'Dancing with the Stars' Live Recap: Week 1 Dances
'Dancing with the Stars' Live Recap: Week 1 Dances
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Greetings to the sequin-deprived viewers of Dancing with the Stars! We've finally reached the premiere of season 12, and it's time for the dancing to begin. Who will wow us? Which stars will swiftly fall? Just how crazy can the costumes get? It's time to watch and see!

If you're looking for up-to-the-minute DWTS information, BuddyTV is your place! I'll be recapping live throughout the show. That's right -- every step, every flash of glitter and every crazy Bruno comment as they happen!

Who are the stars this season? They're a varied bunch. We've got:

  • The Karate Kid (Not the one named Smith. The other one.)
  • A boxer famous enough for me to know his name
  • A wrestler famous enough for me to know his name
  • Rebecca from Cheers
  • A Disney kid
  • A "Psycho" radio guy
  • A talk show host regularly mocked on The Soup
  • Hugh Hefner's ex
  • The obligatory football player
  • The obligatory slightly-faded music star
  • And a really pretty model!

Sound good? I certainly hope so, because these are the stars we get for the next many weeks. At least this season we can go in with absolutely no idea of which star will have a shot at Mirror Ball glory. It seriously could be anyone.

Keep in mind as you're watching tonight, that there's no Results Show tomorrow. With only 11 contestants this season, the celebrities get a week of breathing room before one of them goes home. But you can still vote! DWTS will then use those votes in some complicated manner that I don't pretend to understand.

With that in mind, let's begin!

Want more Dancing with the Stars info? Check out our DWTS Insider page on Facebook.

OK, Tom Bergeron. Thank you for letting me start the season laughing. We do deserve dancing after this winter! We do! So let's boogie.

It's the band! And the Stairs O' Doom! Is anyone going to fall on the first night? And that would be... a no. Oh well. This does look like a party bunch though.

Enough of that chatter, time for the first dance with Chelsea and Mark!

Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
Dancing the foxtrot 

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "I thought that routine had a young, fresh routine to it." "It went a bit clanky for me." "You're the first out and well done!"
Bruno: "You started on your back, you ended on your back..." "
Carrie Ann: "You have a lot of potential." "Just connect it all a little more."

My Opinion: They are cute. Like super cute. Ooh! Flowers! Wait, now they're elegant? So Chelsea's good. Like super good. This would be a decent performance midway through the season, and she's starting out that way? Cool on her. Maybe a bit of a fall, but otherwise pretty darned impressive!

Scores: 7+7+7 = 21

Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani
Dancing the cha-cha-cha

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "You've got your dumplings boiling over." "You have to bring your personality out on this floor, and you didn't."
Bruno: "Wendy! Listen to me! You are a sumptuous, luscious, gorgeous woman!" "Technique can improve, but you have to deliver the performance value!"
Carrie Ann: "I saw real fear in your eyes before you started this, and that's what's so great about this show." "You need to unleash the beast next time."

My Opinion: Can I just say right now that I like Wendy? Because I do. It would be awesome if she were good. She definitely looks a bit tentative at the beginning there. Her steps and moves look good enough, but it's too tentative, especially with Wendy's personality. Tony looks like he's still teaching her on the dance floor. Decent, but not exciting overall. OK, can Wendy stay all season just so we can hear more of those comments from the judges? Please?

Scores: 5+4+5 = 14

Ouch. I guess they wanted more dumplings.

Hines Ward and Kym Johnson
Dancing the cha-cha-cha

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "You continue the tradition of footballers being able to dance." "I was looking at your bum! Your bottom's the tops, I'll tell you that!"
Bruno: "So nimble! So light-footed! The timing was excellent!" "You really have to, as Len says, work on the posture."
Carrie Ann: "Who knew under that helmet and all that football gear was all that?" "Your smile lights up the whole stage!" "You were in control out there!"

My Opinion: Cool, Kym didn't know anymore about Hines than me! He's cute. Like little-boy cute. Awww... He looks like he's having fun too! Not bad footwork there. Kind of hard to see Hines through Kym's crazy fringe, but what I can see looks good. Why does this guy waste so much charisma on football? He definitely knows how to perform. Definitely not a perfect performance, but I really, really enjoyed that!

Scores: 7+7+7 = 21

21 seems to be the "we liked it" score of the evening.

Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin
Dancing the foxtrot

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "I thought the whole routine had a charm about it." "Well, done. It was a charming dance."
Bruno: "There was some moments of extreme beauty and sophistication." "It's not just enough doing one pretty thing, then another pretty thing... link everything better."
Carrie Ann: "There is something about the way you dance... It's truly breathtaking. But... there was a long drag there that sort of turned into a littlelittle lift."

My Opinion: We can't not love Petra, can we? Sweet, pretty, enthusiastic and with that story? If she can dance, that's it. Stop. Making. Me. Cry. Petra! Dance instead! Petra may be a little stiff, but that dress covers it up well. She definitely looks lovely in the pauses. Can we just stare at Petra and Dmitry without judging? Sigh... Honestly, I'm not sure about the dance, but I kind of loved that anyway.

Scores: 6+6+6 = 18

The judges are feeling very agreeable tonight, aren't they?

