Dancing with the Stars recap: Word to your mutha

Dancing with the Stars recap: Season 23, Episode 1

I’m not sure what they put in the water over on the Dancing with the Stars set, but I think week 1 is a little too early to be breaking down into tears on camera, right? These stars are legitimately excited to be in the ballroom, which makes me want to root for them even more. Most are afraid they will look like dorks on national TV. Some are there to make a public statement. The others are creepin’ on Babyface. It’s going to be an interesting season.

For those of you with eagle eyes (or access to any entertainment website), you’ll notice that previously missing dancers have returned to the fold! Or in Tom’s words, “Three of our most popular pros are back! Welcome Derek, Maks and Cheryl!”

I’m sure that bold statement makes Val feel good. He’s been doing this gig for 11 seasons and is still in his brother’s shadow. Oh wait! Val has an Olympic gold medal gymnast as his partner. I think he’ll be fine.

The tans are sprayed, the fringe is swaying and every speck of glitter in Los Angeles has come together to create the makeshift walls of the sky box. It’s time to break it down:

Marilu and Derek
Jive
“Can’t Stop Dancing” by Becky G
Marilu completely loses her mind when she finds out that Derek is her partner. She’s 64-years-old and can move like she’s one of the background JV dancers. Color Derek impressed. Marilu’s silver fringe dress makes me almost as happy as Derek’s glittery black jacket. Marilu keeps up with Derek for the most part. I don’t care when contestants dance on pedestals as random audience members cheer around the perimeter like pre-pubescent teens. It just feels weird to me. The judges praise the couple for having lots of energy. Marilu cries tears of joy. Or pain. I have no idea how her knees are holding up.
Score: 27

James and Sharna
Foxtrot
“Live Life” by Zayde Wolf
James, the Indy car driver, is absolutely delightful. He survived a big wreck and is living life to the fullest. I applaud him for that mantra. The intro package sets him up to be a goofy class clown type, but he knocks the foxtrot out of the park while wearing head-to-toe green. Len loved it because Sharna kept it classic. If the cameras continue to catch his whimsical personality, I believe James will be here for a long time.
Score: 31

Calvin and Lindsay
Cha-Cha
“That’s What I Like” by Flo Rida
Calvin is a former football player who has the prettiest teeth and brightest smile. He also has a score to settle. His sister told ESPN that he doesn’t have any rhythm. Challenge accepted! Lindsay puts him in Lions blue with white bottoms — a nod to his football uniform. She wears the same costume but it’s from the naughty section you can find in a back room at Party City. Although her butt cape was unfortunate, the dance was so much fun. His size 15 shoe never tripped Lindsay up. All the judges were surprised by how this big guy can move. Take that sister!!!
Score: 26

Maureen and Artem
Viennese Waltz
“Natural Woman” by Mary J. Blige
You may know Maureen as Marcia Brady. She also happens to be on of DWTS’s biggest fans. She’s never danced before and she thinks Artem is hotter than crap. She cries more than Marilu in her practice sessions. Artem is sweet at first but when the tears continue, he reminds Maureen that there is no crying in ballroom. Except when you meet Babyface. Then you can cry all you want. I get it. Maureen’s crimson ball gown moves beautifully across the floor. She had some clunky moments, but when she ran over to hug CAROL BRADY watching from the front row, all was right with the world.
Score: 22

Babyface and Allison
Foxtrot
“Deed I Do” by Ray Charles
Allison just had a kid. She looks better than I did in high school. I’ll leave that detail right here. Babyface is ready to dance for his mom who passed away. Cue the tears. Allison puts the R&B crooner in front of a big band and lets him do his thing. She looks great. He looks great. It’s as if he’s been on the ballroom floor once or twice before. The scores didn’t reflect what I saw, so there must have been something technical going on in the footwork department that I didn’t see.
Score: 26

Amber and Maks
Foxtrot
“Here” by Alessia Cara
Anyone who can rock a shaved head of hair is a pretty person. Amber has that quality. She also has a booty. This booty is going to be hard to choreograph. If anyone is up for the task, it’s Maks. Amber detests rhinestones and anything princess-themed. Therefore, the wardrobe department sticks her in a dress that has 20,000 rhinestones so she can look like a princess dancing the foxtrot. She’s miserable. It shows on her face. There are moments of joy when Maks dirties the moves up a bit, but Amber is clearly uncomfortable. I didn’t love it for that reason.
Score: 24

