Wowsers! Carrie Ann sure said a mouthful.
This was, without a doubt, the best season opener for Dancing With the Stars that I have ever, ever seen! It was an absolutely amazing night of dancing!
Tonight we had the opportunity to meet the new dancers. The first night is always a little tricky. We’re establishing our potential favorites at this point (“Who am I going to be rooting for?”). Or, we’re building up the people we liked before the show ever aired (“Oh, he was just nervous. The Samba isn’t his strongest dance.”) There’s a lot riding on week one!
So, where did the chips fall this week?
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough dancing the Cha Cha.
- First of all, I want to know what is with this woman’s laugh?! Oh my God! If she ends up being a good dancer, we’re going to have to put up with this all season. Wasn’t Fran Dresher available? Even Mom said, “She’s gotta go early! That laugh!”
- I missed a lot of the dance because I was futzing with my computer, but what I saw was actually pretty darned good…for the first week. And I love the song – Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”
- 7 from Carrie Ann, 7 from Len, 7 from Bruno
- 21 total points: That’s a respectable score for week 1. I think she’ll be sticking around. Ah, well. The mute button and closed captioning are my friends.
Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya dancing the Foxtrot.
- Heartthrob? Pop star? Alright, I guess among the soap opera set, he was a heartthrob. But pop star? More like a one-hit wonder. Dude. Whatever.
- There is something I really like about Anna’s dress. The colors are great and it’s just so modest and classy. The shoes…eh!
- Jack is actually doing well with the foxtrot. I’m sure he’ll loosen up and improve with time – he loosened up and improved during the dance. So there’s definitely hope. He still needs to work on his footwork and his posture – he seemed to be trying too hard.
- 8 from Carrie Ann (“You just took me to a happy place!”), 7 from Len, 8 from Bruno.
- 23 total points: That’s a high score for week 1. I think the judges were letting the lighthearted, happy feel from the dance sway them just a bit.
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd dancing the Cha Cha.
- As a resident of the Chicagoland area, I’m supposed to dislike all things Green Bay. Since this guy plays for the Packers, I should be rooting against him. But, I can’t! How charming is this dude? He nearly squealed like a girl when he found out that Peta was his partner. Awww. (He has cute kids, too.)
- OMG…Peta called his legs “skinny”! But, she’s right. They are skinny. I would think a football player would have more prominent legs.
- Oh my…boyfriend has some hips! Bruno and Carrie Ann are going to get all excited about that. That was really a good dance! He needs to rein it in a bit, though. He’s got charisma and personality, but he needs to control his moves a bit more. Oh, I think the football player is here to compete! Tom could be heard saying, “That didn’t feel like week one!” And he’s right! The crowd sure loves Donald and Peta – they won’t stop screaming.
- 7 from Carrie Ann, 7 from Len, 7 from Bruno (He agreed with me: “You were like a rooster chasing a hen!”)
- 21 total points: For week 1, that is a very respectable score. The crowd isn’t happy, but the judges were right.
Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff dancing the Foxtrot.
- I wonder if he does anything without wearing a hat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this guy without a hat. Karina is talking big, but I don’t think she’s going to have the success she had last season with J.R.
- So, it seems as though he doesn’t do anything without a hat – because he’s wearing it! And, speaking of wearing things, Karina is wearing clothes!! Wow. He’s a little heavy on his feet, but he’s not doing too badly. Looks like he got a little too into the dance there and did a little something extra. He keeps laughing at himself.
- (Hey! It’s Kristi Yamaguchi!)
- During his backstage talk with Brooke (she’s so vapid), he responded to the question about his shyness with “Because you’re so pretty. I’m in the middle of a pretty sandwich.” The man definitely has charm, that’s for sure…that may help him.
- 7 from Carrie Ann, 6 from Len, 7 from Bruno (B: “You stiffen up in the wrong places.” G: “I stiffen up at the wrong times, too.” OH MY!)
- 20 total points: Lowest of the evening thus far, but not a bad score for the first week.
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower dancing the Cha Cha.
- Let me get this out there right off the bat: I don’t like this kid’s voice and I don’t like his cockiness. But, I said the same thing about Rob Kardashian last season and he matured a great deal over the course of the season. I ended up rooting for Rob. Let’s see if this kid wins me over.
- The dance isn’t too bad. It’s high energy and fun. I think his footwork is sloppy and out of control. There’s too much hip-hop and not enough cha cha. I’m sure that Carrie Ann will love it. I didn’t like it as much as the others. It’s not bad, but it’s not that good either.
- 8 from Carrie Ann, 7 from Len (“Performance level was very high, technical level was very low”), 8 from Bruno
- 23 total points: I new it would get Carrie Ann, but I was surprised by Bruno going so high. At least Len stayed true to form.
- “He brings the heat, he brings the passion, and he takes his shirt off!” If nothing else, Sherri is going to be an absolute hoot! I love her excitement. And her “God is real!” comment while feeling Val’s ass was priceless!
- Oh, nice choice of song (“Sherry” by Frankie Valli). That dress is really pretty. It’s a great color and it’s slimming. Sherri found her elegance! The footwork needs some improvement…but it’s week 1. So not too bad at all! She really looks like she’s having a great time…her smile is totally not faked at all. And I completely love that she skipped to the stairs.
