Monday, September 16, 2013

"Dancing With the Stars" - Fun on Week One!

Are you ready for a whole lot of glitter, sequins, mirror balls, terrible dancing and D-list celebrities? I am, and thank goodness, because we'll get all of that and more this season on "Dancing With the Stars!"

After a big group dance to start out the season, and a quick word from Tom Bergeron about voting - votes tonight will factor into who goes home next week, since there's no results show this year - it was time to kick off the two-hour tacky danstravaganza!
  • Brant Daugherty & Peta Murgatroyd kicked off season 17 with a cha-cha-cha to Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." I think I'm right about Brant being cannon fodder, because although he wasn't as atrocious as the clips of his rehearsal made him look, it still wasn't a very exciting dance. I felt like Brant was relatively stiff and just a little boring.Brant and Peta are totally playing the "attraction" card, though - they were already hitting on each other! The judges, however, were impressed, and thought their dance was sizzling. Bruno and Carrie Ann did point out some problems with timing, though. Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 8; Bruno: 7. Total: 22.
  • Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani were up next with their version of a foxtrot to "Tears Dry on Their Own" by Amy Winehouse. Leah was very worried about whether she was going to do well, so all things considered, she really did a great job. I felt like her energy was a bit low, though, but I think that it was more of an attempt to be classy. However, Leah has a lot of potential, not to mention a lot of sass that I think will serve her well when she does more fun dances. The judges liked her dance, although Len did say that she was a bit "careful," which was a good word to use for her dance. Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7. Total: 21.
  • Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff danced a contemporary dance to "If I Lose Myself" by OneRepublic. Corbin really knows how to move, which I guess we already knew because of his work on "High School Musical," but I was impressed with the artistry he showed. Contemporary dance is all about emotion, and he clearly knows how to show that through dance. I can already tell he's going to be one of the celebrities to watch every week. My only critique is that Corbin doesn't have his adorable floppy hair already. The judges were incredibly impressed - he has set the bar very high. Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8. Total: 24.
  • Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke danced a foxtrot to "Pack Up" by Eliza Doolittle. He's incredibly light on his feet and incredibly charming and charismatic to watch. He's a little stiff and has a lot of problems with going back on his heels and not getting his full extensions on his arms, but I have to say that I really enjoyed the dance. Jack is going to be the guy who tries so hard and just charms absolutely everyone even if he's not the top dancer. (It doesn't hurt that his mom was so proud she was crying, which was a kind of touching.) Len said it was "well done," and Bruno thought it was very light and fun, although he told him to watch his turns. Scores: Carrie Ann 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 7. Total: 23.
  • Amber Riley & Derek Hough were next with a cha-cha-cha to "Wings," made popular by the cast of "Glee." Amber has a ton of sass and is a great dancer! I love her attitude and the way she moves! I also adored her sparkly, spangly dress and big hair! It all came together into a super fun, fast, funky cha-cha that made me smile. Bruno called her "the tigress of season 17," and that's pretty appropriate. The judges were falling all over themselves for her dance, which Len called "full-on, flat-out fabulous." Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Bruno: 9. Total: 27.
  • Elizabeth Berkley & Val Chmerkovskiy danced a contemporary dance to "Imagine" by John Lennon. Elizabeth is another one who is clearly a great dancer, and I was impressed by how much side-by-side dancing she and Val were doing very well in sync. There were a few little hiccups, but it was brave to go side-by-side like that. I didn't think they were quite as good as Corbin & Karina, but it was still a very nice, emotional dance. Also, Val had his shirt open, which is never, ever, ever bad. The judges were super excited, again, with their performance. Len said it was "just lovely to watch." Bruno did tell her to extend her lines, though. Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8. Total: 24.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy & Tyne Stecklein danced a cha-cha-cha to "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo. Bill Nye knows exactly what he's doing, because he totally played up the dorky dude thing with the dance. His dancing was kind of all over the place, although, he did have a few decent moves, but what he really had was a personality and a general joy for dancing that was a lot of fun to watch. I hope he doesn't get overshadowed by all the really good dancers this season, because he was just a lot of fun to watch - like your dorky but totally awesome uncle at your cousin's wedding. The judges were unimpressed but Carrie Ann was right that he is the kind of contestant that is the "heart of the show." Scores: Carrie Ann: 5; Len: 4; Bruno: 4. Total: 14. (And yes, the judges got booed for that.)
  • Keyshawn Johnson & Sharna Burgess were next, with a cha-cha-cha to "Treasure" by Bruno Mars. Keyshawn is super ploddy and not much of a good dancer. Mostly, he had Sharna dance around him, which, in her sparkly top and skintight gold pants, was, frankly, kind of mesmerising. I just kind of felt like Keyshawn's dance was a bit of a nothing. The judges said that he lost timing, even though he lost the moves, but they did like when he let loose later in the dance. Len liked his attitude but not the technique. Scores: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 5; Bruno: 6. Total: 17.
  • Christina Milian & Mark Ballas danced a contemporary to "Clarity" by Zedd. I didn't feel like she really had the same intensity as the other contemporary dances. However, I really like her strength, and I felt very drawn to some of her moves. There is something very interesting about Christina, and I think that I might really enjoy seeing what she can do from week to week. She moves well. The judges dinged her for her lack of connection and confidence, even though she moves well. They wanted her to open up more, because she has a lot of potential. Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 8. Total: 22.
  • Bill Engvall & Emma Slater danced a foxtrot to "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer. The other Bill took the floor and was the other dorky uncle at the wedding - the one who can dance a little bit better than the dorky scientist uncle, but still looks like a stiff goofball on the floor. He definitely moves OK, and had a lot of fun out there. He'll be another one of the delightfully mediocre dancers that will be great to watch each week as they just plain enjoy themselves. He is definitely the Redneck Ballroom King! The judges were happy that he went out there and did it, even though he needed some more fluidity. Scores: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 6; Bruno: 6. Total: 18.
  • Valerie Harper & Tristan MacManus were up next with a foxtrot to "Some Kind of Wonderful" by The Drifters. She moves incredibly well and is just so incredibly joyful. Yes, she's a little stiff, probably because she's in her 70s, but she has a lot of grace and beauty, and a wonderful presence in the ballroom. And, darn it, she's just having a blast out there. Who couldn't love watching her? She just lights up a room!!! The judges were very complimentary, and although she had a few little problems, the judges were just obviously touched by Valerie being on the show. (And, darn it, I was too! *sniff*) Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7. Total: 21.
  • Snooki & Sasha Farber finished out the show with a cha-cha-cha to "Wild Ones" by Flo Rida. Was it super cha-cha? Maybe not. But it had a lot of sass, and a lot of fun. Snooki is going to be that "Dancing With the Stars" contestant that I should hate, but I will actually love. She looked really good, tried really hard and had a lot of fun. Also, her sparkly pink dress was just plain delightful. Go Snooki!!!! The judges were happy with Snooki, especially because she just went for it. Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 7. Total: 23.
Jenny's final thoughts: I think this will be a fun season for "Dancing With the Stars," especially if we keep Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill Engvall and Snooki on there for a while. (And if they secretly record backstage conversations between Bill Nye and Snooki, because who doesn't want to know what the two of them talk about.) I also love Jack Osbourne and, of course, Valerie Harper, because who wouldn't? As far as who I'd like to see go home, I would probably say Brant or Keyshawn should go home, just for being kind of boring. Right now, it's not so much about being a good dancer - it's about being entertaining. Overall, though, it was a pretty great show!

What did you think of the "Dancing With the Stars" premiere? Who would you send home?

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