Dancing with the Stars Recap: The boys came to PLAY!

Once again, I woke this morning and read the horrific news from Brussels. And once again, my heart hurts for the hatred that is viciously pumped into our world at every turn. My prayers go out to those who were directly involved in the attack and for the families whose lives are forever changed by this act of terrorism.

Dancing with the Stars Recap: Season 22, Episode 1

Everyone is back in the ballroom for season 22 of Dancing with the Stars! In a dazzling, fast-moving opening number, all of the contestants and pros are showcased, including my favorite pro of all time — EDYTA! She’s been gone for 12 seasons and never looked better. Crusty old Len Goodman is back too! Tom and Erin couldn’t be more excited that the gang’s all here. Let’s recap this business!

Kim and Sasha
“Sax” by Fleur East
Y’all. Tootie looks G-O-O-D. I absolutely love her laugh and her cavalier attitude. Her goal for the night? “I hope I don’t hurt anything.” [Insert cackle here.] I feel you Tootie. I spontaneously danced a few days ago and I’m still feeling it on my left side. Sure she was a little slow and her upper body was a bit stiff, but she worked her red fringe dress like it was going out of style. PS: Her wigs are what dreams are made of.

Paige and Mark
“Ain’t Far To Go” by Jess Glynne
Paige is the youngest fighter in the UFC. Her motto? “Don’t piss me off.” Mark looks thrilled when she tells the camera that she’s going to make a man out of him. Easy, Mark. When you wear your hair like a rooster, UFC fighters are going to assume you’re not the aggressive type. The producers stick her in a tangerine-colored version of the I Dream of Jeannie outfit and she goes for broke. Mark chooses a lovely floral-patterned blazer that I may have worn in high school. Other than being a little robotic at times, Paige proves that she has what it takes to excel in this competition. She reminds me of Magot Robbie the actress. And I’m pretty sure Mark choreographed a fist bump in the middle of the routine. Fun times!

Karina and Doug Flutie
“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
Doug tells the camera that he is best known for the “Miracle in Miami.” It’s one of the greatest college football plays of all time. Yes, he won the Heisman Trophy and yes, he played professional football for 21 years, but all he wants to do now is DANCE! Unfortunately, rhythm is not in his wheelhouse. Karina knows this and tries to distract the viewing audience with her Roman goddess outfit. We can see most of her left butt cheek as she twirls around Doug. The entire ballroom participates in the “bah, bah, bah” part of the lyrics. Had this been karaoke, it would have been magical. The judges use words like “good for you” and “you really tried” which is code for “bless his heart.”
Score: 15

Jodie and Keo
“Confident” by Demi Lovato
You know Jodie as Stephanie Tanner from Full House and the recently released Fuller House. I like this girl. I know she’s had a rough past, but it appears that she’s really trying to reinvent herself. I just wish she hadn’t cried on day one. She’s worried about what other people will think of her. I guess she can’t hide behind her former glory days phrase, “HOW RUDE” as a 34-year-old. She looked great in her slinky black and purple dress. Her performance was mediocre. I chalk it up to nerves. The judges thought she was alluring with a fierce attitude. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but she got the job done.

Edyta and Geraldo
“Treasure” by Bruno Mars
Geraldo opens his b-roll footage with a strong fact: “I’m the only Puerto Rican who can’t dance.” He speaks truth. Edyta basically uses him as a human pole while she writhes and shimmies around him. It was painful. It was the slowest cha-cha in the history of chas. Even the Junior Varsity backup dancers looked embarrassed. But Edyta looked great. She’s one of those people who doesn’t look slutty in her barely there outfit. She’ll bounce out onto the floor and I’ll think, “She’s so cute.”

Marla and Tony
“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Marla Maples thinks that we best know her as an actor from Will Rogers Follies. Sweet Marla. I guess I understand why she doesn’t want to be labeled as “the woman who used to be married to Donald Trump.” I would have never guessed that she’s 52-years-old. She can also do a cartwheel. I would have led with those two things before getting into the logistics of Donald Trump’s hair. Marla wears a fluffy old timey dress with feathers at the bottom. Tony looks dapper of course. She works the camera and her Miss America smile. It was fun and full of glittery confetti. What more could a girl ask for?

