Season 17 of "Dancing with the Stars" Premiered Monday Night - Did You Watch?
Unfortunately for ABC, DWTS is turning into Make-a-Wish for Seniors.
For weeks, the network’s been touting all these new changes to the show that were revealed on Monday night, so I hope you all were ready for them! Here they are, in no particular order:
- You get 12 votes per phone line, per e-mail address, and Facebook account. That’s 36 votes, y’all. Oooooh.
- The show will only air one night a week. Ahhhh.
- Couples keep their numbers the whole season. Say it with me now. Ohhhhhh.
- The couples waiting to dance sit on a bench in what’s called “the pit” a/k/a, to the right of the judging table. No longer will there be breathless couples rushing up the stairs to anxiously await their scores. And there won’t be anyone falling down them.
- There’s a new “warmup room,” makeup area, and a bleacher section outside the ballroom where Brooke “The Robot” Burke can “interact” with real people, and by real people, I mean 16-year-old girls dressed for homecoming.
C’mon ABC – It was like they were starting a brand new show instead of launching the SEVENTEENTH iteration of DWTS, with all the screw-ups, accidental walk-ons and general cluster-fuckery that was going on. I have to give ABC props, though. It only mentioned cancer three times in two hours.
First up was Brant Daugherty, who’s apparently an actor on “Pretty Little Liars” and “Army Wives,” two shows I’ve never seen before. He and his partner, Peta, establish that they’re both single early on, so anything can happen. And then Brant talked about his mom for the next five minutes and how she loves to shop at Walmart so that was that. They danced the Cha-cha to “Blurred Lines.” Len loved it, Bruno apologized for being creepy (long overdue), and Carrie Ann told Brant he had “a lot of potential,” which she pretty much says to everyone on Week 1. They scored a solid 22 out of 30.
Next up were Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani who performed a fox trot. Leah Remini is best known for being on “The King of Queens” and, more recently, pissing off Tom Cruise and the rest of the Scientologists by leaving the organization. Tony wore a shiny suit that made him look perpetually wet. Bruno said Leah went all “Miley Cyrus” for a moment, while Carrie Ann said Leah was a combination of “sass and class.” Fun fact: Leah Remini once played Zach Morris’ summer love interest on “Saved by the Bell.” They got a 21/30.
The third pair was Disney Kid Corbin Bleu, who was in “High School Musical” and has Broadway experience, and Karina Smirnoff. They performed a highly sexualized contemporary dance with Karina in a toga and DK sporting an all-white Don Johnson ensemble. Walt Disney would not approve. Carrie Ann said it was “emotion in motion,” Len was impressed, and Bruno marveled over Chicken Corbin Bleu’s tender touch. They got a 24.
After the commercial break, it was Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke’s turn to take the floor. Jack was clearly nervous, but said he’s “not counting himself too short.” Good for you, Jack. Good for you. Cheryl sold him out by saying he was sweating all over her arms. Jack said he was doing the show to raise awareness about MS, the disease he was diagnosed with last year. It was slightly unexpected that the son of the “Prince of Darkness” would dance the foxtrot to “Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag,” but stranger things have happened. His mom, Sharon, apparently was sobbing, but it was a bit like watching the Tin Man cry. (I’m saying she looks like she had some work done.) Looks like Jack’ll be giving sister Kelly (DWTS Season 9) a run for her money. Score: 23/30
Amber Riley (“Glee”) and Derek Hough were the surprise couple of the night, and scored the highest, with 9s across the board for their Cha-cha. Riley says she wants to be a role model for young girls who look like her, which is admirable. Some of her B-team “Glee” cast mates were there to cheer her on. Bruno called her the Tigress of Season 17, Carrie Ann said she “turned that cha cha out” and Derek was so excited, he ripped his jacket. Len was equally impressed, but he managed to keep his shirt on/jacket intact. Score: 27/30
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy: Hoping to cash in on the Ralph Lauren prep vote by adding her husband’s last name, Jessie Spano mentioned that she’s a new mom no less than three times (gotta rally the mommy vote!) Val said he learned English while watching “Saved by the Bell” but confessed he had a crush on Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and that A.C. Slater could’ve kept her.
Jessie Spano said she was making her emotional return to the world of dance, saying she “closed the door to dancing” after “Showgirls” came out, but is now ready for her second chance. She “contemporary” danced barefoot to “Imagine.” Carrie Ann said her dance tonight was great, far superior to her pole work in “Showgirls.” (How could it not be?) Score: 24/30