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It’s back! The premiere of the show known as Dancing with the *Stars* aired Monday evening and gave us two hours of fun, frivolity, a winged cape, Baby from Dirty Dancing, a receptionist from Alaska, Len on pretty good behavior and, oh yes, dancing.
After three weeks of rehearsal, the celebs and their professional dance instructors showcased one minute thirty second turns around the floor with either the Viennese Waltz or the Cha-Cha-Cha. Ole! Cue the Music…cue Tom and Samantha, who everyone (well me) hoped had a strong stick on the double sided tape which held her cut-to-waist gown in place…and we’re off.
Audrina Partridge and Tony Dovalani danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to California Gurls
In their package before they danced, Tony told us that Audrina had the whole routine down by the end of the second week. He then proceeded to scare her by changing it up a bit with four days to D day. They opened with Audrina standing alone in the spotlight doing a shimmy, which gave her a solo before Tony joined her.
Carrie Ann liked that Audrina opened Season 11 with a solo, but she needed to connect more with her body.
Len thought she had good technique, but he wanted to see her more feisty.
Bruno thought she had everything this competition needs.
Scores: CA 6, Len 7, Bruno 6 for a total of 19
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya danced the Viennese Waltz to This Ain’t a Love Song
Kurt was very aware of the football legacy on DWTS and hoped to live up to it. At the first rehearsal, he practiced balance and frame by walking a straight line and apologized for his technique. Anna told him that he didn’t have any technique yet. After a sweeping dance, he walked over to kiss his wife and we saw that his children were also in the audience.
Carrie Ann saw potential; that he had something natural and graceful going for him.
Len said there was very little to commend the dance.
Bruno told Kurt he was a natural with the straight back and he could see potential.
Scores: CA 7, Len 5, Bruno 7 for a total of 19
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to My First Kiss
The first thing I noticed in the rehearsal package was that Lacey is now a blond. She thought that Kyle would have the performance down, but would need to work on his technique. And performance it was, with a high school locker set piece used at the beginning of the dance where they flirted before actually dancing.
Carrie Ann claimed her first crush of the season.
Len, after he fussed about the beginning, liked it and said they got it.
Bruno thought Kyle was a cutie, a divine entertainer. He wanted to take him home.
Scores: CA 8, Len 7, Bruno 8 for a total of 23
Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke danced the Viennese Waltz to Crazy
It was very noticeable that a height difference existed between the former LA Laker and his dance instructor. They noticed as well, and Cheryl increased her usual dance shoe heel from 3 ½ inches to 4 inches to see if that would help. It didn’t.
Carrie Ann said that his posture was ridiculously gorgeous.
Len thought he did a great job; that the height difference didn’t get in the way.
Bruno went into expansive mode with “What a Season this is going to be!” He can’t wait to see the two sportsmen fighting it out.
Scores: CA 8, Len 7, Bruno 7 for a total of 22
At this point in the show it looks like we have a competition…and then…
Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel danced the Viennese Waltz to We are the Champions
Margaret took dance lessons as a child until the teacher told her she was the fattest in the class and she dropped out. She actually thought she would be better this time around.
The dance was a “What was Louie thinking?” moment. It began as a beautiful sweeping waltz though the odd shiny gold train down the middle of Margaret’s back was puzzling. It became distracting when she grabbed the sides and opened it up into a pleated pair of over-sized wings or a cape. From that point on the dance took on the look of a Paso Doble gone wrong with her “bite me” facial expression and cape maneuvers.
Tom commented that the cape looked like Liberace’s shower curtain.
Carrie Ann thought the costume was a bold choice, if overly dramatic.
Len reminded them that the Viennese Waltz is an inappropriate dance for comedy.
Bruno wondered, “What the he** was that?” He thought she was going to eat somebody.
Scores: CA 5, Len 5, Bruno, 5 for a total of 15
Brandy and Maks Chmerkovskiy danced the Viennese Waltz to Cry Me Out
In her package, Brandy said that she has some dance experience, but not a lot. Maks told us that she is graceful, but hard on herself. He joked that this year he was going to be mellow and she said no…so he wasn’t.
Carrie Ann thought the dance was beautiful but Brandy needed to be careful when she hit her marks as she was so strong.
Len said that it was fabulous.
Bruno, being more expansive, declared that it was sweeping and electrifying.
