Dancing with the Stars is back again for a sixth season! There are 12 all-new celebrities who will learn the tricks of the trade from their professional partners. We’re in for another great season of glitzy costumes, fiery paso dobles and wacky comments from the judges. Not to mention voting for our favorite pairs week after week.
The six male stars are given the opportunity to set the bar, as they will perform in tonight’s hour and a half show. Which of them will surprise us? Who will have two left feet? Whom will the judges love? Keep refreshing your browser as I provide you with live thoughts for during the entire 90-minute episode.
Live! This is Dancing with the Stars! Hosts Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris, dressed to the nines, introduce us to the professional dancers who have been tasked with turning this season’s celebrities into dancing machines. The pros perform a group number, and immediately, I so wish that this show were more about them. No disrespect to the celebs, but I love watching the pros at work. Their moves are so sharp and precise and there’s so much fun and confidence in them, too, not to mention spectacular twisty, turny lifts. The crowd goes nuts for them, as do I.
Now, the season 6 stars make their way on stage. Yay! Penn Jillette is looking great and goofy as ever, but I fear that his dancing career is doomed. The judges are back: Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.
The first pair to perform are Penn Jillette and Kym Johnson. We first see some footage from their first meeting. Kym feels tiny compared to Penn’s hulking girth. Penn is very self-deprecating, calling himself Sasquatch and Bigfoot, and it looks like rehearsals are a blast with him. They perform the cha cha tonight, and it looks like so much fun. But Penn’s funness and entertainment value are really his only pluses. His frame is floppy and his footwork is sloppy. Penn and Kym retire to the backstage area with Samantha to get their scores: Carrie Ann gives a 5, Len gives a 6 and Bruno gives a 5, for a 16 out of 30. Not great, but they did go first, which is never an advantage.
Next up are Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska. The defensive end for the Miami Dolphins, Jason is a fearsome presence. They flirt a bit on their first meeting, and Jason confesses that he is afraid of seeming un-macho. But he shows off the pink tulle tutu that his friends gave him anyway. They dance the foxtrot tonight. My immediate impressions are that he is super stiff. He is clearly out of his comfort zone. Maybe they should let him dance with football pads on? It’s not terrible, but he needs to just get used to performing. Their scores: Carrie Ann gives a 7, Len gives an 8, Bruno gives a 7, for a 22 out of 30.
Dancing the cha cha are Cristian de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke. In rehearsal, Cristian seemed like he wasn’t getting the proper hip action of the cha cha, but in the performance, I think all of the bravado he exhibited was actually quite called for because it was a solid first performance. It wasn’t perfect, and he was hunched over at times, but it was much better than other first routines that I’ve seen in seasons past. After the performance, Carrie Ann flirts shamelessly with him, but criticizes his shoulders, and Bruno makes all kinds of innuendos about…everything. For their scores, Carrie Ann gives a 7, Len gives a 7, Bruno gives a 7, for a 21 out of 30.
Julianne Hough and Adam Carolla are next, performing the foxtrot. Adam talks and talks and talks to avoid rehearsals, and feels funny dancing with a hot blonde half his age. He looks funny wearing a tux with tails and a yellow bowtie in the performance, and Julianne is positively all covered up, unlike the other revealing gowns that she often wears. As expected, the performance is not great. Len likens Adam’s performance to the characters of Will Farrell and John Cleese–hilarious! Carrie Ann tersely just tells Adam to “keep working.” For their scores, Adam and Julianne get fives across the board, for a 15 out of 30.
The next pair to perform are Mario, the youngest star to participate on Dancing with the Stars, and Karina Smirnoff. He looks like he has a lot of potential, but things are looking glum for the pair because Karina had to get surgery on a herniated disc in her neck before the season started. She promised to be back 100 percent before the show starts, and by the looks of their performance, she is definitely looking fully recovered. Mario and Karina are the new Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas–Mario totally rocks the white pants and shoes off of his cha cha. Also, I must add: Karina is gorgeous! The judges give them all eights, for a 24 out of 30, so far the highest score of the night.
Steve Guttenberg (a.k.a. Mayor Woody Goodman) has his work cut out for him, with his hard-ass taskmaster Anna Trebunskaya. His rehearsal tape exemplifies all the struggles that I had during my ballet years, not really knowing his left from his right. He is kind of childlike and wide-eyed in his appreciation for dance and for being on the show, and it’s really endearing. Unfortunately, his foxtrot is tentative and heavy-footed. Carrie Ann falls for his charm, though, and the other judges agree that he looks like he had a good time on the floor. And their scores? All sixes, for an 18 out of 30. Steve is veritably effusive about the whole experience. He’s not lacking for attitude.
Tune in to Dancing with the Stars tomorrow night on ABC to watch the six women strut their stuff on the dance floor.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)