'Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars' Premiere Recap: Old Favorites Dance Again
'Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars' Premiere Recap: Old Favorites Dance Again
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
They're back!

This season on Dancing with the Stars we get to watch 13 all-star dancers return to the ballroom floor for another chance at the Mirror Ball. Which stars will shine? Which will merely find disappointment yet again? Find out about their first dances here in this recap!

Considering that all of these celebrities have danced before, how are we supposed to tell them apart? Who will actually have the skills to lead the pack?

No clue.

For now, here are the Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars partners:

  • Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel
  • Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
  • Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas
  • Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
  • Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya
  • Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson
  • Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower
  • Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
  • Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
  • Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
  • Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy
  • Pamela Anderson and Tristan MacManus
  • Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy


Also appearing this week -- either tonight or tomorrow night -- are Justin Bieber and Pitbull. So let's get to it!

It would have been cool if Tom Bergeron had introduced himself as being "Emmy-winning." But we can't have everything, can we? As for the glittery walk-ins, they're about you'd expect. The fun is, of course, what title they give to each star. In case you were wondering, Bristol Palin isn't a "teen activist" anymore. She's not a teen anymore either, is she?



First up, we have Joey and Kym.

Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: Whoa. I'm not used to them being able to dance from the get-go. It's almost creepy. I'm also not used to quite as much personality as someone like Joey Fatone has. I was never a big NSYNC fan, but I do like him. The cha-cha was fast and fun. I didn't see big problems, but I'm out of practice for seeing those.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You throw him out and then back he comes!" "Overall, spectacular start!"
Bruno: "I like a man that is large!" "You did all these wonderful Michael Jackson touches."
Carrie Ann: "You are one of my favorite showmen... That is the way to start off this All-Star season."

Scores: 6.5+7+7 = 20.5

Oh, they can do half-points this season.


Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
Dancing the foxtrot

My Comments: Shawn feels like she's cheating on Mark. And she can do cool stuff, being a gymnast and all.

This is a good dance. Shawn is definitely back into the dancing thing. She looks a lot smoother on the dance floor than most celebrities. And is obviously having fun. This foxtrot isn't as elegant as some, but it's peppy and bouncy -- suits the dancers just about perfectly.

Judges' Comments
Len: "What you did, you did well." "I'm merely a cup of tea in a world of lattes... Quite often, it didn't look like a foxtrot."
Bruno: "That was like two dances rolled into one."
Carrie Ann: "That is what All-Star season is all about!"

Scores: 8+6.5+7.5 = 22

Is there a producer who tells Brooke the sum? Or is she actually that fast?

 
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: Sabrina definitely has the dancing look down cold. It would be cool if the dance allowed her to move around more, but that's hardly her fault. And she can do splits! I don't know that Sabrina has the best showmanship, which could be a problem for her. But this is definitely an excellent dance.

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was clean and it was precise." "It had a lot of impact, but so does a hammer." "So far it's my favorite dance of the night."
Bruno: "You missed a few passes... You went for it so much, and some of the passes could have been cleaner."
Carrie Ann: "My favorite firecracker is back in the house!" "There's nothing like a woman scorned..." "You sometimes overdance."

Scores: 7.5+7.5+7.5 = 22.5


Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower
Dancing the foxtrot

My Comments: These guys are doing "sexy" before the music starts. Cute. This is a much more tradition foxtrot -- all smooth and stuff. Helio definitely looks at home on both the dance floor and in that tuxedo. It's not a very show-offy foxtrot, which might hurt. There are at least some fun skipping bits for the fans.

Judges' Comments
Len: "For me, it was a joy to watch -- mostly."
Bruno: "You have such a bright and engaging stage presence." "You did mess it up quite a bit."
Carrie Ann: "I would like to see a tiny more body contact."

Scores: 7+7.5+7 = 21.5


Pamela Anderson and Tristan MacManus
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: Tristan looks like he might be drooling.

Oh, this is why guys think she's sexy! (Hey -- I didn't watch Baywatch) This dance is slower than the other cha-chas we've seen so far, but it's definitely not bad. And if the judges want sexy, they definitely have it. Granted, it's sort of a "maneater" style of sexy. But whatever works!

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was a bit shaky, but you didn't fall over and you got through it."
Bruno: "You have to put the work in if you want to go all the way... There wasn't enough work there for me to really praise you."
Carrie Ann: "You have a booming body, and we want to see you get the right technique."

Scores: 5.5+5.5+6 = 17


Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
Dancing the foxtrot

My Comments: Tony Dovolani should never apologize for his partners getting eliminated. Just sayin'... Ah, theatricality. I can already hear Len groaning. At least the dancing is good. Melissa is getting a lot of time dancing alone. And she can dance even then. I'm not sure how much of a cha-cha this is, but it's sure a well-performed dance.

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was a little bit theatrical for me." (called it!) "I liked it..."
Bruno: "You actually got stronger, sassier and sexier."
Carrie Ann: "I think that you have the most exquisite lines... But you have to have more body contact."

