The first dances are in the history book for the condensed 17th season of “Dancing with the Stars.” This new format flies by – if only the same could be said for Bill Nye’s performance.
The show kicks off with a highly-choreographed dance number on a red carpet. All the stars have their own “reveals.” There’s a limo involved and even the judges get involved and break out some rusty dance moves.
Format shakeup reminder: The first star gets eliminated next week, because the show is down to one day a week. Got it? Okay – let’s go.
First up are “Pretty Little Liars” actor Brant Daugherty and Peta with a cha cha. In rehearsals, she’s acting way too pretentiously coquettish, gushing about working with the stud. I thought the couples didn’t know who they were dancing with until they met – except for Peta? Is this the show’s staged romance of the season? Did the producers tell the pros to ramp up the faux-flirt factor for ratings? Or is this Peta’s ploy to survive to the end? Either way, it seems forced.
Oh, right – the dance. Ugh… it’s to the overplayed “Blurred Lines.” Brant looks a little clunky and, after that red carpet dazzler, really stands out as an amateur. But he’s got good charisma and some of the moves in the latter half of the dance come more naturally to him. On the plus side, we get “Blurred Lines” out of the way for the rest of the season right off the bat, after Miley ruined it for all of us.
Oh, look – now the judges are on the other side of the dance floor for some inexplicable reason. And the stars get to sit right next to them (which Tom calls the “sexy bus stop”). Judge Len Goodman calls Brant fabulous. Judge Bruno Tonioli says it was sizzling but Brant lost timing. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba says Brant has double-threat potential. Score: 22.
Brant tweeted, “Just stopping by to say I love you guys. Thank you all so much for watching tonight.”
TV actress Leah Remini and Tony are up with a foxtrot. Tony says, “I’ve had some pretty crazy partners in the past, but Leah’s a force of nature.” And a former Scientologist, so the crazy part is up in the air. Leah, channeling Mrs. Robinson, is also a little clunky, but gives a regal performance, growing in comfort as the routine goes on. She has potential. Bruno says Leah went Miley Cyrus for a moment. Then Leah and Bruno get into it. Oh, I can see that becoming a weekly saga. He tells her to twerk next week. That clinches it – my DVR is ready… to fast forward. Carrie Ann says Leah was sass and class. Len says it was a clean, precise, terrific job. Score: 21.
We get a cutaway of Jennifer Lopez in the audience with her random boyfriend backup dancer to show support for Leah. Leah tweeted, “Ok, so first dance done! Thank you for the love, I had so much fun- look forward to bringing it next week! #DWTS .”
Did you forget there’s a second host? Brooke Burke is in the wings. She now seems mostly relegated to quick interviews with rehearsing contestants in the “warm-up room,” which is what the “celebraquarium” has been morphed into.
Disney star Corbin Bleu and Karina have a contemporary. Her outfit looks like toilet paper wrapped around her. Corbin looks better at the dance than she does. He keeps up with the choreography and seems to be having fun. That ease will take him far. Carrie Ann calls it beautiful and passionate. Len asks, “This is week one?!?" Score: 24.
Oh. Here comes the troupe. Dancing to “Blurred Lines.” Looks like I spoke too soon. Confound you, DWTS! *shakes fist like old-timey villain*
Son of Ozzy, Jack Osbourne, and Cheryl are up with a foxtrot. He hopes to spread awareness about Multiple Sclerosis. Jack is light on his feet and a real gentleman on the floor. He’s at ease doing big movements and has a tongue-in-cheek manner. Charisma for days. In the audience, poor Ozzy doesn’t know what he’s looking at. Mom Sharon is crying like she never realized her son had any talent. Take that, former DWTS contestant Kelly Osbourne! Len declares Jack can dance. Bruno calls it joyful, playful, uplifting. Carrie Ann calls Jack a ballroom dancer. Score: 23.
Jack tweeted, “Wow. That was intense!!!! Thanks for all the love.”
“Glee” actress Amber Riley and Derek have a cha cha. Amber keeps remarking about how she wants to prove big girls can move. Well, Amber has moves for days. She has flawless transitions from energetic to controlled. Simply put, this girl is a dancer and a stage performer. Would DWTS pair the Golden Boy with anything less? No. Bruno calls Amber the tigress of the season. Carrie Ann yells, “Superstar!” Len calls her incredible. Score: 27. Frontrunner, ehh? After this, she better not complain about her weight holding her back again.
Amber tweeted, “What an amazing night! Gotta get some shuteye! Rehearsal tomorrow