Scores: CA 7, Len 8, Bruno 8 for a total of 23
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to Mama Told Me Not to Come
DWTS producers called Bristol, a receptionist in Alaska, and asked her to be on the show. One might wonder why this self-proclaimed regular girl joined the competition, but Mark addressed the elephant in the room with costume. He dressed her in an 80’s gray plaid suit with a ruffled dicky and upswept hair. I’m surprised he didn’t make her wear glasses. The idea was to start the dance in the suit then rip it off, take down the bun, and have her Cha-Cha-Cha in a deep pink short, fringed Latin costume. Oh, the elephant, while still in the room, did not sit in an audience chair so it remained a wisp of suggestion.
Carrie Ann commented that the dance was not boring and that Bristol has fantastic legs.
Len thought it was acceptable for week 1, but she needed to loosen up a bit.
Bruno noticed that the performance was weak, but then she isn’t a performer.
Scores: CA 6, Len 6, Bruno 6, for a total of 18
Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss
In her package, Florence demonstrated that she is not a goody-goody TV mom. She got bleeped and declared funky by Corky. She also showed that 72 years of living makes one a bit stiff in the lower back. To draw attention away from the lack of hip shaking, Corky overplayed the clown in the dance.
Carrie Ann said she looked like she was having the time of her life. When she was on it, it worked, when she slipped out of it, it didn’t.
Len commented that this was great entertainment.
Bruno thought she had spunk, but at times looked insecure on technique.
Scores: CA 6, Len, 6 Bruno 6, for a total of 18.
Michael Bolton and Chelsie Hightower danced the Viennese Waltz to Life After You
Michael said that though he sings, he has never danced. Chelsie noted that Michael hunches over a microphone and that her biggest worry was that he was very stiff and clumsy right now; the hunched upper back (whether from age or inclination) was noticeable during the dance.
Carrie Ann gently said that Michael was too generous in allowing Chelsie to lead. There was too much push pull.
Len told him that he needed to lift his diaphragm and buttocks, but he got through it.
Bruno patted him on the head when he said that when you try something new you get nervous so you need to try to relax.
Scores: CA 6, Len 5, Bruno 5 for a total of 16
Mike (The Situation) Sorrentino and Karina Smirnoff danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to Break Your Heart
Unlike the other contestants who had three weeks to train and learn their dances, Mike was under contract to finish filming his reality show and had only five days with Karina. He worried about not being prepared, though Karina noted he really wanted to do this and she liked his enthusiasm.
Carrie Ann commented that they can’t judge on too little rehearsal. She said that he has got to get rid of the 80’s “thing”.
Len thought he had potential but was not polished. He’s got the guns but not the ammunition.
Bruno noted that there was a spark that might be talent.
Scores: CA 5, Len 5, Bruno 5 for a total of 15
Jennifer Gray and Derek Hough danced the Viennese Waltz to These Arms of Mine
Jennifer proclaimed that she hadn’t had this much fun in a really long time. The song (from the movie, Dirty Dancing) took her back to the making of it, and dancing with Patrick Swayze. She became emotional with her memories.
Carrie Ann wiped away building tears and told them that there was a beautiful connection.
Len said the dance suited her, but he was waiting to see how she does with a jive.
Bruno stated that “Baby” is back where she belongs.
Scores: CA 8, Len 8, Bruno 8 for a total of 24.
David Hasselhoff and Kym Johnson danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to Sex Bomb
The Hoff, who is still big in Germany, said that his heart is in the right place, but his body is old. He had fun in rehearsal and his dad would be in the audience, so what could go wrong?
Carrie Ann told him that he danced more with his mouth than with his body. She also said that he reminded her of the offspring of Donny Osmond and Jerry Springer and that it was very bizarre.
Len reminded him that it was never too early to panic. Though it was entertaining, he looked forward to seeing him do the quick step, which is next.
Bruno commented that there was no real dancing; it was a potpourri of insanity disguised as dance.
Scores: CA 5, Len 5, Bruno 5 for a total of 15
At the end of the show, the leader board is as follows:
24 Jennifer Gray
22 Rick Fox
19 Audrina Partridge
19 Kurt Warner
18 Bristol Palin
18 Florence Henderson
16 Michael Bolton
15 Margaret Cho
15 David Hasselhoff
15 Mike Sorrentino
I hope you enjoyed the premiere show. The cast is full of characters with almost ringers and a few zingers. Check out the recap by MFWalkoff for all the tomfoolery in Tuesday’s results show.