Scores: 7+7+7 = 21

The judges are serious about not being generous with the scores, aren't they?


Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: Apolo doesn't lack for confidence, does he? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised when an Olympian is competitive.

They have flashy things! Flashy things are cool.

Apolo doesn't look so rusty now. He may not have quite the finesse that Karina does, but she's the professional. Apolo also knows how to work the audience -- a lot. He's almost obnoxious with it, but not quite. Staying on just this side of obnoxious is actually pretty amazing.

Judges' Comments
Len: "In Olympic terms, it wasn't a gold-medal performance. It was maybe a bronze-medal performance."
Bruno: "You were buzzing, you eager beaver!" "Your side extensions of the arm were absolutely exquisite."
Carrie Ann: "Is it just me, or did you just get like 3000 times more sexy." "Great hip action, nice legwork."

Scores: 7.5+7+7.5 = 22


Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing the foxtrot

My Comments: Um, have I mentioned yet that Gilles Marini is sexy? Because he is. Super sexy. He can't be eliminated soon -- I want to watch him. Despite the theatrical beginning, Len might even like this one. After all, they move into a classic-looking foxtrot within seconds. There's no mistaking the fact that Gilles is an actor in this -- he is totally playing a part. And he's singing along! That's kind of awesome.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You had a sophistication about you that you always want to see in the foxtrot."
Bruno: "Style, panache and finesse!" "Old-time Hollywood gloss and glamor!" "Can I see it again?"
Carrie Ann: "I missed you." "Jon Hamm didn't win last night because Gilles Marini had to come out and win it tonight."

Scores: 8+8+8 = 24

Well Gilles isn't going anywhere. Good.


Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: She's at least willing to where the "sexy" costumes this season. That's an improvement. As with Pamela, this is a slightly slower cha-cha. Bristol has the look of the cha-cha down quite well -- she is indeed shaking her hips and working the legs a lot. The overall performance isn't quite as good as some, but the dance is pretty good.

Judges' Comments
Len: "Far more confidence when you came out on the floor." "You've got great legs."
Bruno: "Bristol darling, is it really you?" "You have to keep the focus."
Carrie Ann: "I'm kind of taken aback -- I vote you the most improved since we saw you last time."

Scores: 6.5+6.5+6.5 = 19.5


Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya
Dancing the foxtrot

My Comments: Drew Lachey is dapper. Dapper is seriously the only word for it. Not as sexy as Gilles, but it's in the same family. Only in a more cultured, less dangerous way. Drew also seems to be excellent at portraying fun on the dance floor. His arms looked a little bit stiff and silly for a moment, but nothing else in the dance was wrong.

Judges' Comments
Len: "I liked it, but it was all a bit hard and hectic for me." "Just soften up the arms."
Bruno: "Dynamic Drew, your synchronicity and your chemistry with Anna was spot-on."
Carrie Ann: "I want to see firm but not rigid."

Scores: 7+7+7.5 = 21.5
 

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: Did it look like Kelly was about to take off her top at the beginning of this dance? That's what it looked like to me. This dance seems different from the other cha-chas in some ways. The speed is similar to most -- maybe it's the almost swing-y style? Whatever the case, it's an entertaining performance.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You weren't this good season 1." "I loved it -- well done!"
Bruno: "Wham, bam, thank you ma'am! Sexier and hotter than ever!" "You were a stunner -- stretch your legs though!"
Carrie Ann: "Apolo isn't the only one who just got a whole lot sexier." "Your core strength is going to take you so far in this competition."

Scores: 7+7+7.5 = 21.5
 

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the foxtrot

My Comments: At least it looks like the costuming department likes Kirstie better this season. Those costumes in season 12 were terrifying. This is another one of those elegant foxtrots. Very dramatic. It's suitable for both dancers, which is impressive. Kirstie doesn't put on as much of a show as some of the competitors, but at least the dancing is pretty darn good.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You've got to lift your rib cage..." "It needed refining -- the quality of movement wasn't superb."
Bruno: "Abandon me, take me again!" "As an actress, do it to me again."
Carrie Ann: "You have the most beautiful, sensual quality when you dance." "You didn't turn it all the way up to the full speed."

Scores: 6.5+6+6.5 = 19

And Tom Bergeron got an Emmy-win kiss from Kirstie! Impressive...


Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: The way Emmitt begins, he looks like someone has been stopping him from dancing forever and now he finally gets to go. It's cool. This man certainly has style on that dance floor. It's surprising from such a big guy. He keeps up with Cheryl very well too. Nice.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You can't teach flair -- it's great! The last dance of the evening. And the best."
Bruno: "Truckloads of charisma!"
Carrie Ann: "I'll keep this short -- Yabba dabba doo!!! Twinkle Toes is back!"

Scores: 8+8.5+8 = 24.5

I guess the judges liked this one.

And that's the show!

How did the All-Stars do in their first week of performances? Who looks like an early leader? Who will go home first this week? Share your opinions and leave your comments below!

(Images courtesy of ABC)