‘Dancing with the Stars’: First Week Jitters

Mondays are my new favorite night when it comes to watching television.  No it’s not Monday Night Football for me, but it’s something else that deals with a lot of technique and precision. Season 17 of the Dancing with the Stars started last night on ABC. It was larger than life. Opening the show, the professional dancers came out in style. Having a limo, red carpet, and paparazzi snapping away photos, the choreography was brilliant in how it introduced the new cast the new cast members. The judges and the hosts even got in on the action and danced in the opening act.

Brant Dougherty and Peta Murgatroyd

Pretty Little Liars star Brant Dougherty was the first celebrity to take the dance floor. His partner is Peta Murgatroyd. Their first dance was the cha cha. He said he decided to do the show because he knows how much his mom loves the show. They dance to “Blurred Lines” and a lot of booty shaking was going on. The judges all agreed that he is very easy on the eyes and the chemistry between them two will be very entertaining to watch. Bruno, one of the judges, noticed that Brant lost his timing. It’s the first week and you can only move up from here.

Carrie Ann gave Brant a 7. Len gave the first 8 of the season. Brant received a 7 from Bruno for a 22 out of 30. Now the first week jitters are all over. He must feel very happy and relieved to have gone first because not only are you the first to get it done and out of the way, but now you setting the bar high and raising the standards of the new competition.

Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani

Leah Remini is best known for playing Carrie Heffernan in the hit show The King of Queens. She talks a lot of crap. Hopefully, her dancing is not like her dancing. The nerves were clearly getting to her and her partner Tony Dovolani, who was trying to reassure her that she has what it takes to be a great dancer.

Their first dance was the foxtrot. Leah tried to stay elegant and regal, but the nerves was getting the best of her. Even though she has no dancing experience whatsoever, the crowd applauded her, even Jennifer Lopez. Bruno suggested Leah do twerking for next week. Len, who is the main ballroom judge, commended her for the routine being clean and precise. She should be proud of what she has already done and what she can do to get better. Carrie Ann said she is “class and needs to extend her arms.” Leah got 7’s across the board giving her a total score of 21. Dancing With the Stars host, Tom Bergeron mentions that it’s an admirable start for Leah.

Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff

Having previous dance experience, Corbin Bleu from High School Musical wants to get back to his dancing routes. He and Karina Smirnoff have to do a contemporary dance routine. When they first met, Corbin was so excited in his pre-taped b-roll package. He said “I wanted you so bad.” This is both of their first contemporary routines…no pressure there. The lifts were graceful and beautiful. After the dance was over, Tom noticed Karina’s hands were shaking. Carrie Ann praised both for the emotion and passion. There was good choreography and Len makes a very valid point to Corbin and Karina by mentioning “come out with this power and standard for next week.” Corbin got 8’s across the board, giving him a 24 out of 30. He may be a front runner for this competition, so the other contestants have to watch out.

Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke

The most surprising performance was by Jack Osbourne and his partner Cheryl Burke. Jack Osbourne came on the show to raise awareness of MS. He was diagnosed with MS in May 2012. Seeing him dance, everyone was blown away. I didn’t expect  that at all.  Cheryl says “he’s light on his feet and quick.”

They did the foxtrot, a dance of sophistication and class. Jack certainly brought his A-game. People know Jack as a prankster and many can’t take him seriously, but everyone seems to love him. After finishing the routine, they showed his proud parents cheering and clapping in the audience. It was moving and beautiful to see his mom clapping and in tears. It was very emotional. It gives people a sense of real hope that anything is possible.

Len was shocked that Jack could dance so well. He loved the footwork and said “your going to give your sister a run for her money.” His sister, Kelly, was in third place in a previous season of Dancing with the Stars. Carrie Ann mentioned to Jack that “Mama Bear should be so proud right now. I’m blown away.” It’s in the Osbourne genes. Carrie Ann and Len gave 8s to Jack and Bruno gaves him a 7. The total Jack received was 23 out of 30.

Amber Riley and Derek Hough

Glee star, Amber Riley was so excited to be a part of the Dancing with the Stars family because she has always been a theater kid. She always wanted to do ballroom dancing and now here dream is coming true. She is in good hands because her partner is 4-time Dancing With the Stars champion Derek Hough. Their charisma and energy will certainly not disappoint the crowd and it will be a sure fire hit. The two of them are true performers and they are very entertaining to watch.

Amber and Derek danced the cha cha. What’s great about having Amber on this season is giving young girls the confidence and inspiration that you don’t have to be a size zero to be beautiful. She is proven testimony that weight doesn’t matter. Amber can move and shake just like the thinner contestants on the show. She can clearly keep up with the rest of her dancing competition.

After her performance, the Glee cast cheers up and down. The judges are thrilled with her performance. Bruno gets very sensual by saying “Amber is the tigress of season 17.” Carrie Ann is flailing her arms and calling Amber a superstar, while continuously bowing down to her. Even thought it was the first week of competition, Amber received the first 9s of the season and it was across the board, giving her the highest score of the night: a 27.

