
“Doing it for charity, that’s the number one thing, and getting people here and entertaining them. We had a good time. And Dallas had a great routine. Him lifting her was cool.”
Sunday night’s event highlighted the new strategic focus of the community partnership between Houston-based Minute Maid and the Astros Foundation to support an expansion of programming and outreach to at-risk youth by the official team charity’s Urban Youth Academy.
Prior to the dance competition, Fred Arnold, Minute Maid’s community outreach manager, announced that Minute Maid was tripling their amount of scholarship money to the Urban Youth Academy. The event raised nearly $200,000 for the Astros Foundation.