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Youth goes up against experience as the dancers face the cha-cha, foxtrot or contemporary in the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars.
Kellie & Derek - Cha-Cha - Kellie has a lot of television experience as she was on American Idol. Sure the stage may be different, but she understands cameras and angles. Derek saw a lot of potential from Kellie early on. As much as Kellie was a joker in practices, she was her worst enemy. The couple began dancing and they clearly showed a lot of future potential. The best part is that Kellie got into the performance and she understands rhythm. Her back had beautiful arches as Derek abused the fact that she could bend. With her being so bubbly, I can see Kellie having trouble with slower performances if she can't channel something inside.
Len thought it was a great opening. Bruno appreciated the shapes, but knew there was more work in the future. Carrie Ann loved the torso movements, but needed to work on her frame. Score: 21 (7,7,7)
Victor & Lindsay - Foxtrot - Victor may be a boxing champion, but we immediately learned his sob story of living on his own just to boost sympathy for him. Lindsay came from So You Think You Can Dance, but we barely learned anything about her. Victor had trouble adjusting his physical strengths as advantages to the competition. Victor's hold was a little weak as his rise and falls and his extensions needed help. He looked unsure of himself during the whole performance. Whenever he would have his arms over his head, he needed to put in more effort.
Bruno thought there was both charm and passion; he appreciated the light feet. He suggested working on his arms and frame. Carrie Ann knew posture would be a challenge for a boxer, but he sparkled through his performance. Len knew boxing needed timing to help him in the future. He suggested having more pow in their jive. Score: 18 (6,6,6)
Ingo & Kym - Contemporary - The General Hospital star emphasized his athleticism as he met Kym. His first practice was quite awkward, as all the performers' were. It's a bit unfair that the performers get to do lifts in this dance, but I'll have to accept that every dancer has this advantage for at least one week. The dance felt a bit cheesy, but Ingo's physicality allowed the couple to look good.
Carrie Ann was expecting raw passion and liked how he had the physicality. Len wasn't won over, Kym was in the air more than she was dancing. Bruno thought the performance was good; his lunges were good. Score: 20 (7,6,7)
Lisa & Gleb - Foxtrot - Lisa met Gleb as she thought meeting him was like an arranged marriage. She came off much more entertaining than I expected, which will probably help gain her fans. I liked the concept of the theme. There were moments where Lisa was a bit robotic and she tripped during a turn. Lisa had moments of grace and there was a lot of potential for the performance.
Len thought it was acceptable, but she staggered around. Bruno agreed, her posture needed a lot of help. Carrie Ann thought the dance suited her, but she needed to find her synchronization. Score: 18 (6,6,6)
D.L. & Cheryl - Cha-Cha - The comedian also got a bit of a sob story right off of week one as if he needed the fan help. D.L. tried to call himself "Boogie Fantastic." The jacket was an unnecessary opening to the performance. Poor D.L. was staring at Cheryl the whole time as if he didn't know the choreography. I give him credit for having a lot of time away from Cheryl, but I expected Cheryl to choreograph better to cover up his weaknesses.
Bruno thought the problem was his timing and he was under rehearsed. Carrie Ann was stuttering because of how poor he did. He was disjointed and off-beat. Len thought the performance was rough. Score: 12 (4,4,4)
Zendaya & Val - Contemporary - Zendaya explained that she was a bit of a triple threat as Val realized that he couldn't flirt with a 16-year-old. Val wanted to make sure there was taste in their performance. I was happy to see the pace of their dance was faster than what I expected. I liked the use of the judges' table. The lifts looked effortless which probably was because she looked like she was 30 pounds.
Carrie Ann thought she was fantastic and mature. Len thought the performance was great. Bruno was excited to see her in future performances. Score: 24 (8,8,8)
Sean & Peta - Foxtrot - Sean emphasized how he was full of family values. Sean knew that he had to work hard to compensate for his raw talent. Peta over-danced to compensate for Sean. His head seemed to go everywhere when they were in hold. I think Sean needed the most help when the couple did their side-by-side performance as Sean couldn't look any more white than he did as he shuffled next to Peta.