Elizabeth Berkley and Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Saved by the Bell alumni Elizabeth Berkley is partnered with Val. Their first routine was a contemporary piece. Val shared that he learned how to speak English through her show, but had a major crush on Kelly Kapowski. Leaving the brother/sister-esque relationship aside, they bring a beautiful dance to the dance floor. Their grace and beauty comes through as they dance to “Imagine.”  The judges all agreed that she was lovely to watch. The showgirl is back and better than ever. She got 8s across the board for a total of 24

Bill Nye and Tyne Stecklein

Bill Nye is known by many fans as Bill Nye the Science Guy. The bowtie is back and crazier than ever. When first meeting his dance partner, new pro Tyne Steicklen, he gave her a little present. He asked her if the present is a beaker or a flask. He said it’s a flask because it has a neck. After first encounter, they begin to practice for the cha cha. They decided on the creative nickname “Hot Knowledge.”  Their nickname is quite clever, but will his creativity show on the dance floor.

Of course during his dance routine, he played a scientist and beakers were everywhere. The song was “Weird Science” and the story speaks for itself. The footwork was severely lacking, but he is very entertaining to watch. After the routine, the fans chanted out his name. Len said “it was painful; there were some comedic moments, but no real cha cha.” The other judges agreed but feel if he does come back, he has a lot more work to be done. Carrie Ann strongly felt that he’s the heart of the show because everyone likes the underdog and roots for him. Carrie Ann and Bruno each give Bill Nye a 5. Len gives a 4. Their total is 14 out of 30.

Keyshawn Johnson and Sharna Burgess

Former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson joked with Tom Bergeron about how he has been already getting flack for his stint on Dancing with the Stars. He laughed and said the team expects him back in 2 weeks. His partner is Sharna. He calls her “the quarterback because she likes to take control.” They dance to the cha cha with the help of  the song “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. All people could have done was just stare at Sharna, since she was all in gold.

Even though this performance was ok, it could have been a lot better. This was her show quite frankly. He just did basic steps hoping to remember the dance moves. He really needs to refine his technique and fancy footwork. This isn’t the football field anymore. He received 6s from Carrie Ann and Bruno as well as a 5 from Len. In total, it was a 17 out of 30.

Christina Milian and Mark Ballas

The Voice social media correspondent, Christina Milian‘s first dance routine was a contemporary piece with partner Mark Ballas. She said his teaching is very unusual, but in this part of the game. You need to bring out the big guns. Their dance was to the song “Clarity.” They took a very dark, somber approach to the routine, but told a great story.

Carrie Ann says “I think you are better than you think you are.” She was constantly looking down and not engaging with the audience. In time, she will learn that she will need to get out of her comfort level. Bruno mentions that Christina has a tendency to make her hands look dead and at other times fluid. She needs more control over them. Christina received 7s from Carrie Ann and Len, but an 8 from Bruno for a total of 22 out of 30.

Bill Engvall and Emma Slater

Blue Collar Comedy Tour’s Bill Engvall is putting away his cowboy boots for some dancing shoes. He said “he is going to catch so much flack from his friends.” His dance was a foxtrot with new pro Emma Slater. It’s weird not seeing him wearing plaid, denim jeans, and cowboy boots. They danced to “Hot Stuff.” During the dance routine, he was trying to act very proper, but as soon as it was over, he was just laughing. He was glad it was over.

The judges were surprised that he did better than expected. Bruno said it best; there was “a hint of hidden sophistication and class.” The judges gave him 6s across the board, giving him an 18 in total.

Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus

Four time emmy award winning star Valerie Harper took to the dance floor next. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was only given 3 months to live. Her motto is to just stop complaining. Her dance partner, Tristan, is just so proud of Valerie’s journey and can’t wait to learn more about her. She use to dance in the quarter ballet as a teenager.

Even though she was given a death sentence , 8-9 months later, she was given this opportunity to dance. The pair did a foxtrot. Valerie was  all smiles. Her poise and sophistication was truly shown on the dance floor. After the dance was over, the crowd gave Valerie a standing ovation. “It’s good to be alive and it’s better to be dancing,” Valerie announced. The judges agree that she moved very well and has a radiance about her that makes everyone want to smile. Carrie Ann was brought to tears. She told Valerie how much she respects her. The judges all agreed. They gave her 7s across the board for a 21 out of 30.

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Sasha Farber

Last but not least, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and new dance pro Sasha Farber took to take the stage. Tom Bergeron coined a new nickname for Nicole by calling her “Snicole.” It certainly gives a nice ring to it. Everyone knows her as Snooki, but since now she’s a mom, she wants to be referred to by her first name: Nicole. She admits that she was a hot mess at one point in time, but since having her son, she is a new woman now.

Nicole wants to be taken seriously now and not judged for her actions. Maybe this is her new lease on life. Sasha jokes how they might be the shortest couple to date. Nicole is only 4 foot 9, but points out that “good things come in small packages.” They dance a cha cha to “Wild One.” This was a perfect song choice for her because it relates so well to her life.

She surprise the audience with her killer legwork and energy that will surely help her does well in this competition. Nicole once made a remark saying that celebrities who do Dancing with the Stars usually fall off the face of the earth, are trying to make a comeback, or are usually train wrecks. However, she has a whole new appreciation for life, especially when it comes to ballroom dance. This is her time now. Nicole wants to do other things besides Jersey Shore.

The judges were all impressed by the dance routine. Carrie Ann said “you went for it and I love it.” Len called her “a little pocket rocket,” which must be joke, but no one knew which one he was referring to. Nicole said, “I felt awesome and loved every minute of it.” Carrie Ann confused everyone by putting up the wrong paddle. Even though she was holding up a 7 paddle, she gave Nicole an 8, so did Len. Bruno gave her a 7. Her total score was 23 out of 30.

This season of Dancing with the Stars is certainly not going to disappoint. The cast has truly brought their best. It will only get better from here.

Posted on September 17, 2013, in ABC, Network Television, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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