Romeo and Chelsie Hightower
Dancing the cha-cha-cha

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "One thing for sure, Romeo, you've got plenty of energy." "It was all a bit casual and carefree." "The performance side, you've nailed. Now just work on technique."
Bruno: "Ah, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo! So vibrant! So energetic! So playful! Still messy though."
Carrie Ann: "You have sex appeal for days! There was so much testosterone on the floor!" "What you didn't nail was your posture."

My Opinion: Hey! More cute! They're even cute arguing. He's got the smooth attitude down cold, that's for sure. Maybe a little tentative in his moves, but this is definitely not bad. Weirdly, all that cute rehearsal chemistry seems missing on the actual dance floor. Romeo would look almost the same dancing alone. It was a good dance but missing something...  

Scores: 7+6+6 = 19

Hey, it's Jennifer Grey! She looks happy to not be competing.

Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya
Dancing the foxtrot

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "Foxtrot is fine wine and caviar. This was beer and a pizza."
Bruno: "Can I call you Sugar? Thank you! I love that, it's like Some Like It Hot! Call me Daphne!" "You turn into a Ninja Turtle!"
Carrie Ann: "You're incredible, the way you light up the dance floor." "Posture, posture, posture. Please."

My Opinion: I'm guessing that Sugar Ray isn't the most humble of men. For his sake, I hope he doesn't have to learn humility dancing. Starting from a seat? Interesting choice. Slow start for the dancing, but at least he looks comfortable out there. That said, I'm not sure Sugar Ray is doing all that much. He looks like he can dance when he wants to but just isn't for most of the song. Not bad overall...  

Scores: 6+5+6 = 17

Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel
Dancing the cha-cha-cha

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "You held my interest from start to finish, not always for the right reasons, but you did." "Very entertaining."
Bruno: "You can definitely strut your stuff, my darling. Full frontal attack!"
Carrie Ann: "I don't think you missed a step, which I give you credit for."

My Opinion: She does seem to be enjoying herself. Always a nice thing. Ah, Louis took the bunny ears off. Boo. It's quick this time and certainly has its energy. Kendra is good, but still a bit stiff, I think. Except when she's shaking. She really does do that well. Kendra may be lacking the flair that some others have, but she can definitely move. And she can do the splits! OK, there's my respect earned.  

Scores: 6+6+6 = 18

Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff
Dancing the foxtrot

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "You've got great potential, a bit rough around the edges." "It's the best foxtrot tonight. Well done!"
Bruno: "I've got the feeling that you're a great stalking(?) hit!" "Watch your hand though, because sometimes it's very, very weird."
Carrie Ann: "That was just an amazing surprise!" "That was truly gorgeous."

My Opinion: Ralph Macchio really is a nice-seeming guy. But can he dance? The rehearsal isn't terribly promising. Although the actual dance isn't too bad. He is maybe a little cheesy-looking, but the dance moves are still there. I guess he turns on the charm for the performance? I bet they're going to call him on being sloppy, but you definitely want to watch the guy. Or not. 

Scores: 8+8+8 = 24

Wow. Highest scores so far! This is definitely a surprise -- way to hide talent in the rehearsals, producers!

Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke
Dancing the cha-cha-cha

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "I think your hips are allergic to music." "You're a great big boy and you came out... What's wrong with that?"
Bruno: "The dancing beast! I haven't had so much fun with leather and PVC since the Village People." "Sometimes messy but always entertaining."
Carrie Ann: "It was kind of like a Chippendale's cha-cha!" "You didn't miss anything." "I think you need to put a little more content in your dances."

My Opinion: Chris is a fun guy. And he jumps awfully well. He's maybe a little too stiff to start, but losing the jacket sure helps. Is it a problem that I can't stop picturing Chris picking up Cheryl in a wrestling hold? Probably. Overall, that was pretty good, but not amazing.  

Scores: 7+6+6 = 19

Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer
Dancing the foxtrot

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "You did move, and there was music. But there was very little dance quality about it."
Bruno: "It was slightly ungainly." "You look like you're constipated. What's that all about?"
Carrie Ann: "Obviously you don't have a lot of dance experience." "You kept up. You're a little jerky." "Good effort."

My Opinion: At least he embraces the fact that we have no idea of who he is. Ooh! Crazy lights! Was he off right near the beginning? Hard to tell with the lights. He definitely seems stiff, but there's still a lot of charm going on. Mike kind of looks like that frat boy whose girlfriend conned him into a ballroom dancing class -- having fun but totally out of place. Still, I liked him. 

Scores: 5+4+4 = 13

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the cha-cha-cha

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "It was fun, it was cheeky, it was entertaining."
Bruno: "I like what I see..." "I think we are just scratching at the surface of what you can do." "Your foot placement in the cha-cha-cha was the best of the night."
Carrie Ann: "Honey, you are working it!" "Thank you!"

My Opinion: OK, they're going to be fun together. Can she dance? Maybe not. But Kirstie will be entertaining no matter what. She may not be quite keeping up, but that's awfully close. This is why it's good to be a performer on a show like Dancing with the Stars. Of course, her steps don't look half-bad either. I'm very much liking this performance. Bit of a surprise, but Kirstie was good! And last season goes wild!

Scores: 8+7+8 = 23

Great ending for the first show! Of course, Kirstie might pass out in about two seconds. That would certainly hurt her chances in the long run. But a great first performance!

What do you think about the first week of performances? Was anyone a standout? Did anyone surprise you? Which celebrity do you expect to go first next week? Leave us a comment!

(Image courtesy of ABC)