Vanilla Ice and Witney
Cha-Cha
“Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice
Fun fact: Witney wasn’t born when “Ice Ice Baby” was released. She kept throwing out “to the extreme” phrases that you know Erin Andrews told her to say. Vanilla’s real name is Rob. I think it’s important to disclaim that I will always call him Vanilla Ice. Perhaps Vanilla Rob at times? Regardless Vanilla is super scared that he’s going to humiliate himself on the show when Witney tells him they are dancing to the one song that dominates wedding receptions and karaoke bars across this great nation. Which begs the question: Is this like wearing the concert t-shirt to the concert? Moving on. Witney basically copies the “Ice Ice Baby” video with a few cha-cha-cha steps here and there. I was distracted by her cheeks hanging out of the bottom of her costume to really concentrate on what was happening. Len, of course, hated it. The audience, on the other hand, felt exhilarated after being transported back to 1991. I like Vanilla Rob.
Score: 25

Jana and Gleb
Viennese Waltz
“Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande
Before we start trying to marry this pair off, I think it’s important we work with all the facts: Gleb is married. I Googled it. Nonetheless, Jana is gorgeous, Gleb is gorgeous, and their dance is Cinemax After Dark. Jana wears lingerie with carefully placed gossamer panels. Gleb wears simple black. He gets all up in her biz. We had one boob grab, one butt grab and one sexy Viennese waltz. Is Gleb the new Chmerkovskiy? Will the Russian give the Ukrainian brothers a run for their money in the hotter than crap department?
Score: 27

Jake and Jenna
Jive
“Kiss You” by One Direction
Sweet, sweet Jake. He wants you to know that he is a grown man. Gone is the little tween from Wizards of Waverly Place. He’s the voice of Diego now, for crying out loud. He was also born the same year as his brand new JV-turned-pro dancer Jenna. Plus, their astrological signs totally match up which means they are practically made for each other. I guess that’s why Jake “accidentally” kisses Jenna during their jive. Whoopsie. During the show, Jake looks scared to death. He licks his lips and fake smiles when he messes up, but I thought he did an okay job. He was a little erratic, but I think Jenna can calm him down as the weeks pass.
Score: 22

Rick and Emma
Cha-Cha
“God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas
Rick’s daughter’s wedding is coming up. What better way to practice for the big event than to learn how to ballroom dance on national TV? Rick says dammit a lot. He likes hip rolls and trusts that Emma can take him from a lump of coal to a diamond. I think that’s ambitious after watching him perform. Bless him. I won’t even get into the random game of “Pass the Corn Dog” which kicked-off their choreography. Instead I’ll discuss how Rick stumbled through the number. Emma had to count for him. There was very little cha-cha and the JV dancers’ Texas attire made me sad. Rick scored a 20 and celebrated like he was in the 30-range. Everyone felt weird by his reaction.
Score: 20

Terra and Sasha
Jive
“Stuff Like That There” by Betty Hutton
Terra is the very first little person to dance in the ballroom. It’s going to be a challenge for Sasha. I’m not sure how he’s going to choreograph something in hold like a waltz or foxtrot. I guess we’ll worry about that after the jive. Terra is spunky and full of energy. However, as she pointed out, Sasha’s one step is equal to two or three of hers. She agrees to move bigger while he agrees to move smaller. And it worked. I didn’t like that he jumped over her a few times, but I loved the dip at the end. The judges thought they did a great job.
Score: 25

Ryan and Cheryl
Foxtrot
“Call Me Irresponsible” by Michael Buble
Everyone likes to rib Ryan for “being in the media for the wrong reasons” after the Olympics. Cheryl straight up tells him that the song title is perfect for what he’s going through right now. I believe Ryan’s PR people have been working overtime to make sure we know this is a story of redemption. DWTS is going to help Ryan find his way. He may be wearing all white with black piping, but his reputation will be restored, by golly. While he and Cheryl float around the floor, I couldn’t help but notice that his pants were up his crack. Then I realized he wears a Speedo for a living and it probably doesn’t bother him. Ryan did a decent job and even held it together when protestors stormed the stage. One thing we did learn from this moment on live TV is that none of us should mess with Carrie Ann Inaba.
Score: 24

Laurie and Val
Cha-Cha
“American Girl” by Bonnie McKee
If she showcases her adorable personality along with her natural moves, it’s hers to lose…unless James wins America over. SO EXCITING!!!
Score: 31

What did you think of week 1? Were the protestors plants? How many want to be friends with Erin Andrews? I feel like I’m rooting for half of the cast! I love seasons when I can’t pick a favorite. It makes it so much more fun. Let me know your favorites in the comment section!

Photo By: ABC.com

Comments

27 Comments on "Dancing with the Stars recap: Word to your mutha"

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CO Kathleen
CO Kathleen

Marilu needs to bring down the excitement a notch…or three. And Maureen needs to get a grip. I like them both but yes, it seems a little overboard for them so early on and especially at their age.

Couldn’t believe all the drama that continues to surround Ryan. I’m getting a little tired of protests every time I turn on the channel.

