It’s the 20th season of Dancing with the Stars, and it’s ten years since the show premiered. That’s right, it’s a special anniversary edition! What surprises do they have in store for us? I’m crossing my fingers for the return of all the Season One pros, even the ones who disappeared after that and I can’t even think of their names right now. Regardless, it’s a big season and we’re ready for some fun.
Hey, Tom Bergeron! Let’s start things off right for the season. How about you give me a free one. Thanks man…. It’s LIIIIIIIIIVVVVE!!!!!!
So, this is interesting. For most of the opening sequence commemorating the ten years, there’s a blond woman in the middle of the screen. We see her from the back and it’s only after several minutes that she turns around and it’s… Peta Murgatroyd! I wonder if, with Cheryl, Maks, and Karina not participating this season if she’s the big name now. I’d be OK with that, because she’s great.
It’s Tom and Erin! Erin’s dress looks a little off the rack, which is unusual for her. There’s quick intros for our couples, but we’ll get to them in time.
Here they come!
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas (25/40) – Willow is fourteen years old and apparently is in the Hunger Games movies. I haven’t seen any of them, but I assume this thing where she picks a name is an homage. Look man, I can’t watch everything. They’re starting with the Cha Cha and it’s perfectly serviceable. The Cha Cha rarely blows me away, but it’s enough to establish that she’s not a complete disaster. It’s not great – she seems to have issues with planting her feet – but it’s week one and it’s fine.
Len says it was a great start and she has to stretch her legs. Julianne likes her sass. I like that Mark isn’t wearing a stupid hat. Bruno makes what I think is a Hunger Games reference and tells her to attack it more. I’m 90% sure that Carrie Ann says “pizzazzle”. Erin Andrews reminds Willow that she was four years old when the show premiered. I’m so very old. They get a 25, accompanied by some sound issues.
Guys! This year the Mirrorball Trophy is gold!
Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson (28/40) – Robert is one of the investors on Shark Tank, and he looks like Martin Short and Dave Thomas had a baby. More importantly, he’s paired with Kym who hasn’t been on the show in forever. I love Kym. They’re also dancing the Cha Cha and Kym is wearing glasses in the beginning because she’s studied up on how to win me over even further. The dance… Kym is fantastic and covers up the fact that Robert is perilously close to just doing Old Man Dancing. It’s better than that, but it’s not far off.
Julianne really loves his energy but not his musicality. Bruno compares him to a dolphin, so that’s our first animal critique of the season. Carrie Ann call him “effervescent”, and these guys liked him way better than I did. Len also liked it and wants him to watch his hips. Before they get the scores, Tom points out Anna Trebunskaya, hosting a web show in the balcony. Yay! Look, I like Kym and Peta, but Anna is my all-time favorite. I want her to dance again! Or just be on TV every week. Anyway, Robert gets a 28. And Anna gets a 40 in my heart.
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker (31/40) – This guy used to be on Glee and he sings, and he’s a cousin to the Hough family. Little else is known about him. I seem to remember Allison had a little bit of trouble last season – she just wasn’t getting any love from the judges. The So You Think You Can Dance people seem to have a little bit of a hazing period when they join this show. Oh man, they’re dancing the Jive. That’s never going to win me over. It’s really hard for me to tell if somebody can dance when they open with the Jive, because the musicality of it is so weird. I don’t like his attitude, though. He seems pretty sold on himself, though.
Bruno stands on the judge’s table and compares him to Billy Idol. I bet he knows who that is! Carrie Ann liked it but says it wasn’t graceful. Len likes the energy but wants him to show some refinement. Julianne brings up problems with Allison from last season, so it’s good that there’s still some lingering weirdness. They get a 31.
Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe (22/40) – She’s the model from the Carl Jr’s commercial at the Super Bowl this year. They do a parody of that commercial, which I’m not going to dignify. She’s a very pretty lady, but as I learned from The Soup, she can’t deliver a joke to save her life. In practice, they have an issue with the size of her boobs. I’m just reporting here! They’re dancing the Jive (sigh) and it is not great. She’s simulating dancing as opposed to knowing what she’s doing. They’re dance-like motions.
Carrie Ann says it was a rough start but “fun”. Len says there were some mistakes but she powered through. Julianne says it must be tough to have such long legs and have to dance. Yep. Bruno compliments her boobs, which, how do you not? They get a 22, which is not good.
Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvnistev (25/40) – She’s a soul legend, put she’s also seventy years old. She’s worried about throwing up after a few minutes of rehearsal, which could make for an interesting live show. She also calls herself “Miss Patti”, which brings back Gilmore Girls memories. They’re dancing the Foxtrot and taking it gingerly. It’s mostly a walk around the stage where they occasionally stop to stretch their arms. She does a neat little jig at the end, but all in all there’s not much to it.