Len liked parts of the performance, but he lacked finesse. Bruno thought the performance had Chippendale quality, but he wanted some of the refinement. Carrie Ann liked Sean's fearlessness and it would come to his advantage in the future. Score: 19 (7,6,6)
Alexandra (Aly) & Mark - Cha-Cha - Aly explained that she was a gymnast ever since she was a kid and has trained for a long time. Mark wanted to make sure she was not robotic, his experience teaching Shawn Johnson will help. I found Mark's choreography to be smart and he emphasized Aly's hop actions most of the time. The fringe covered up movement issues. I thought there were moments where she didn't connect between steps, but she clearly is a front runner for the season.
Bruno loved her shaking but he suggested stretching the back of the leg and knee. Carrie Ann liked the sass, but she thought she was safe. Len loved the vitality, but agreed with Bruno about her legs. Score: 21 (7,7,7)
Dorothy & Tristan - Contemporary - Dorothy had a whirlwind career as she eventually found out that she had breast cancer. She was inspired by Kristi Yamaguchi to try the show. I found the theme to be fitting since she was an ice skater. She had some good timing through most of her performance and she benefited from being held up for a good amount of time.
Carrie Ann thought the performance was golden. Len thought the performance was gentle and beautiful. Bruno thought the connection was strong, but she needs to work on her core strength. Score: 21 (7,7,7)
Wynonna & Tony - Cha-Cha - Wynonna had a bit of life drama for the past year and has decided to dance to enjoy being herself. She was insecure as she practiced. I found the performance opening to be the cure. I think Wynonna needs to loosen up. She clearly has the musicality, but now Tony needs to push her. I get that she has extra weight to deal with, but it didn't stop Kirstie Alley.
Len thought she was careful, but she did a good performance. Bruno thought she could give more in her performance. Carrie Ann agreed, she has the ability to do better. Score: 18 (6,6,6)
Andy & Sharna - Foxtrot - Andy knew that he's messed up in life so many times so that he really needed to try. By day three, he was in tears because he couldn't pick up the choreography. The opening looked weak as Andy walked through a lot of his steps. There was just a wobble and awkward foot placement throughout the whole performance. Andy seemed really excited to just get past the performance.
Bruno thought there was an awkward charm. Carrie Ann compared him to being the ugly duckling. Len thought the choreography was nice; it had moments of sophistication, but it lacked smoothness. Score: 17 (6,5,6)
Jacoby & Karina - Cha-Cha - Jacoby explained that he had knee surgery and he was behind the eight-ball. With one week of practice, Jacoby put in as much as he could to win. I thought there was a lot of potential as Jacoby put everything he could in his performance. I think that Karina's lack of height may make him look a little hunched, but he's clearly going to make it through the next few weeks easily.
Carrie Ann loved the moves, but she thought her posture needed to be fixed. Len thought his technique was terrible. Bruno thought he had potential, but his foot placement was awful. Score: 20 (7,6,7)
Week One Scores:
Zendaya & Val - 24
Dorothy & Tristan - 21
Kellie & Derek - 21
Aly & Mark - 21
Jacoby & Karina - 20
Ingo & Kym - 20
Sean & Peta - 19
Wynonna & Tony - 18
Victor & Lindsay - 18
Lisa & Gleb - 18
Andy & Sharna -17
D.L. & Cheryl - 12
I think there are several celebrities on this show that have minor advantages early on this season, but no one showed that they were the front runner of the season. Kellie Pickler seems to have the whole package: musicality, physicality, and strong fan base. She's quickly followed by Aly, Zendaya, and even Dorothy. I have a feeling Jacoby's height or his knee may hinder him from doing better than he would hope.