Wanya and Lindsey
“Motownphilly” by Bozy II Men
Wanya is the squishy, cuddly one from Boyz II Men and I love him. He decided to join the Dancing with the Stars cast because of former NSYNC-er Joey Fatone. “If this fat, white boy can do it, I can do it.” Amen, brother. Former boy band members do very well on this show and I have no doubt that Wanya will be right up there. He wears a black-and-white referee jacket as a throwback to the “Motownphilly” music video from 1991. Lindsey wears a teeny costume made of Sherwin-Williams paint swatches from the same era. It all flows. Lindsey busts some signature hip-hop choreography in the middle of the routine that Crusty Len doesn’t seem to mind. All the judges include Boyz II Men song titles in their feedback which was cheesetastic. Of course I loved it. No, Wanya, this is not the end of the road for you.
Score: 23

Val and Ginger
“Move” from Dreamgirls
Ginger is the Chief Meteorologist on Good Morning America. When she meets Val, she pretends she doesn’t recognize him. Then she lifts his t-shirt and it all makes sense. This woman is my spirit animal. She also apologizes if she leaks milk on him, because she’s a new mom and is currently breast feeding her baby. Too much information? You bet. But her effervescent spirit is contagious. And I covet her turquoise sparkly dress. Her shoulders are tight, but the jive is one of the hardest dances. Val didn’t hold back when he choreographed this routine. She’s a dark horse. Plus, she has stick around so the judges can weather pun her to death. The forecast is looking good, Ginger!

Mischa and Artem
“In the Night” by The Weekend
Mischa begins by breaking the cardinal rule of the ballroom: “I’ve danced my entire life.” What in the world Marissa? NEVER EVER EVER SAY THAT. I really wanted to like her and am trying hard to give her the benefit of the doubt. Living in The OC can be tough. But I just don’t like how she seems irritated with the entire experience. She is uncomfortable. She is intimidated. She wears a Hanes t-shirt under her lace bolero jacket. It is an awkward mess. The fact that the judges basically call her out for lack of talent on night one is harsh to say the least. Here’s hoping she can shake off the criticism. I think Summer and Seth need to be in the audience next week for moral support. Am I right?

Nyle and Peta
“Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE
Nyle is deaf. This isn’t his first reality competition. He just won America’s Next Top Model. But this is his first dancing competition. How is this possible? He feels the rhythm and watches Peta’s eyes. He also says that communication is key, which seems weird, but that’s what Ramon is for. He’s Nyle’s interpreter and I think he is the coolest. Despite the fact that Nyle can’t hear a single thing, he nails his performance. Even if he had kept his shirt closed, hiding that magnificent torso, he would have nailed his performance. Everyone loves him. The crowd goes nuts with adoration. The judges leave nothing but interjections of “SHUT UP” and “HOT DAMN” on the table. He’s in my top three for sure.

Antonio and Sharna
“Bad Man” by Pitbull
Antoio is the Mayor of Steeler Nation and the best wide receiver in the business. Speaking of business, it’s booming. Always booming. I agree with Len. He reminds me of Emmett Smith. Antonio is jolly and positive with an impeccable smile. You have fun when you watch him. Although I don’t remember any part of his dance, other than he was in Pittsburgh gold and black, I remember smiling the entire time. He’s adorable.

Von and Witney
“Welcome to My House” by FloRida
Oh Von. Aggies love you. And so do the Denver Broncos. How’s that Super Bowl ring treating you? The fact that your degree is in poultry science makes me want to hug you and scratch my head at the same time. You go with your chicken tattoo! Never stop wearing those glasses either. As usual, Witney is a tiny drill sergeant who pushes Von to always to the dance better. Unlike Antonio’s high energy piece, Von took a more smooth approach to his performance. Witney’s Denver Bronco orange and navy dress was divine, but I’m afraid Von might be overshadowed by the other NFL player if he’s not careful.

What did you think? Are we crazy for thinking anyone but Geraldo will be going home? Will Mischa come back strong next week? Should Tootie and Marla join forces and start a skincare line? Who’s your favorite from night one? I’m totally Team Ramon on this one. Sound off in the comments!


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