Season 11 of Dancing with the Stars opened tonight with its usual diverse cast of competitors. The DWTS season opener always reveals the diamonds in the rough, klutzes, egomaniacs, humble crowd pleasers, and sentimental favorites. The judges have returned fresh-faced from the break and weren’t cutting the dancers a lot of slack on opening night.
Audrina Partridge and partner Tony Dovolani drew the short straw this season on Dancing with the Stars and were forced to face the judges first. It’s tough to be the first pair the judges lay their eyes on, but they managed to escape without any major mistakes. A combined score of 19 out of 30 is a tough spot to find yourself in if you don’t have the kind of fan base that Michael Bolton and David Hasselhoff have.
I must admit, I didn’t have high hopes for Kyle Massey after reviewing the rehearsal clips, but after experiencing his energy on the dance floor, I’m rethinking that opinion. At 19, Massey is the youngest member of the Dancing with the Stars season 11 cast and he brought great energy and enthusiasm to the floor. The judges rewarded that enthusiasm with a combined score of 23 out of 30 – not a bad start at all.
At 76, Florence Henderson is the oldest dancer competing on Season 11. While everyone will want to draw comparisons between Florence Henderson and previous Dancing with the Stars senior Cloris Leachman, I’m thinking that Florence is the better dancer of the two. Mrs. Brady isn’t gong to have what it takes to walk away with the mirror ball trophy, but she’s got a great attitude and she’s fun to watch. I don’t think that she’s going to be the first casualty of DWTS season 11. Let’s hope she’s taking her Boniva!
Quarterback Kurt Warner showed some diamond in the rough potential and the Dancing with the Stars audience is known to show the love to its football players. Warner was very popular with the live audience and two of the three judges. The audience booed Len Goodman when he announced he wasn’t fond of the performance.
Former Los Angeles Laker, Rick Fox, appeared to arrive on the dance floor with a built-in disadvantage due to the enormous difference in height between he and his partner, Cheryl Burke. It didn’t look like it could possibly work until the pair took to the floor and showed off their Viennese Waltz. Somehow they managed to present clean lines and a somewhat unexpected elegance. These two are going to be around for a while.
All right, let’s get to the moose on the loose, shall we? After making a big deal about not wearing revealing costumes on Dancing with the Stars, the former first daughter of Alaska, Bristol Palin, shimmied around in fringe with enough leg showing to be seen from Russia. I’ll admit, she was better than I thought she would be, but I’m not betting on her wandering off into the Alaska wilderness with that trophy.
No amount of spray tanning was going to disguise the awkwardness of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. Granted, he entered the competition at a disadvantage due to the condensed rehearsal time created by the conflict with his Jersey Shore filming schedule, but a wink and a smile isn’t going to carry him very far on Dancing with the Stars. Judge Len Goodman put it best when informed Sorrentino that he’s a gun without any ammo. Another week of rehearsal should reveal whether or not “The Situation” has potential.
Baby is back where she belongs. Jennifer Grey’s performance with partner Derek Hough tugged at the heartstrings of audience members who remembered watching her dance with Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. During rehearsals, Grey became very emotional when the situation she found herself in carried her back to her rehearsals with Swayze from long ago. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba surprised audience members when she became emotional while critiquing Grey’s performance. Grey and Hough raked in the highest scores of the evening, and even at 50, nobody puts Baby in the corner. She’s still got the moves and they are likely to carry her far this season on Dancing with the Stars.
Comedienne Margaret Cho definitely drew laughter as she swirled across the floor being consumed by her outfit in what looked like a gold lamé cocoon. This was not the hit with the judges that Cho had been hoping for. Hey, someone has to be funny, and it was definitely funny.
R&B singing sensation, Brandy, made a great first impression with the judges with her and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s Viennese Waltz. Maksim claims that he is going to try being a good boy this season. Time will tell if he’s able to toe that line or not.
What about David Hasselhoff? The timing wasn’t there and the judges had a great deal of fun laughing at the insanity that Hasselhoff tried to pass off as dancing. Hoff better hope he’s got more fans than Michael Bolton at this point.
The Dancing with the Stars audience can be fickle and it’s difficult to say who will be the first to get the ax. The popularity contest factor always plays a huge role and the audience is known for keeping bad dancers around in the early stages just because they can. Kate Gosselin from season 10 would be a perfect example of this. The first competitor to get the ax will be revealed on Tuesday evening’s results show, which will feature performances by Santana, Doughtry, and India Arie.
Source: Dancing with the Stars