It was a dazzling opening night on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. With an eclectic cast (everyone ranging from “The Situation” to Bristol Palin) it’s still anyone’s game as Season 11 of DWTS gets under way.
Judges Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba were all back to weigh in on the couple’s performances, while host Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke provided their usual light hearted- oh yeah, and informative- commentary. As for the dances-which alternated between the Cha Cha and the Viennese Waltz- well, let’s just say there were some opening night jitters, but there were also several dazzling performances.
Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani — Cha Cha Cha (“California Gurls”)
Hills star Audrina Patridge and her partner Tony Dovolani were up first. Bruno told Patridge, “You look like a beautiful show pony”, while Carrie Ann liked that she had the guts to do a solo during her first live dance.
JUDGES SCORE: 19/30
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya — Viennese Waltz – (“This Ain’t a Love Song”)
This football pro father of seven gave it his all, prompting Bruno to note that he had “great potential”. Carrie Ann thought he was graceful and debonair, but Len found little to like about the performance.
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer — Cha Cha Cha – (“My First Kiss”)
The Disney star shook his booty and Bruno called him “an adorable, naught little puppy”. Yuck. Carrie Ann gushed that Massey was officially her first crush of season 11. Double yuck.
Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke — Viennese Waltz – (“Crazy”)
After working out some initial height issues (dude is tall) these two gave a great performance. Len even quipped that Fox’s posture was amazing.
Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel — Viennese Waltz — (“We are the Champions”)
The comedian got all wrapped up in what she was doing- literally. Part of this dance included Cho wrapping herself up in her ultra-long scarf. Seriously, why did Louis let her get all comedic while doing the serious Viennese Waltz? As predicted, Len didn’t find it amusing. Even Bruno cried out, “What the hell was that?” Prediction” Buh bye, Peggy!
Brandy andMaks Chmerkovskiy — Viennese Waltz (“Cry Me Out”)
One of the better performances of the evening. Len called it “fabulous”, while Bruno announced, “I love the taste of Brandy in the evening.” Sounds like he had a few nips before the show tonight!
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas — Cha Cha Cha — (“Mama Told Me Not to Come”)
While the daughter of former Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin initially came out looking like the Church Lady from Saturday NIght Live, she had some breakaway clothing- and a few moves hidden under that pristine demeanor. While Len advised her to loosen up, Carrie Ann complimented her fantastic legs and said, “Girl, I see a future for you.”
Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas — Cha Cha Cha – (“Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me”)
Here’s the story of Mrs. Brady and a dude who’s not Mr. Brady. So weird seeing Flo dancing without Brady husband Robert Reed (I still have vivid flashbacks of those Brady Bunch Hour disco specials). But the 76 year old has still got it. Len said of her technique, “That was great entertainment.”
Michael Bolton and Chelsie Hightower — Viennese Waltz – (“Life After You”)
During rehearsals a frustrated Michael Bolton told his partner, Chelsie, “I’m a singer!” So we see.
JUDGES SCORE :16/30
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino andKarina Smirnoff — Cha Cha Cha – (“Break Your Heart”)
After being late to the party (The Sitch had MTV obligations and couldn’t make it to rehearsals until last Tuesday), the lack of practice showed. Still, even Len noted, “You’ve got potential, you’re just under rehearsed.” He also added, “You’ve got the guns but not the ammunition.” Good one! Carrie Ann busted on his 1980’s style of dancing.
JUDGES SCORE: 15/30
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough — Viennese Waltz – (“These Arms of Mine“)
After a slight meltdown over the memory of her Dirty Dancing co-star Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey gave the standout dance performance of the night. Of course, having the popular Derek Hough as her partner didn’t hurt her any.
David Hasselhoff and Kym Johnson — Cha Cha Cha -(“Sex Bomb”)
Oh boy. This was the train wreck I expected. Carrie Ann commented on Hasselhoff’s mouth dancing, as in he dances with his mouth more than his feet. She also said he looked like “the offspring of Donny Osmond and Jerry Springer.” Len direly said, “It’s never to early to panic”, while Bruno called the whole mess “a potpourri of insanity’.
With Jennifer Grey at the top of the leader board- and a three-way tie for the bottom , who will go home on Tuesday night’s first live elimination?
You can catch the next episode of Dancing With the Stars on September 21, 2010 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on ABC.
Dancing With the Stars, September 20, 2010, ABC TV