Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dance This! Stars Return, and some celebs too.

Dancing with the Stars is back! And oh, how we've missed you.

But let me just put things right in the DWTS universe for a minute. All the ads and the promos and whatnot are trumpeting the "stars" of this season. This is hot on the heels of the All Star season we just finished, so this season's "stars" are... well, less than awe-inspiring, in my book.

In fact, HERE are this season's STARS. Here are the ones I'm looking forward to seeing on the dance floor (no matter how ABC chooses to frame it.).

The true stars of Dancing With the Stars (in my book). Courtesy of ABC.
So, let's just take a moment, shall we? Mark Ballas has a stylish haircut, Cheryl Burke looks thinner and also has a great haircut, Derek Hough is full of energy, Tristan MacManus is going to be around longer this season (thank goodness), Peta Murgatroyd looks great, Kym Johnson does some amazing moves. There, I feel better already.

OK, fine. Let's get into the premiere episode of Season 16, shall we?

Starting with the best, going to the worst... Who was sublime?

Actually, the ones who moved me the most were Tristan MacManus and Dorothy Hamill. Ms. Hamill, previous Olympic gold-medal winner, talked about her breast cancer surgery, and how that season the other previous Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi inspired her and helped her get through her cancer ordeal. And now, she's here. I loved her dance. (It was my favorite dance of the night.) She ends it with a typical Dorothy Hamill skater-type move. Beautiful.

Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus. Look for big things from them. Courtesy of ABC.
My perennial favorites, Derek Hough (dancing with Kellie Pickler) and Mark Ballas (dancing with an Olympic gymnast named Aly) were in fine form, of course, and I can't wait to see all the stuff they are going to do this season.

Andy Dick was an inspiration. Courtesy of ABC/Dancing With the Stars
Another inspirational story, actually, was that of Andy Dick. Everyone knows the trouble Mr. Dick had gotten into, and his battles with alcohol and drugs. He's now sober, and struggling to do Dancing with the Stars. Well, he got a vote from me tonight. (And seriously, his dance wasn't half bad.)

A new twist this season is that they are adding "contemporary" as a dance to this ballroom dancing competition. Which means that all the strictness that they have about "no lifts" is kinda thrown out the window if you dance "contemporary."

Last season's mishmosh of crazy styles did add "contemporary" at one point. No one can forget Val Chmerkovskiy and Kelly Monaco's amazing contemporary dance. That's where the bar is set this season. Fitting then, I suppose, that Val kicked off his first dance (with his new 16 year old partner), doing contemporary. It was pretty beautiful.

Zendaya (the youngest competitor ever at 16) and Val Chmerkovskiy.
The ones I've mentioned so far are the sublime ones, the great ones, the ones that stood out of this field of 12. There are some other people in the middle. We'll just pass those by.

Let's focus then, instead, on the ones who really and truly sucked, and really and truly deserve to go. Like immediately. It's been a couple seasons since we had folks this bad.

The dance didn't get much better from here.
So, DL Hughley, please don't let the door hit you on the ass. His dancing was so bad, he received a 12 as a first score. FOURS, people. I honestly cannot remember ever seeing a score that low, and I've been watching for quite a few seasons now. But, he was really dreadful. The phrase "two left feet" comes to mind. I would not be at all surprised to see him the first one bounced.

Almost as bad, in a female version, was Wynona Judd. Tony Dovolani, her partner, is the current reigning champion of Dancing With the Stars. Too bad they had to saddle him with her. They are going quickly too. She was also pretty dreadful.

And lastly, in this nauseating practice where ABC gets the most of anyone they have on any show (although I did love Kelly Monaco--from ABC's General Hospital), by repurposing them anywhere possible, we have Sean Lowe. Previously, he was filling up our Monday night screens as The Bachelor. He picked his true love, they got engaged, and now we have to suffer through him also dancing? Good grief, people! Enough already.

The luminous Peta Murgatroyd saddled with this year's Bachelor. Courtesy of ABC.

Thankfully, he will be voted out quickly too. He's dreadful as a dancer. Good to see Peta Murgatroyd always, but her moves this season will be short-lived.

So, the top are easy to predict. The bottom are, too. It's the ones in the middle that could vary.

All in all, I'm very excited about this new season of Dancing With the Stars. I hope you are, too.


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