Laurie was so darn fun to watch but loved James and Vanilla Ice, too. Poor Rick the politician – what the heck was he thinking doing this show!

DeeDee
DeeDee

Agree re: Marilu, what was up with her?! It was super weird how she was practically hyperventilating over meeting her dancing pro.

Helen

Oh I know!! Maureen really came off as half stoned to me, she was off in space and way too emotional. Artem was nice about it but I think he was trying to control some irritation there.

Christine
Christine

So where is Mark? Still pouting over not winning last season? I miss him.
Thanks for the great recap, Lincee. It’s more fun to watch when I know I can count on you for lovely, funny comments the next day.

Ling
Ling

Mark is doing Jersey Boys on Broadway!

BeanersForever
BeanersForever

And where was my favorite, Tony Dovalani? I was disappointed not to see him! I hope he didn’t quit for good. I still recall when he and Melissa Rycroft from Jason Mesnick’s season won the mirrorball trophy.

Susan
Susan

I’m so excited that everyone is going to see the James Hinchcliffe that Indy Car fans have enjoyed for several years now! Fun Fact – the “Mayor of Hinchtown” has his own beer here in Indianapolis!

DeeDee
DeeDee

I’d never heard of James but thought he was so much fun in the season premiere! Can’t wait to see more of him this season!!

Teri
Teri

The only way I can watch this show is to record it and zip through all the chatter and mugging for the camera. It takes about 10 minutes.

Missing summer already
Missing summer already

Ditto, although once I’ve replayed my favorite dances a few times, I’m back up to an hour.

Haley
Haley

I’m glad you are rooting for more than half Lincee! I’m not sure why, but I didn’t feel that way for as many.

I really liked Calvin Johnson-he seems so likeable, and they are on the money about that smile #dang

I love Emma and so sad that she is paired with Rick Perry! I am also bummed that Artem is with Maureen McCormick. I can’t handle that much gushing from Maureen. I adore Artem! He seems like such a sweetheart.

I love Val and I just feel like him and Laurie will be unbeatable. It hardly seems fair when they get gymanstic olympians. They already know how to work facials, are killer in-shape, have been dealing with music/rhythm for their routines, and are very flexible/strong. They have to have it in the bag.

Glad Alyson is back but I just feel like I tend to watch her a lot of the time-her choreography is outstanding, but I feel like it is hard to not watch her during it.

Helen

As do figure skaters. I don’t believe it is fair to have these types of athletes on DWTS. They really have an unfair advantage.

Tanya T.
Tanya T.

Loved the race car driver. Almost as much as I loved the last race car driver. And, Laurie. She is the sweetest!!

As a Texan I both cringed and rooted for Rick Perry. A few years ago I won a big award and was sent to Austin to receive it. Got to meet him and he is a pretty funny guy but just a mess!!

Jenny

I thought JoJo was going to be on this season?

DeeDee
DeeDee

Aww, too bad she doesn’t seem to be on the show this season. Would’ve loved to watch her!

Helen

Thank you for pointing out that Val and Maks are Ukrainian and not Russian. My husband is Ukrainian and he cringes every time they are referred to as being Russian. They were born in Odessa which is very clearly in Ukraine. But, its confusing because most people now speak Russian in that part of Ukraine, and they do as well.

malgorzata szostek
malgorzata szostek

Russians vs. Ukrainians . Having lived in the U.S. for the past forty years amidst all ethnic groups in Chicago, I learned that Americans correct themselves much easier when I ask how they would feel if any of us from Europe called them Canadians without any reservation since they are both North American nations anyway, speak English , and share the border. It works! People respond to “feelings” much better and that stays with them. Side note: DWTS’ Max, Val, (or Karina Smirnof) are Ukraine natives while gorgeous Glab Savchenko is from Moscow, Russia. No love lost between those two countries , but it depends on individuals how they want to interact in private.

Helen

Good comparison! I am sure the Russians and Ukrainians on DWTS stay out of the politics of the mother countries, at least if they are wise!

malgorzata szostek
malgorzata szostek

“Welcome back Derek, Max, and Cheryl”-yes, they were missing for a while, Lincee! So, our favorite host Tom Bergeron gave them that extra warm welcome . Derek was missing last season (22nd) due to his Broadway commitment; Max retired after 18th season (after he won his first Mirrorglobe trophy), and Cheryl Burke left after her 19th . It is a long absence, considering that there are two DWTS seasons per year and the current one is 23rd. On top of it, Cheryl jumped to the rival network NBC for a new show “I can do it” in 2015 . ABC was not pleased ; did not even invite her for the epic celebration of their 10th Anniversary (and everybody was there). So , now all is forgiven, she is teamed up with Lochte in his Redemption Act, and all is well.

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