- 8 from Carrie Ann (“You are the happiest contestant”), 7 from Len, 8 from Bruno
- 23 total points: The judges are really, really being generous! There hasn’t been anything lower than a 6 all night.
- Wait…Melissa is divorced? When did this happen? I thought for sure that she and Bruce were going to be one of the few Hollywood success stories. Then again, they were married for 16 years – that’s a pretty good record. A couple of choice sound bites: From Melissa – “There’s no cha cha on the prairie, dude.” From Maks – “Look at that, you have an ass! Congratulations!”
- Okay, first things first. What in the hell is Melissa wearing? Don’t get me wrong…the woman has the figure for it. But I just didn’t like this fringed leotard! It looks way too creepy. Alright, she’s not doing too badly. She will likely get dinged for footwork, but overall I think she did a good job. That didn’t look like an easy routine.
- 7 from Carrie Ann, 6 from Len, 7 from Bruno
- 20 total points: I think Len might have been a little harsh. He complimented on the ambitiousness of the dance and how well she coped with it…and then laid a 6 on her. Still, decent score for week 1.
- Mister Unknown in the United States will likely be known very, very soon. He’s a hottie. His rehearsals make him look a bit like a bull in a china shop and he seems to realize that he’s in pretty deep (“What have I gotten myself into?”). I’m hoping that the actual performance shows more promise.
- Well, his Latin blood seemed to have kicked in! He really isn’t doing too badly at all. I think he needs to be a bit lighter on his feet – he’s a bit “clod-hoppy” at times. But, overall, a very nice cha cha.
- Now…if all of the girls and gay boys in the audience would just stop squealing.
- 8 from Carrie Ann, 8 from Len, 8 from Bruno
- 24 total points: Well, I think those scores are a little high. But, I rather expected it from Carrie Ann (“I’d like to thank ABC for my job”) and Bruno (“The hottest package of the season!”). Again, a bit surprised at Len.
- I think Martina may be the weak link for this season…so far. She’s put her weaknesses out there – a bit too masculine, not very graceful. But, I think she can overcome those. She looks beautiful! I mean, really beautiful. It’s probably the best I’ve ever seen her…and I used to watch Martina and Chris Evert whomp on each other all the time! She never looked that good.
- She has confidence on the tennis court, but not on the dance floor. She’s totally watching Tony for the next move or to make sure she’s not losing her place. However, she isn’t doing horribly. She lacks the grace that some of the others have, that’s true…but it’s obvious that she really put some time and effort into all of this. And, ultimately, she appears to be having a good time.
- Her comments to Brooke regarding how good she looks: “With all of this hair and make up, I’d better! If I don’t look good now, it’s over!”
- 7 from Carrie Ann, 6 from Len, 7 from Bruno
- 20 total points: Those still aren’t the greatest scores, but for the first week, not bad at all. Though I don’t think she and Melissa should have gotten the same scores. Melissa probably should have had that 3rd 7 from Len.
- I totally fell in love with Katherine’s voice when I went looking for information about her. I didn’t know who she was and had forgotten that she sang on season 12. This woman can sing!!! I think she should get lots and lots of votes just for her awesome accent!
- I usually don’t like yellow, but I really love her dress! She’s doing very well! Some of her extensions could be better, but this really is great. Overall, that was just a really fabulous dance – and not just for week 1, for ANY week!
- 9 from Carrie Ann (“Best first dance ever”), 8 from Len, 9 from Bruno
- 26 total points: Wow! Brooke just said that is the highest first week score in the history of the show. I hope she keeps this up.
- I really love her attitude: “I’m gonna make like a Pip and dance!” She looks like she was just enjoying the whole experience.
- Love her dress! What is a Cha Cha without fringe? This woman is having some fun and she has got some attitude on the dance floor. Mom pointed out that her posture needs to be better, and that’s true. Her footwork can use some sharpening too. She’s got great musicality! I really liked this dance.
- 8 from Carrie Ann, 7 from Len, 8 from Bruno (“Ladies and gentlemen, the legend has got some moves!”)
- 23 total points: Really great scores for week 1! Go Gladys!
- Uerkel! I love Uerkel! He’s showing some great effort during rehearsals – and he doesn’t look too shabby. Kym summed it up nicely: “Ladies, be nice to the geeky boys because they gown up to be handsome men.”
- Mom’s instant reaction: “Look at his moves!” He’s doing well. I think he needs to loosen up a bit, but he’s got the grace for the Foxtrot. Perhaps Len or Bruno will mention this arm extensions – their good, but I think they can be better. I thought his footwork improved as the dance went on, as well. Kym is just a really good choreographer.
- 9 from Carrie Ann, 8 from Len, 9 from Bruno
- 26 total points: Wow! Tied with Katherine and Mark. This is really an amazing season.
So there it is…my take on the first dances of Season 14. It didn’t feel like week 1. These folks have set the bar so high – where do they go from here?
So Katherine/Mark and Jaleel/Kym are tied for first with 26 points. Melissa/Maks and Martina/Tony are tied for last place with 20 points. That’s not a big separation. And I think that is the first time that the folks at the bottom of the board didn’t have scores in the teens.
So, at this point, it’s really anyone’s Mirrorball.
What did you think? Vote in the totally unscientific poll below. Feel free to leave comments as well.