Len liked the “ease” of the dance. Julianne compliments her presence. Bruno calls her “show business royalty”. She’s definitely getting a Famous Lady bump here. She gets a 25.
Chris Soules and Witney Carson (26/40) – Returning champ Witney is paired with the most recent Bachelor. I’m predisposed to dislike him because everybody involved with that show is pretty gross, except maybe Chris Harrison. They’re dancing the Jive, which isn’t helping. It looks a lot like the same Jive we see three times a season, and he also seems to be doing fewer steps than Witney is. There’s also an old truck because they have to keep reminding us that he’s a farmer. I want nothing to do with this man.
Julianne compares it to wedding dancing. Bruno calls him charming. Carrie Ann says he has tons of potential. Len says he needs some polish. Erin busts him on making out with everybody, which I’m taking as tacit indication that Erin is with me on this. They get a 26.
Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd (26/40) – Michael was in the headlines last year as the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team. I believe he was cut by one team and waived by another, and I don’t know enough about football to know whether or not that was warranted. Peta is, of course, great. She also won a season when paired with a football player, so she knows how to deal with him. They’re dancing the Cha Cha and it’s really quite good. He does a good job of keeping up with Peta and the choreography is more interesting than anything we’ve seen up to this point tonight.
Bruno compliments his butt and calls him “spunky”. Hey, that’s our word! Julianne says his feet were sloppy but overall it was good. Len calls his footwork “atrocious”. Wow, that’s the first time he’s been mean all night. Carrie Ann thinks his smile is awkward. He gets a 26.
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough (30/40) – Hey, Derek has a gold-medal winning gymnast as a partner. Of course he does. They’re doing a Foxtrot and it goes from black and white to color as their song suddenly turns into a remix. It’s neat, but I’m so irritated that Derek has another ringer.
Carrie Ann liked it but there was a lift so now she doesn’t care. Len thought it lacked flow. Derek’s sister calls it the “most explosive first dance”. Bruno says they’re firing on all cylinders. They get a 30.
Redfoo and Emma Slater (22/40) – Man. I can’t stand this guy. I hate LMFAO, and whenever I’ve seen Redfoo do anything, he’s bugged the living hell out of me. They’re dancing the Cha Cha to the most irritating song I’ve ever heard. I hate this so much. I don’t want this dope on my TV, and you can just tell he thinks he’s hilarious so we can look forward to him doing bits.
Len calls it “unkempt”. Julianne says he’s fun. Bruno wants to see more wackiness. Don’t open that Pandora’s Box, Bruno! Carrie Ann is impressed with how he “works the hook”. I don’t know what that means. They get a 22.
Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess (26/40) – I honestly don’t know if Noah is famous. He doesn’t have a Wikipedia page and the show’s site lists him as a “combat soldier”. But the point is that he lost his left arm and leg in Iraq. He has a prosthetic leg, but not an arm. I don’t know how that’s going to work for holds. He also has a problem with certain steps because, unlike Amy Purdy, he lost his leg above the knee with takes away a lot of range of motion. They’re dancing the Cha Cha and it’s actually really lovely. You can see where they’re going to have real problems with certain types of dances, but I thought this was great.
Julianne loves their trust and the choreography. Bruno calls him a titan. Carrie Ann thanks them for challenging her as a judge. Len says that he salutes him. They get a 26.
Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani (25/40) – You know who Suzanne Somers is. Come on. It’s late in the show and I’m tired of writing intros. They’re both in eighties leotards for a Thighmaster class when their Cha Cha begins. It’s actually hard to focus on the dance with that look going on. I think it might be a little slow – there’s not really much dance there.
Bruno says it was well-executed. Carrie Ann wants to be Suzanne. Len says she’s in “lovely condition”. Julianne likes her ankles and feet but thought it was “safe”. They end up with a 25.
Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy (32/40) – Bruce and Demi’s daughter seems to show up in the tabloids a lot, but i don’t know that I could pick her out of a lineup. Well, she has total Bruce Willis face, so that’s a tipoff. They’re wrapping the night up with a Foxtrot, and it’s nice but there are some really awkward moments. On the first turn, she seems to bump her head on his arm. It’s ambitious for the first week, but you can tell it’s the first week. BRUCE AND DEMI ARE IN THE AUDIENCE!
Carrie Ann is super pumped about the whole thing. Len says this could be Val’s season. Julianne says it gave her chills. Bruno says she has the best arms they’ve seen all night. They get a 32 for the highest score of the night.
Myndi will be here next week and probably know the names of songs We’ll also get the first elimination and cross your fingers that it’s Redfoo so I’ll be less cranky.