"Prepare to meet the most exciting [line-up] ever assembled on Dancing
With The Stars
!" That’s what host Tom Bergeron said in tonight’s
opening. I’m not sure if that’s exactly true, but the ladies sure kicked the
season off right. Oh, and I won’t have Samantha Harris to make fun of for
butchering words this season. She had a baby and is temporarily being replaced
by Season 2 winner (and capable reader of teleprompters) Drew Lachey.

Spoilers ahead!

Now, I’ve been watching this show since the beginning and one thing you must
know about me is that I hate the house band. Sure, they’re all capable
musicians but that doesn’t excuse the mess-ups and crappy covers. (Yes, I know
it’s the producers that assign the music but I’ve seen enough examples of the
band messing up the tempo/lyrics/intros/endings to let them off the hook.)
Expect liberal amounts of me calling them out, especially when one of the
singers dresses like a Star Trek vixen. Is William Shatner in the house?

Anyhoo, the show’s first number was all the pros dancing to a song I assume
is called "Dancing Fool" – mostly likely by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. It
was nice to see all of them out there cutting loose. My initial reaction to the
men is that Derek Hough (brother of last season’s winner, Julianne) and fellow
newcomer Mark Ballas, Jr. are crazy good. It’ll be interesting seeing if they
can keep up with the other show veterans. And the ladies, as always, looked
great. Now, enough with the appetizer…bring on the main course!

1. Jennie Garth & Derek Hough
Dance: Cha Cha
Song: "Uptown Girl" — Billy Joel (Seriously? Not my idea of a
Cha Cha song, but okay)
Her intro/rehearsal package has her expressing some nerves and confidence
issues which could be deadly since she’s up first. Fortunately, she solved most
of them before getting on the floor. She has good lines, stage presence and
lots of potential. She could’ve had a little more hip action but color me
Judge Highlight Line: Bruno said she was a "yummy mommy." Cut
to husband Peter Facinelli and their approx. 10-year-old daughter laughing
Score: 21 (all 7’s)

2. Josie Maran & Alec Mazo
Fox Trot
Song: A standard that I couldn’t quite identify

When the pro partner calls you "deceptively unfit," you know you have
problems. Poor actress/model Josie. She earned Alec’s assessment but not having
much leg or arm strength. So sad. He put her through a exercise boot camp to
change this. Expect this to be ongoing because she really did look like a
cooked spaghetti noodle, all floppy. The good news is that her actual
performance was, while not great technique-wise, way better than I thought it
was going to be. She looked good and had a nice rise and fall at some points,
but still was a bit clumsy. She’s the early favorite to go home among the
Judge Highlight Line: Carrie Ann said she did a good job despite lacking
natural talent. How’s that for a backhanded compliment?
Score: 16 (6 from Carrie Ann, 5’s from Len and Bruno)

3. Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas, Jr.
Dance: Cha Cha
Song: "Don’t Cha" – Pussycat Dolls
She introduces herself as being "best known for [being in] The Cheetah
". Hate to break it to you honey, but that’s pretty much all you’re
known for. That aside, I really do like her. She’s personable and, though she
needs to watch that whole monochromatic thing with the hair and the tan, is a
good example for the young girls that you don’t have to disappear when you turn
sideways to be pretty. Her pro partner Mark called himself a "dancing
ninja." No, really. High-larious. Anyway, in the reheasal package, they
decided to throw some Hip-Hop into the number since she had a hard time
breaking her dancing inclinations. Uh-oh. Len isn’t going to be happy. Except,
he actually was because they got out there and tore up the floor. Surprise of
the night is an understatement. She is now my favorite.
Judge Highlight Line: There really wasn’t one, but they all were
impressed/amazed and told them to cut it out with all the Hip-Hop moves. Bruno
said she had "precision footwork."
Score: Wow – 26 (9’s from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 8 from Len)

4. Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts
Dance: Fox Trot
Song: "I Hear A Symphony" – The Supremes
Marie is this year’s Joey Fatone – meaning she’s super spazzy in rehearsals but
capable of being serious and into it. The performance was really fun to watch.
Marie had a lot of personality and was totally working the judges. She looked
great in the dress, her legs especially, and had some nice lines. She’s also
got a lot of potential, though I worry about her doing the Latin dances.
Judge Highlight Line: Bruno labeled her as "classy yet sassy."
Score: 21 (all 7’s)

5. Mel B. & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dance: Cha Cha
Song: "A Deeper Love" – Aretha Franklin (I boo this song
choice, too.)
Can I just say that Mel B. aka Scary Spice looks fantastic? Because she does,
with the hair and the outfit and the make-up. Suck on that, Eddie Murphy.
During her intro/rehearsal package, we see that the pattern of sticking Maksim
with the firecrackers continue as Mel calls him "proud, [pretty] and
cocky" within 15 seconds of meeting him. She realizes that they have a lot
in common because they’re both competitive and don’t pull verbal punches. This
oughta be fun to watch this season. They did a good job on the dance, though
something seemed a bit off. Almost like the music was faster than they
rehearsed, or maybe it was nerves? But all in all, quite good. Mel could do
quite well in the future.
Judge Highlight Line: Bruno, the dirty European that his is, called her
a "feisty kitten."
Score: 24 (all 8’s)

6. Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani
Dance: Fox Trot
Song: The perfectly suited standard, "Let’s Fall In Love"
  Jane was super excited when she saw that Tony was her partner, and Tony was
happy too. She used to be a ballerina but some undisclosed injury ended her
career when she was 16. Now, at 56 (which is crazy because she doesn’t look
it), she’s wants to realize her dancing dreams. She’s very hard on herself
during the rehearsals, which Tony warns her about by cautioning that she’s
"setting [herself] up for failure." The advice must’ve stuck because
their performance was lovely. She had great extensions, was graceful and
floaty, and had a very warm presence.
Judge Highlight Line: Carrie Ann called her "elegance
personified" and said that she got chills.
Score: 24 (all 8’s)

So, that’s it for the premiere. The women as a whole look really strong, which is a nice change of pace from previous seasons. Josie is definitely the weakest link, but I’m sure Mark Cuban, Helio Castoneves, and/or Albert Reed will be worse. I’m hoping Cameron Mathison does well because I do enjoy him so very much, but, sadly, I’m not so sure that’ll happen. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is under the most pressure because everyone assumes he’ll do well. And Wayne Newton is, well, Wayne Newton. How could he not be entertaining?

P.S. Cameron better be in tank tops a lot or I’ll be very disappointed.

Posted by:Tamara Brooks