Dancing With the Stars Season 11 Season Premiere Recap: So, What's the Situation?

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So despite my misgivings about this season of Dancing with the Stars, of course I tuned in last night for the season premiere.

20 September 2010 - Los Angeles, CA - Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas. Dancing With The Stars Season Premiere held at CBS Studios. Photo Credit: Kevan Brooks/AdMedia

We are in Season 2 of the Tom Bergeron/Brooke Burke host pairing. And can I just say: Brooke's dress should perhaps not have been on broadcast TV during prime time hours? Yes, yes, call me jealous...especially since she's had a passel of children, and I have not, but WOW.

After I put my eyeballs back in my head, a la Roger Rabbit, I was ready to hit Play on the TiVo and resume watching this season's premiere, featuring 12 "stars," some of whom stretch the definition more than ever.

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Couple #1: Audrina Patridge, paired with pro Tony

Audrina is the star of a reality TV show. It is called The Hills. I have never seen it. I am totally OK with that. Even if it means I'm old. Audrina and Tony danced the night's first Cha Cha. As Carrie Ann (my good close personal buddy...since I spent 5 minutes interviewing her earlier this year) said, Audrina certainly has the bod for ballroom. She also has some good moves developing. She looked worried almost the entire way through, but once she gets some more confidence. she should do well in the competition -- if she escapes the "pretty girl" syndrome that some models have experienced, and transcends it much as host Burke (and former champion) did.

Couple #2: Kurt Warner, paired with pro Anna

Kurt is a former quarterback, and he makes the point that of all the former NFL contestants, he's the first QB. Since QBs are supposed to lighter on their feet than your average running back or linebacker, he should have an edge. Kurt also has seven kids. So I'm sure he's always up on the latest moves :) Kurt and Anna danced the night's first Viennese Waltz. He actually wasn't bad. He has a surprising amount of musicality, and he didn't suffer from the common newbie guy dancer problem: Stiff chopper hands. He has some strengths, like the aforementioned musicality and his charm. He has some weaknesses, like stiff legs and his clenched arms when he tries to do a chine turn. But I'd say the ladies voting should keep him around for a while to work on those weaknesses.

Couple #3: Kyle Massey, paired with pro Lacey Schwimmer

Kyle is a Teen TV star. Lacey is a new blonde. And I confess, I was so distracted by her hair and her over-the-top Lacey-ness while dancing this Cha Cha that I barely noticed him. Apparently, according to the judges, he was awesome. There was a little cradle-robbing feel to it...but nothing compared to another couple coming up, so I guess I'll count my blessings.

Couple #4: Rick Fox, paired with pro Cheryl

Rick is a former NBA champ -- and apparently dating Eliza Dushku, which I did not know!! (That's a little cradle-robby too, no?) He is apparently also the former hubby of new Desperate Housewife Vanessa Williams. Just as a side note. He is also one very tall, very handsome dude. Their Viennese Waltz was surprisingly graceful, and he was light on his feet for a giant. He should have no problem sticking around for a while.

Couple #5: Margaret Cho, paired with pro Louis

Oh. Ma. Gah. Why, Louis, WHYYYYY? Somewhere in the middle of this Viennese Waltz they decided to go for the slapstick approach, and it was TOTALLY UNNECESSARY. You had us with your story of quitting ballet class because you were told you were the fattest ballerina. You had us when you said you wanted to feel pretty. Don't you know how these shows work? The emotional tug is everything! Louis, how could you choreograph this stupid slapstick awkwardness after an almost graceful beginning? And if it was Margaret's decision/idea, did you not explain to her that it could only come to no good? I was rooting for Margaret and Louis to go far, and I'm afraid she may have sealed her doom with this misguided "humorous" Viennese Waltz.

Couple #6: Brandy, paired with pro Maks

Singer Brandy and Maks cut a fine figure on the floor dancing an elegant Viennese Waltz. She's ringer #1 with her excellent musicality and experience learning choreography.

Couple #7: Bristol Palin, paired with pro Mark

Teen "activist" Palin -- well, I'll be honest I don't really know what to say. She's still but a teenager, and I feel she's been a bit of a victim of her mom's public grandstanding, especially around her pregnancy. So, I'm gonna go with a big no comment" on any of the clips in her pre-routine package. I will say that when she and Mark danced the Cha Cha she started out slow but warmed up. I know she's an adult, but I did feel a bit uncomfortable with them kicking her off with a total rump-shaking number, especially after Bruno said she was in "virgin territory" on the dance floor. I mean, was THAT necessary? Ew. She'll probably stick around for a while, because we're all curious if her mom will show up. PS: Last night her mom did not do so.

Couple #8: Florence Henderson, paired with pro Corky

Mrs Brady, aka Florence Henderson, will inevitably be compared to Cloris Leachman. I think Florence has a lot more potential to actually dance, as she herself said she wanted to do. (Subtle dig there, Mrs. Brady? I'm shocked!) This Cha Cha was OK, but not great, and she mostly needed to have as much confidence with the dancing as she had with her Broadway posing at the beginning and end!

Couple #9: Michael Bolton, paired with pro Chelsie

More cradle-robbing in this pair. Singer Bolton is a stand-there-and-sing kind of performer, so dancing does not come naturally to him at all. He manfully tried to pull off this Viennese Waltz, but the most you could say, for now, is that he got through it. And he needs better posture.

Couple #10: Mike Sorrentino, paired with pro Karina

I'm just going to start a personal boycott of referring to this guy by his famous nickname. Does anyone mind? Said poor guy only had five days to rehearse, versus the three weeks everyone else had, because he just wrapped taping of his show. The lack of rehearsal showed. I will say this: He gave this Cha Cha the good old community college try, and was a douchebag, but perhaps less douchey than I expected once he really got into rehearsing. I'm so kind. Really. You have no idea.

Couple #11: Jennifer Grey, paired with Pro Derek

I do not think that Dancing with the Stars should make me cry. There, I said it. They better not be milking Grey's appearance (changed though it is) every week in this same way. Anyway, Jennifer is ringer #2, and their Viennese Waltz was beautiful and emotional. Damn it.

Couple #12: David Hasslehoff, paired with Pro Kym

"International star" The Hoff is HUGE in Germany. In case you were wondering. He's also totally icky in my book, and having him do a Cha Cha with a Pam Anderson'ed-out Kym did not alleviate the ew factor in the slightest. I'll say it again: Ew.

Bottom line for the Bottom Two:

Should be: Mike and Michael with Michael going home.

Will be: Margaret and Michael, with Margaret going home. Sadly. And prematurely.

But what did you think?



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